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Horses with NCFL ties gear up to compete at the 148th Kentucky Derby

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 10:25 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - North Central Florida has had its share of horses coming from this area and running in the Kentucky Derby. For this year’s 148th run for the roses, it’s the same story with thirteen horses racing.

“There’s a number of horses they are in the derby that has come through Ocala or Marion County that got their early training here own parts of horses that are in the derby,” said Tod Wojciechowski the director of sales at the Ocala Breeders Sales.

Simplification is the only horse in the derby bred and trained in Ocala. Owner Tami Bobo is in Kentucky getting ready for the race.

“The greatest part of this horse is that he was born at the de Meric’s farm in Ocala, Florida, Valery and Tristan, so this horse is not only an Ocala horse he is born there that is his roots, the same as ours and he’s a hometown horse,” said Bobo.

Twelve years ago Bobo said she had another horse that ran in the derby, but this is the first time as an owner she was able to attend.

“Every day there’s more and more an influx of people the excitement is unbelievable. This morning we pulled in at 7am and there are crowds of people trying to cross the street trying to get in and watch these horses train.”

Fans here at home will be supporting those hometown horses.

“It’s coined the greatest two minutes in sports, you bet all the eyes are peeled on the tv,” said Wojciechowski.

This year there may be another winner with ties to North Central Florida that will be draped in a blanket of roses.

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