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Kentucky Derby colt Epicenter shines spotlight on Bowling Green

 Epicenter won the Louisiana Derby on March 26, 2022.
Epicenter won the Louisiana Derby on March 26, 2022.

Epicenter, a horse that’s the second choice to win the Kentucky Derby, was born and raised on a farm in Bowling Green.

It’s rare to have a Kentucky-bred horse born west of the Louisville and Lexington region, but the colt Epicenter is a Bowling Green native.

With a recent win in the Louisiana Derby on March 26, Epicenter is drawing attention to Westwind Farms on Three Springs Road in Bowling Green.

Epicenter was born on the farm owned and operated by brothers Mike, Brent and Kevin Harris.

The Harris’ sold Epicenter to Ron Winchell at Keeneland’s yearling auction in September 2020. Winchell says he didn’t know then where Epicenter was born, but finds it a nice coincidence since he recently opened The Mint Bowling Green, a gaming hall.

“One of the significant things this round, you know, not to mention he’s the second choice in the Derby, but having the horse come from Bowling Green and have our facility at The Mint that we opened up in December, it’s just a great tie-back to that region and the breeder,” said Winchell.

If Epicenter wins the May 7 Kentucky Derby, Winchell says he’s like to bring the trophy to The Mint Bowling Green for a while and offer local residents a chance to celebrate.

The last Derby winner from south central or western Kentucky was ‘Spend a Buck’ in 1985, who was born in Daviess County. Before that, it was ‘Flying Ebony’ from Christian County, who won the Kentucky Derby in 1925.

Rhonda Miller began as reporter and host for All Things Considered on WKU Public Radio in 2015. She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.
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