Cedar Rapids Native Helps Kick Off Kentucky Derby Every Year
Most of the year I don't care much for horse racing. But as soon as I see a huge hat and smell mint juleps I immediately get into the spirit of Kentucky Derby season!
I enjoy watching these horse races. While I don't keep up with the races during the rest of the year, I like to turn on the television and watch the most exciting 2 minutes in sports.
In all honesty, I'm a sucker for a nice hat too...
This year, I'll be paying some extra attention to the festivities though. After some deep diving, I found out that Iowa has a really interesting connection to the elite race.
Iowa has had quite a few horses compete in the Kentucky Derby over the years. In 2010, Paddy O'Prado ran in the race and during a few of the last few Derby races two horses raised in Iowa galloped to Churchill Downs.
While these Iowa horses may come and go, one notable staple of the race actually called the Hawkeye State Home.
On May 7th, as the horses race at the 148th Kentucky Derby, Steve Buttleman will be resting his chops. Buttleman has been playing the bugle at the race for almost 30 years. 2022 will mark his 27th year of being Churchill Downs' official bugler.
Before every horse race at the track, Buttleman plays the "call to the post" and ushers in the 'most exciting 2 minutes in sports.'
As originally reported in the Gazette, Buttleman is a Cedar Rapids native. After graduating from Cedar Rapids Washington high school in 1983 he moved to Kentucky and studied at the University of Louisville. He is the official bugler of the Kentucky Derby. On average, he plays at anywhere between nine and twelve races a day at the iconic track.
When he's not playing at this iconic race track, he's participating in charitable events and promoting Kentucky tourism with the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Buttleman has been the bugler here since 1995, and from the looks of things, he'll be here for many years. You're making Iowa proud, Steve!
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