Mayor Fischer makes annual Derby wager with Ocala Mayor

May 04, 2022

Mayor Greg Fischer and Ocala (Fla.) Mayor Kent Guinn today made their annual wager on the Kentucky Derby, placing a bottle of Woodford Reserve® bourbon and a bottle of Stonestreet Estate Vineyards wine on the line.

This is the eighth year of the friendly wager between the mayors of the two cities, both of which are steeped in thoroughbred tradition and consider themselves spirited rivals for the status of Horse Capital of the World®.

Mayor Fischer this year picked Epicenter, breaking from post position 3, to win the 148th Kentucky Derby and make the time-honored walk to the infield Winner’s Circle for the garland of roses. Epicenter was bred in Bowling Green, KY, is trained by Steve Asmussen and will be ridden by Joel Rosario.

“Epicenter is owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, trained by the all-time winningest trainer in North America who has yet to see a Kentucky Derby victory,” Mayor Fischer said. “I’m hopeful Steve Asmussen will be present in the Winner’s Circle alongside Epicenter to experience a full-circle moment in his career with a Kentucky thoroughbred.”

Mayor Guinn chose Simplification, a Florida-bred thoroughbred that will break from post position 13. Simplification is owned by Tami Bobo, trained by Antonio Sano and will be ridden by Jose L. Ortiz. Mayor Guinn noted that he is hopeful this Florida horse will take the top prize, especially considering Simplification enjoys running on dirt, an attribute that will help on the Derby track.

Last year, Mayor Fischer’s choice, Essential Quality, trained by Louisville native Brad Cox, finished 4th, and Mayor Guinn’s pick, Soup and Sandwich, trained by Mark Casse, finished 19th.

“This year’s contenders in the Kentucky Derby are an exceptional group of horses and I am proud to have selected the Florida-bred horse known as Simplification,” Mayor Guinn said. “With a promising start in the racing community, I am hopeful this horse will claim victory in the Derby and end the losing streak between Mayor Fischer and myself. Over the years we have developed a friendly, but spirited rivalry between our two cities, with each of us watching with anticipation to see if this will be the year we come out on top. Win or lose, as Mayor I am proud to represent the Horse Capital of the World®, Ocala, Florida; a city rich with our own equine history and champion spirit.”

Mayor Fischer’s wager is a bottle of Louisville-based Brown-Forman Corp.’s Woodford Reserve® 2022 commemorative Derby bottle, featuring the artwork of Kentucky native Jaime Corum. Woodford Reserve® is the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby. Mayor Guinn’s wager is a bottle of Stonestreet Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. He noted that Stonestreet is home to many farms including a large training facility in Ocala that is known for the early training of many racehorses.

“The Derby is steeped in tradition, and the friendly wager between Louisville and Ocala has become a part of that excitement,” Mayor Fischer said. “This is my last Derby as Mayor, and it’s been an honor to watch our city beam with vibrance through the thousands of visitors we welcome each year for the most exciting two minutes in sports. And as the home of Bourbonism, we hope to welcome visitors, including Mayor Guinn, back to the bourbon epicenter of the world even after the winner has crossed the finish line.”

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