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Coaches stir up UK fans

Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith, who both led Kentucky to NCAA men's basketball championships, created a frenzy on Millionaire's Row as they made their way to their table at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

"I'm his bodyguard," Smith quipped about his predecessor as the two coaches walked along with security guards.

Fans circled the table in hopes of getting an autograph, and reporters huddled close by.

Smith's Kentucky team won the 1998 championship. Pitino, now with the Boston Celtics, took the Wildcats to the title game in '97 after winning it in 1996. Now, he also is dabbling in horse racing as primary owner of Derby starter Halory Hunter.

BET ON IT: The third-largest crowd in Derby history (143,215) wagered $8,203,774 on the feature, the largest betting total in history. The crowd dropped a total of $17,363,780 on the 10-race card, slightly less than the 1996 record. The total betting on the Derby, counting dozens of simulcast sites and separate pools in several states, amounted to $56,612,138, more than $3-million more than last year's total.

JINXED AGAIN: Favorite Trick and Indian Charlie did their part to extend a couple of Derby jinxes. Favorite Trick was trying to become the first 2-year-old champion to win the Derby since Spectacular Bid in 1979 and the first Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner to capture the race since that series began in 1984. Favorite Trick finished eighth. Indian Charlie, who finished third, was the 5-2 favorite in the field of 15. No post-time favorite has won the race since Spectacular Bid.

DERBY DEBUTS: Real Quiet owner Mike Pegram won his first Derby with his first Derby starter. And Little Hill Farm, the breeder, won its first Derby with its first effort. Jockey Kent Desormeaux won his first Derby in seven tries, and it was the first Derby winner for Quiet American, the sire of Real Quiet.

FLORIDA TIES: Real Quiet was bred by Eduardo and Ann Gaviria, who have 20 acres in Ocala. They ship their four broodmares to Kentucky for breeding.

ON THE UNDERCARD: Joyeux Danseur was never threatened in winning the Early Times Turf Classic. Yes It's True and Tactical Cat finished a nose apart in the WHAS-11 race for 2-year-olds. Yes It's True tied the track record of :57 3/5 in the 5-furlong race. Favored Distorted Humor set a track record in winning the Churchill Downs Handicap. Distorted Humor ran 7 furlongs in 1:21; the record of 1:21 1/5 was set by Rapid Gray in 1985. Witchful Thinking won the Aegon Mile. Colonial Minstrel took the Humana Distaff.

_ TIMES WIRES

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