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Archive Record

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Collection Jim Bolus Collection
Object Name Recording, Audio
Catalog Number 1985.155.0095
Title Jim Bolus interviews with William H. May, T.A. Grissom, Bud Burke, Bill Burch, Penny Ann Early, and Herb Stevens
Description Side A:

Bolus first speaks with former Racing Commission Chairman William H. May. He is investigating a rumor that 1960 Kentucky Derby winner Venetian Way may have been "hopped." They discuss the evolution of post-race drug testing practices in the thoroughbred racing industry. May confirms standards were much less strict in years past. They also discuss the impact of the scandal following 1968 Kentucky Derby, when winner Dancer's Image was disqualified after testing positive for a performance enhancing drug.

Bolus next speaks with owner T.A. Grissom, owner of Lurullah, who ran against Venetian Way in the 1960 Kentucky Derby. Grissom denies hearing any rumors about Venetian Way running the race "hopped." The two also discuss some of Grissom's other notable horses, including Roman Lion and Decidedly.

Bolus next speaks with a gentleman named Bud Burke, who seems to be a Churchill Downs employee. He has worked in the spit box, where horses are held for blood and urine testing post race. Bolus and Burke discuss the hopping rumors about Venetian Way, and Burke denies hearing about it at the time of the 1960 Kentucky Derby. They discuss the once widespread practice of hopping, and Burke shares stories he has heard about some notable trainers who engaged in this practice, and well-known horses who were hopped during major races.

Bolus speaks with trainer Bill Burch, age 26, about a colt he is currently training. They discuss two of the horse's recent races, his progress over the winter, and plans for upcoming races, including who the horse's rider may be. Burch talks about the horse's personality and how he responds to training. He is unsure whether or not they will consider running the horse in the Kentucky Derby. They also briefly discuss the careers of Burch's father and grandfather, who are also well-known horse trainers.

Side B:

Bolus speaks with trainer and former jockey Penny Ann Early. He is researching a "Where Are They Now?" story about former athletes. They discuss Early's current training at Caliente, a track in Mexico, and she discusses her best horse, Silent Tim. The two discuss how society has changed since 1968, when Early became famous as the first woman licensed as a jockey in the United States. She shares memories of that period of her life, talks about the controversy surrounding her attempts to ride at Churchill Downs, and discusses the impact this has had on her life and career.

In the next segment, Bolus and other reporters interview Herb Stevens, trainer of Rockhill Native. He discusses his plans for upcoming races, and the horse's recent workouts. Stevens also confirms his opposition to running a horse in the Kentucky Derby, because he believes the horsemen are not treated well by Churchill Downs. Stevens rates his horse against current competition, and expresses confidence in his ability to race longer distances, in spite of a recent loss in the Flamingo Stakes.
Number of Items Audiocassette
People Bolus, Jim
May, William H.
Burke, Bud
Burch, Bill
Early, Penny Ann
Stevens, Herb
Lowenstein, Moe
Burke, Cliff
Jones, Ben
Coitiletti, Frank
Burch, Elliott
Burch, Preston
Delahoussaye, Eddie
Pincay, Laffit
Rice, Eddie
Subjects Venetian Way
1960 Kentucky Derby
"hopping"
Racing Commission
drug testing
1968 Kentucky Derby
Dancer's Image
Roman Lion
Decidedly
1962 Kentucky Derby
1962 Preakness Stakes
Churchill Downs
spit box
Misstep
Whirlaway
Sunbow
Riva Ridge
George Smith
Whitney Stables
Rockhill Native
1980 Flamingo Stakes