Louisville Thoroughbred Society & “The Pressbox”: Time Flies When You Are Having Fun

Hard to believe. Another year has come and gone. Really? That fast?

I guess the old saying that “time flies when you are having fun” really does apply. Guess why that is an old saying that has stuck around for all these many years. ‘Cause it’s true.

We’ve had fun in 2018. For sure.

The Pressbox has grown immensely over the past year, and our faithful followers have been growing every month since we started this project before the 2017 Kentucky Derby.

And, we’ve had our share of break throughs, as well.

We broke the story about Ellis Park being sold. We were the first to report it. And, it came to pass.

We broke the story about who was going to buy the track. We were the first to report it. And, it came to pass.

We broke the story about Kentucky Downs being up for sale. We were the first to report it. And, despite the many cries of foul and that it was not true, sure enough: It Came to Pass.

We broke the story about the buyer for Kentucky Downs. We were the first to report it. It came to pass.

We broke the story about Churchill Downs and Keeneland applying for race dates for its’ proposed racetrack at Oak Grove. We were the first to report it. It came to pass.

And, we covered that track license process with more in-depth coverage than any other industry periodical.

Pat on our back?

Damn right.

When you are right, you are right. Even if the more established websites will never acknowledge it. Sad. I thought competition was good. I thought competition made you better. I thought that when you were first, you were first.

That’s the way I grew up in journalism. Guess some people don’t hold such high standards any more.

But guess what?

We will keep coming. We are the hooves you hear in the deep stretch. We are coming.

We launched our first Twitter feed, and now we are approaching 1,100 followers. May not sound like many, but we correspond with many of them on a regular and daily basis. And, our “Twitter Family” is fun.

There’s Greenville Stables and Terry Blumer. There’s Gary Stevens — the best rider to ever throw a leg over a Thoroughbred. And, there’s our Number 1 fan — SAK. And, there’s so many, many more.

Dave Baker
Dave Baker, Talent/Columnist

We now have a regular weekly podcast with my great friend, ally, and constant supporter — Dave “Buzz” Baker. I could never afford to retain a man of his ability, credibility, expertise and broadcasting excellence. But I don’t have to. The man is the definition of friend. Don’t know what I would do without him.

We have added a weekly interview with Ed DeRosa, the director of marketing over at www.brisnet.com. What a personality. And, the depth of his knowledge and betting ideas is without equal. He is one of my very new stars in a galaxy of friends.

We have developed a most wonderful relationship with Holly M. Smith. One of the most talented young people I have met in many, many years and a famous photographer. What she sees and captures through the lens of a device is amazing. She grabs and portrays soul. What a talent.

We have continued to add color, and other amenities to the site itself through the professional touches of MoDuet and the A-Team of Aaron Bacon and Patricia Franco. Not a better duo in the IT world. My constant “help button.”

And, most importantly, we are now fully engaged in building the Louisville Thoroughbred Society in downtown Louisville. In 2019, we will open our doors to the city’s first and finest private membership club dedicated to those persons interested in, invested in, and fans of the Thoroughbred industry.

It will be located in a historic building in downtown Louisville, and the site could not be more beautiful. Just wait and see.

It will have a state-of-the-art audio/video world of televisions and speakers that will help bring live horse racing to pure life right before your eyes and dancing over your ears.

It will have a 5,000-square foot roof-top bar and entertain area that will provide our members and guests with a beautiful view of downtown and provide an open-air venue for all kinds of entertainment — like watching races from around the world. There will be green space. There will be fire pits. There will be outdoor TVs. And, there will be posh sitting areas. Fun areas.

It will have the area’s largest, finest, most expansive “Cigar Bar,” equipped with the state’s largest indoor humidor and private cigar lockers for individuals to lease and utilize.

It will have one of the largest and most exquisite bar areas, stacked with some of the best drink products that you can imagine. And, it will have one of the most impressive “Bourbon Bars” located in the “Cigar Bar” area — stocked with some of the world’s most prestigious and hard-to-find tastes.

It will have a daily restaurant menu for our members and guests. And, it will have one of the nicest, neatest, most historic, most modern, and most distinctive meeting room areas and spaces in all of the Midwest. Just wait till you see it.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much time, effort, imagination, and mind that Mike Schnell and Dave Steinbrecher have spent to date getting this project off the ground. And — boy, oh boy — is it off the ground. Elevator shafts and stair towers are currently going up. The parking garage is under way. The inside of the building is being restored to its’ original and natural beauty.


A couple of years ago, someone asked me why at my age would I think about taking on such a project. I responded to the question with a question.

Why wouldn’t I?

When I moved to Louisville about a decade ago or so, I asked some of my best friends and my horse partner — Schnell — where do people go to watch horse racing when Churchill Downs is not racing? Where do people go to hang out, and chat? Where do people go to congregate and enjoy life. Where do people go in Louisville?

I guess I was very spoiled. I had always lived close to the Thoroughbred Club of America. That beautiful facility just across the road from Keeneland. I had come to expect something like that in Louisville.

Soon, we will have something like that in Louisville. Just an urban version.

And, unlike any other website dedicated to the Thoroughbred industry, that is what we are about here at “The Pressbox.”

We are reinvesting every single dollar. We are building with new dollars; our dollars. And, we are creating new opportunities for new fans and current fans to mingle together and help forge a better tomorrow. A better industry. A growing business.

Want to come join with us in this quest? Why wouldn’t you?

Louisville is the home of the greatest horse race in the world.

Soon, Louisville will have one of the greatest horse “clubs” in the world.

And, that is why 2018 flew by about as fast as Justify on the first Saturday in this year’s May.

We are having fun, indeed.

And, we hope you join us in this race.

Happy New Year. Good Luck. And, all the Best.


The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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