From the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs:

WE’RE OFFICIALLY THIS YEAR’S WOODFORD RESERVE $1,000 MINT JULEP CUP RECIPIENT

Tuesday, April 9, we were honored to join Woodford Reserve at the Director’s Room at Churchill Downs announcing that the Backside Learning Center is this year’s “Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep charity program” beneficiary!

“The awareness and support this opportunity will bring is critical to our important mission, as we provide transformational programs and services to a community that is so central to the industry,” said Sherry Stanley, executive director.

The cups are ON SALE NOW! They include:

  • 100 gold cups: $5,000 each (including commemorative Derby 150 history book and ephemera)
  • 200 silver cups: $1,000 each SOLD OUT

Proceeds from the sales of these cups will go straight to programming at the Backside Learning Center.

Want to get yours now? Order via Woodford Reserve’s website below!

Wanted a silver and missed your opportunity? DO NOT FEAR. We have one to spare! Stay tuned for more information regarding our 20th Anniversary Raffle.

GET YOUR GOLD MINT JULEP CUP NOW!
BACKSIDE KIDS ENJOYED A SPRING BREAK TO REMEMBER THANKS TO LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS!
In collaboration with numerous local organizations, the BLC offers outings and excursions focused on creating meaningful, ongoing connections with the greater Louisville community. Most recently, several local organizations provided camps and scholarships for our kiddos during JCPS spring break!
We hosted a three-day camp, Tuesday through Thursday, and welcomed community partners to help make it more fun! On Tuesday, Kentucky Shakespeare hosted an acting workshop! Kids learned techniques for acting in a combat scene including the correct way to fall, use a (styrofoam) sword, etc.
Thanks to Ashby Green from Louisville Fire Department Engine #18, kids got to explore their firetruck and learn the basics of fire safety on Thursday.

Many teens from our “Creciendo Juntos” youth group participated in a week-long “Love Notes” camp led by YMCA Louisville. According to their website, “Love Notes is an evidence-based program that supports teens and young adults in developing skills and confidence to engage in respectful, equitable, and healthy relationships.”

Louisville City Football Club offered several camp scholarships to our kiddos, and we are so grateful. And last but not least, a few of our students participated in a three-day sculpture and clay camp at KMAC Contemporary Art Museumand brought home several keepsakes.

We so appreciate these local partnerships connecting arts, empowerment and education to our community.

BLC’S DERBY HANDICAPPING SOCIAL
IS NEXT WEEK!
Thoroughbred owners, racing enthusiasts and industry experts will join us at the Louisville Thoroughbred Society Tuesday, April 16th from 5:30–7:30pm for the BLC’s Derby Handicapping Social.

The event is SOLD OUT and is the third of its kind and enabling those with a vested interest in the horseracing industry to help support backside workers who make the sport possible, while securing a vibrant and viable backstretch community throughout Louisville and Kentucky.

2024 is a big year. Not only with the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby,but because the Backside Learning Center is also celebrating 20 years of providing support and resources in a safe, welcoming environment to the diverse community of backside workers and their families. The event will also feature an award commemorating one of our initial supporters.

The event will feature a 2024 Kentucky Derby handicapping seminar with a panel of the industry’s top experts: FanDuel’s Caton Bredar and Gabby Gaudet, Churchill Downs analyst Joe Kristufek, with NBC Sportscaster Donna Barton Brothers moderating.
The event would not be possible without sponsors: Louisville Thoroughbred Society, Churchill Downs, Horsemen’s Track and Equipment, Inc., Hot Pink Stables, Rabbit Hole, TwinSpires and Winstar.

Want to be a part of the event but can’t make it? No worries! Catch us on social media as we broadcast part of it on Facebook Live! Also, feel free to donate anytime to help make our work possible!

You can donate here, or Venmo @BacksideLearningCenter.
SEE THOROUGHBRED DAILY NEWS ARTICLE
SEE EVENT SITE
🔥NEW PODCAST DROP🔥
BLC DERBY HANDICAPPING SOCIAL
🎧LISTEN ON SPOTIFY
🎧LISTEN ON APPLE MUSIC
For this episode, BLC intern Samantha Versocki cohosts and interviews former jockey and current analyst and NBC Sportscaster Donna Barton Brothers as she discusses her role in our upcoming event, her background in the Thoroughbred industry, the importance of backside workers, and her excitement for Derby 150.

Then, Samantha speaks with Buff Bradley, a former trainer and owner who is currently a board member at the Backside Learning Center. He discusses his current role in the industry, his involvement with the BLC, and why the backside community is so important.

SIERRA LEONE WON THE BLUEGRASS STAKES —
NOW SHOO-IN FOR THE KENTUCKY DERBY!
©Bloodhorse / Mathea Kelley
Longtime BLC supporter Brook Smith enrolled Sierra Leone in our Purses for a Purpose Team. This means that a portion of his winnings go straight to programming at the BLC!

After his win of the Bluegrass Stakes on April 6th, he is now a
shoo-in to compete in the Kentucky Derby. If Sierra Leone continues his lucky streak, the Backside Learning Center could receive a portion of the winnings of the 150th Kentucky Derby!

We are beyond excited.

Purses for a Purpose is an initiative providing horse owners a way to give back to those who are the backbone of the horse racing industry. This support is a direct investment in an industry that is central to the identity, culture and economy of our state.

👉 Sierra Leone is owned by Brook Smith, John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Peter Brant, Westerberg and trained by Chad Brown.

To learn more about Purses for a Purpose, visit our website below!

LEARN MORE ABOUT PURSES FOR A PURPOSE
THIS MONTH’S VOLUNTEER
HIGHLIGHT, MEET JANISHA! 👋
© Greater Art Soulutions, 2023
Janisha Szabo is University of Louisville’s Health Sciences Center Office of Diversity and Inclusion department coordinator. She’s a person who is always looking for ways to give back and get involved in the community of Louisville.

Janisha was writing an article on the disparities around Derby when she came across the Backside Learning Center. Moved by the stories of backside workers who work tirelessly 365 days a year to care for the horses, she wondered about the disparity between these workers and the surrounding wealth. This fueled Janisha to start volunteering and begin tutoring adult English every Thursday evening.

READ JANISHA’S STORY!
THIS MONTH’S DONOR HIGHLIGHT,
MEET MARY! 👋
For this month’s supporter highlight, we focus on Mary Nixon!

Mary grew up in Lexington and mentions that she was crazy about horses from a young age. “I worked on a horse farm all through junior high, senior high and a few summers while in college and actually learned something a lot about the business.” She remained a fan of Thoroughbred racing for years but was not actively involved due to the demands of her career.

READ MARY’S STORY!
DONATE