Gala Attendees Can Bid on Ownership Stake in a Celebrity’s Derby Horse

A unique partnership between The Hermitage Grand Gala, Churchill Downs Racetrack, Starlight Racing, WinStar Farm and Stonestreet Stables presents the opportunity to share in honorary ownership of a Kentucky Derby contender with a major celebrity while benefiting charity.

Attendees of The Hermitage Grand Gala will have the unique opportunity to partner with a celebrity in holding an honorary 1% ownership stake in a Kentucky Derby contender during “The Kentucky Derby Charity Horse Auction Presented by The Hermitage Grand Gala.” Honorary ownership in Kentucky Derby horses “Itsaknockout” and “Carpe Diem” will be up for grabs during a live auction at the Derby-eve, star-studded gala.

The auction has a celebrity twist. Chris Rock, an attendee of the Hermitage Grand Gala, will be sharing honorary ownership of Starlight Racing’s “Itsaknockout”, while Martin Lawrence, the host of the Hermitage Grand Gala, will be part honorary owner of WinStar Farm & Stonestreet Stables’ “Carpe Diem.”

Money raised during the live auction will go to Hermitage Farm Charities. If either horse finishes in one of the top 5 positions of the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands, the horse’s owners will donate 1% of their winnings to the same cause. In addition, Churchill Downs Racetrack will match each owner’s 1% donation.

The winning bidders will have a meet and greet with their celebrity partner at the Hermitage Grand Gala to participate in media interviews. On Kentucky Derby Day, if applicable, the winning bidders will also be invited to attend the winning owner’s celebration after the race.

Steve Wilson, Laura Lee Brown, Junior Bridgeman and Doris Bridgeman are the hosts of the Hermitage Grand Gala. The tented, “Derby-chic” attire party will welcome guests including top names in entertainment, sports, politics, and business to Hermitage Farm in Goshen, Kentucky.

The charitable beneficiaries of the Hermitage Grand Gala will include The West End School, Kentucky School of Art, the Cardinal Covenant Scholarship at the University of Louisville, Kosair Children’s Hospital through the Children’s Hospital Foundation, and The University of Louisville Autism Center.

About Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson: Brown and Wilson, who are married, are active philanthropists and entrepreneurs. They are the owners of Hermitage Farm, 21c Museum Hotels and the Kentucky Bison Co., and are also investors in the Whiskey Row Revitalization Project on West Main Street in Louisville, KY. 

About Junior Bridgeman: Bridgeman is the owner and President of Manna, Inc. and ERJ Inc. which currently oversee the administration and operation of 127 Chili’s Restaurants in ten states, and 234 Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburger Restaurants in seven states. He played basketball for the University of Louisville and graduated in 1975 before playing in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks.

About Churchill Downs Racetrack

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 2, 2015. The track’s 2015 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 25-June 27. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships eight times.

About Starlight Racing

Starlight Racing began in 2000 as the culmination of founders Jack and Laurie Wolf’s virtually lifelong interest in racing. In 2004, Donald and Barbara Lucarelli joined the Starlight team as principals, and Jack and Donnie serve as managing partners of Starlight, with Laurie and Barbara serving as StarLadies managing partners. Starlight Racing has achieved success at Thoroughbred racing’s highest level and some of their stars have included two-time Eclipse Award winner and 2014 Hall of Fame inductee Ashado, Eclipse Award winner Shanghai Bobby and Harlan’s Holiday. This year they have Eskenformoney competing in the Oaks for StarLadies Racing and Itsaknockout in the Kentucky Derby for Starlight Racing.

About WinStar Farm

Founded in 2000, WinStar Farm is one of the leading Thoroughbred operations in the world. Owned by Kenny Troutt and under the management of Elliott Walden, the farm is spread across 2,400 acres in the heart of the bluegrass, Woodford County, Kentucky, and comprises world-class stallions, broodmares and foals, a training center and sales division. Thousands of stakes horses have been sired, raised and/or trained here, including winners of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont and numerous Breeders' Cup winners.

About Stonestreet

Stonestreet is a leading Thoroughbred breeding and racing operation. The guiding focus of the program is to produce and develop Thoroughbreds with strength, stamina and class. In just ten years of operation the breeding program has produced the winners over $32,000,000 and 24 Graded Stakes races. In Florida, the Stonestreet Training & Rehabilitation center offers the best in early education as well as freshening for older horses. Stonestreet Stables has raced, alone and in partnership, many equine luminaries including Curlin, Rachel Alexandra, My Miss Aurelia, Dreaming of Julia, Miracles of Life (AUS) and the 2015 Kentucky Derby contenders Carpe Diem and Stanford.

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Follow the party on social media:
Twitter @HermitageGG
Instagram @HermitageGrandGala

Media Contact: 
Bob Gunnell