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What a Week

Bucks for ballsIn a move symbolic of Kentucky public-education politics, Gov. Fletcher ripped (vetoed) Higher Education a new one, making more money available for basketball. Louisville got $75 million for the new basketball arena, but the governor denied $73 million that would have gone to support academics at U of L (and $312 million statewide). Further symbolic of Kentucky politics, the Cats took a much smaller hit than the Cards, winning the veto Dream Game $23 million to $73 million. Afterwards, everybody held hands, swayed and sang “My Old Kentucky Home (’Tis Stupid but the People Have Hoops).” Everybody, that is, but U of L president James Ramsey, who reprised his previous pro-arena hissy-fit with one threatening to walk away from the whole project.

ACLU eyes racial profiling

The ACLU of Kentucky is neutral on the issue of Derby cruising, but the civil rights organization is running a public education campaign to teach the community about racial profiling as it relates to cruising, particularly given that Louisville Metro Police plan to enforce ordinances this weekend that are not normally enforced.

The Official LEO Derby Survival Tout Sheet:

LEO: Giving Louisville the Finger since 1990When it comes to wagering, most Derby visitors think of the card at Churchill Downs as the main event. But there are lots of other events worth handicapping at Derby time. For instance, which celebrity is most likely to bare his ass? How many puddles of vomit will you have to sidestep during Derby Week? And when will the exact moment come when you'll run screaming from the whole Derby experience, crawl into the fetal position and weep softly into your Early Times Gato Del Sol decanter?  As usual, LEO comes to your rescue. Just use our handy LEO Tout Sheet, and you're sure to survive the most outrageous moments of Kentucky Derby 132.

There’s first, and there’s worst: You might pick the winner. Can you say which horses will bring up the rear?

When you get tired of the relentless Kentucky Derby hype and want to have a little fun, sit down with a couple of your friends and try to pick the horse that will finish last on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Understand, this is different than trying to pick the worst horse in the field. Sometimes, due to the vagaries of racing luck, the last-place Derby horse is just the one that had the worst trip.

The great and powerful Host: Who’s the man behind the Arena curtain?

Late on the afternoon of April 19, Arena Authority Chairman W. James Host, accompanied by five suits with big titles, appeared before the finance committee of the Louisville Metro Council to make the case for building a downtown arena at the LG&E site instead of the old Water Company site.

The madness of Derby cruising: There are two sides to the story — and the truth’s somewhere in the middle

BY PHILLIP BAILEYBecause I am young, black and outspoken, people often ask me about Derby cruising. That doesn’t surprise me, given cruising’s relationship to hip-hop culture, which, of course, means black.

Rumor & Innuendo: Rumblings From the World of Sports

As The Boss sayeth (that would be Bruce from N.J., not Stemle from the sunnyside): “It’s hard to be a saint in the city.”It is that time of year again, you know. When LEO’s resident “turf experts” regale you with speed ratings and Dosage indexes and three-furlong clockings. Then Mr. Doolittle and maybe Mr. Reed — acclaimed and award-winning writers both, viz a viz the Sport of Kings — whittle the upcoming 20 horse Derby field down to, oh, say five or six possible winners.

That was Giacomo. This is Barbaro

Tell you one horse that won’t win the Derby — Giacomo.Well, Giacomo did win the 2005 Kentucky Derby, but even if he could be in it again this year, he wouldn’t win. Last year’s Derby was a great place for 50-1 shots. This year’s isn’t.

Get me rewrite: Some ‘celebs’ soak up Derby largess like a sponge

I’ve pored over the list of celebrities — and I use that term loosely — who will attend this year’s Derby and, frankly, I’m underwhelmed. Sorry, folks, but it’s definitely the B list. It’s heavy on has-beens, wannabes and others who dwell on Hollywood’s fringe. Mostly, it’s the same freeloaders who show up every year to suck up our hospitality but leave without buying so much as a country-ham sandwich, much less a race horse.

Golden Boy bronzed: New downtown statue memorializes Paul Hornung

As a player and playboy at Notre Dame and with the Green Bay Packers of the NFL, Paul Hornung sometimes seemed larger than life. Now he really is. At least, the new bronze statue honoring him will be. The official unveiling will be at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 2, outside Slugger Field at the corner of Witherspoon and Preston.