Derby Episode: Bruce Lunsford’s Art Collector; Steve Buttleman Plays it Again, and Again


When I interviewed Bruce Lunsford at his office Monday morning, it was shaping up to be the best week in his 32 years in the horse business. But the successful executive and former political candidate hadn’t yet received the disappointing news. Art Collector, one of the potential favorites in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, had suffered a minor injury and would be scratched.

Nonetheless, I think you’ll enjoy my conversation with Bruce, my boss during his 2007 campaign for governor, who calls his venture into politics a reawakening. He’s certainly made the most of his time the last 13 years, as you’ll hear.

I have an odd connection to Steve Buttleman as well. His wife is a pediatrician, and all of my kids were her patients. Steve has parlayed a love for music and some luck into a 25 year stint as the bugler at Churchill Downs and Keeneland. His most-asked question – what’s your other job? We talk about how he’s survived since there have been no live events, and about his unique vantage point for the races.

Thanks to the 400 or so of you who wished me a happy 60th birthday last weekend, which I spent  in Lexington playing golf on a trip Paula planned for us. And I read a great new book. In the news, we’re getting ready to hit 1,000 deaths in Kentucky from COVID-19, and the virus isn’t slowing down.

Here’s hoping for a peaceful and exciting Kentucky Derby on Saturday.

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