Charlie Buttrey

September 4, 2020

The Kentucky Derby is ordinarily contested on the first Saturday in May.

But these are not ordinary times.

The race, postponed by the coronavirus pandemic will, instead, be run on Saturday. And the stands will be virtually empty.

Greg Harbut, a part-owner of long-shot Necker Island would ordinarily, like all other Derby horse owners, be excited about his horse’s chances at the Run for the Roses.

But these are not ordinary times.

Harbut’s family has been in the thoroughbred business for generations. His father owned a horse that ran in the Derby in 1962. His great-grandfather was Man O’ War’s groom. What sets Harbut (and one of his partners) apart from every other owner in Saturday’s Derby is that he is Black. And Louisville, which is hosting the Derby, is also the epicenter of controversy over the police shooting in March of Breonna Taylor. A number of activists for racial justice have called on Harbut to boycott the race.

I fully understand the sentiment behind those who are calling for a boycott, and I would fully understand why Harbut would choose to enter his horse nevertheless. Both sides of the coin have merit.

Tomorrow’s blog, by the way, will feature a preview of the race along with my picks, which long-time readers of this blog know to ignore.


© 2020 Charlie Buttrey Law by Nomad Communications