Yes, it’s fun to get into the Derby hype, so there’s not a lot of actual news going on in town this week, except. . .
Keys to the Kingdom: It was surprising to see the city engage in such a public display of negotiation yesterday with its big offer to finance part of Kentucky Kingdom. It was odd, however, in that the guy behind the effort, Ed Hart, was nowhere to be seen. So before you start asking where to buy your season passes, know that there’s plenty of negotiating left to do.
Chris Poynter, the Mayor’s spokesman, acknowledged as much this morning, saying the press announcement was necessary to start getting the Metro Council on board for the bond issue. Hart’s statement, released after yesterday’s city-sponsored news conference, was lukewarm, at best. Here it is:
Reopening Kentucky Kingdom has always been seen as a collaborative process among four parties: the city, the Fair Board, the state, and my company, which would operate the park. If one party does well, all of the other parties should likewise do well. Most important, we all have to keep in mind that the community would also benefit from the park’s reopening, which would create more than 1,000 jobs. The overriding principle in these discussions has always been that one party should not shoulder the risk while another party reaps the reward. We will evaluate the city’s proposal with this in mind.”
No Strip City: No surprised in WAVE’s story on the city’s strip club enforcement efforts last night. Yes, clubs are breaking the rules and especially violating that silly 6-foot stripper/customer distance requirement, you can still get a lap dance and they’re staying open til 4. And WAVE talked to the usual players, that Gramig lady from Indiana heading up the prudes, and the colorful Frank Mascagni, the lawyer for the clubs, who said “We’re going to spend 100s of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money enforcing a buffer zone, a dance zone. Are you kidding me?”
Robby OK: I spoke to Jockeys Guild rep Darrell Haire this morning about Robby Albarado, who got kicked in the face by a horse during a post-parade at Churchill yesterday. Robby’s likely to miss today’s card, but will be back on horses Friday and aboard Animal Kingdom in the Derby. Haire, who’s seen his share of spills and even deaths from spills, reminds me of the dangers inherent in the sport. He’s been promoting Saturday night’s Night of Silk party at the Galt House. Haire said he expects at a minimum 12 of the Derby jockeys to attend the party.
Party Zone: The weekend really kicks off tonight, with a number of big bashes, but the one I’ll be at benefits The Dream Factory, Blessings in a Backpack and Racing for Corey. It’s the Oaks Eve Bash at the Seelbach, organized in part by my Breakfast of Champions co-host Dick Wilson. From what I hear, the Atlanta All-Stars are a get-you-off-your-feet rock and roll dance band.
If We Only Cared About Hockey: Sidney Crosby is the biggest rock star in hockey, and he’s on the guest list for the Mint Jubilee Friday night.
What in the Name of Gatewood: As if I needed a reason to pull against Bill Vermillion, Bobbi Holsclaw’s GOP running mate in the Governor’s Race, I got a campaign email today saying the reason he’s running because he and Holsclaw share a faith in God. Well, another reason is that he’s criticizing Phil Moffett for supporting legalizing hemp. He even admits “it would take an excessive amount of hemp to produce a mind-altering state.” But opposes hemp production because it’s “nothing more than a gateway crop.”
Since 1922: If you haven’t been to Wagner’s for breakfast during Derby Week, you’re missing one of the key local experiences. Though you’re going to have to wait for a table. It WAS a little disappointing that no one famous came in while we were there today.
Tune in Today: I’ll be Joe Elliott’s guest on WGTK-970AM today at 2. Call in!