Gov. Bevin won't share Derby pick but hoping to entice economic development from guests at big race

05/07/2016 01:57 PM

LOUISVILLE — For Gov. Matt Bevin, Saturday’s Kentucky Derby is a day to set aside politics and celebrate a day at Churchill Downs.

“Talking about politics kind of ruins a perfectly good day,” he told reporters as he entered the track.

He was equally judicious when asked whether he’s made a pick in the 142nd running of the Derby. Bevin said he’s singled out a particular horse, “but I’m not allowed to say that because I’ve had three different owners ask me to present the trophy to them.”

“And so I really don’t want to get in the middle of that,” said Bevin, flanked by first lady Glenna Bevin. “I’m looking forward to a safe and a fun race for everybody, and hopefully the rain will hold off until sometime after 6 p.m. and we’ll be in good shape.”

Bevin’s first Kentucky Derby includes making the rounds at Churchill, including congratulating the winner of the iconic race, as well as playing host to a number of guests scoping out the state for potential economic development opportunities. The governor’s guests include those “who have already made a commitment to Kentucky, but we have people who are coming for the first time.”

“Some came yesterday and have already fallen in love with the commonwealth and others I think are hoping to have a similar experience today,” Bevin said. “So it is a great opportunity for economic development and frankly just to showcase the greatness of Kentucky.”

He’ll also make time for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who suspended his presidential campaign after losing Indiana’s Republican primary by nearly 17 points on Tuesday.

Bevin said he and the Texas senator have texted back and forth on Saturday. Cruz is a guest of Republican donors Joe Craft, president of Alliance Resource Partners, and his fiancée, Kelly Knight, Bevin said.

“I’m glad to see him getting a little bit of a rest, but he’s been running around the country,” the governor said. “So he and a whole lot of other folks will be here to enjoy the day.”

The full interview with Bevin, including his track record in betting on horse races and his past Derby experiences, can be seen below:


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