The Louisville Thoroughbred Society — the area’s premier private club that caters to Thoroughbred enthusiasts, cigar aficionados, and the world’s best bourbon palettes of the highest order — will be hosting one of the most significant handicapping previews for this year’s Breeders’ Cup extravaganza that is scheduled to be held at Keeneland Race Course on Friday, Nov. 4 and Saturday, Nov. 5.
The LTS will host the event on Tuesday, Nov. 1 and it will begin at 6 p.m. ET. Members are encouraged to make reservations and invite guests for this lively event that is sure to be full of useful information, entertainment and interaction.
The panel will include the likes of Joe Kristufek, the expert analyst and in-house TV host for both Churchill Downs and the Fair Grounds; Churchill Downs’ track announcer Travis Stone, who is known as one of the best handicappers in the country and participates in many national handicapping contests; the little-known and often misunderstood (kidding, sort of) Ed DeRosa, who is now head of content for HorseRacingNation.com and who often believes he can handicap; and, of course, yours truly.
Here’s a brief look at our panelists and debaters for the night. Contact a member. Ask for an invite as a guest. Join the club, which is busting at the seams. And, sit back and relax as we chat all things Breeders’ Cup 2023.
(Joe Kristufek / Coady Photography)
Churchill Downs and Fair Grounds’ racing analyst and television producer Joe Kristufek began his career in his native Chicago, climbing the ladder at the local racing venues. The 1989 rivalry between Kentucky Derby winner Sunday Silence and his nemesis Easy Goer got Joe hooked on horse racing. A self-proclaimed “horse racing ambassador”, Joe has covered some of the games biggest events worldwide and he is the founding member of Brilliant Racing, a racehorse ownership group.
(Gene McLean and Ed DeRosa at Churchill Downs)
“Horse Racing Nation” recently expanded its handicapping products and horseplayer-focused content, and longtime horse racing media member Ed DeRosa has joined the team as vice president of content and product development to help lead those efforts.
DeRosa, 41, was most recently the director of marketing for TwinSpires and an on-air analyst and reporter for Churchill Downs, a company he joined in July 2011 as director of marketing for Brisnet after 10 years as a writer and editor with Thoroughbred Times. At “Horse Racing Nation,” DeRosa will help expand the website’s handicapping store as well as work on innovative ways of using data and technology to assist players in handicapping and winning more often.
(Travis Stone, track announcer at Churchill Downs / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
Travis Stone (born January 23, 1984) is the race announcer for at Churchill Downs, and he has served in that capacity since 2015. Originally from Schroon Lake, he graduated from the State University of New York at Oneonta in Oneonta, New York.
In December 2014, Stone was named the new track announcer at Churchill Downs, where he became the on-track voice of the Kentucky Derby. Prior to his tenure at Churchill Downs, Stone had called race meetings at Aqueduct Racetrack, Monmouth Park and Louisiana Downs.
Stone, a two-time All-Star Announcer, grew into the game of horse racing at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. He spent three years writing for The Saratoga Special and The Keeneland Special at their respective meets. He also graduated from the Missouri Auction School during that time. His first live race call came at Suffolk Downs when he was just 18 years old.
Stone also called races as part of All-Star Announcer Day at Monmouth Park and Churchill Downs. His first two live race calls occurred at Suffolk Downs. He’s also announced at Calder Race Course, Golden Gate Fields, Evangeline Downs and Sam Houston Race Park. He has been featured in various trade publications, periodicals and television including Horse Racing Nation, HRTV, TVG, The Post-Star, The Albany Times Union, The Shreveport Times, The Daily Racing Form, The Thoroughbred Times and others. During the 2010 Gulfstream Park meet he joined Gulfstream Park‘s TV department as a Simulcast host and analyst with Caton Bredar and Alyssa Ali before returning to Louisiana Downs. In 2016, Stone was hired as the morning line maker at Saratoga Race Course.
(Gene McLean at Churchill Downs)
Gene McLean, a native of Midway, KY, began his professional career in December 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, KY. For 11 years, McLean was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning many awards including the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. In 1986, McLean was recognized as the “Outstanding Alumni” in the Mass Communications Department at his alma mater – Eastern Kentucky University.
In 1988, McLean left the newspaper business to become the Executive Vice President of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Subsequent to his service with the KTA-KTOB, McLean served as the first President of Kentucky Off-Track Betting, Inc., and established four off-track wagering facilities throughout the Commonwealth.
After starting his own business in 1995, under the umbrella of McLean Communications, McLean has been heavily engaged in lobbying state and federal government agencies and has represented many interests in the horse industry for the past 25 years.
McLean is also one of three “Founders” of the LTS.