Horse Named After Breonna Taylor Wins Churchill Downs Race Ahead of Kentucky Derby


ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND - JULY 05: In an aerial view from a drone, a large-scale ground mural depicting Breonna Taylor with the text 'Black Lives Matter' is seen being painted at Chambers Park on July 5, 2020 in Annapolis, Maryland. The mural was organized by Future History Now in partnership with Banneker-Douglass Museum and The Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture. The painting honors Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by members of the Louisville Metro Police Department in March 2020. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Say her name. Louisville-based JS Stables’ horse named Breonna Taylor made it to the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs during Kentucky Derby week.

The horse racing Super Bowl, better known as the Kentucky Derby, found millions tuning in, wearing their finest wares to see if Kendrick Carmouche would become the first Black jockey in almost a century to win the prestigious sporting event. 

Prior to that, though, the mostly local crowd at Churchill Downs gathered at Race 4 this Thurby, to see the fan-favorite—Breonna Taylor—race for the top spot. The three-year-old filly was named after the 26-year-old essential worker who was fatally shot in her own home by white plainclothes officers working for the Louisville Metro Police Department.

Owned by Janelle and Sam Aguiar of JS Stables, LLC, a popular racing stable in the city, “Breonna” won a six furlong race under jockey Corey Lanerie. Sam Aguiar, founder of Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers, is part of the team of attorneys who have been working with Taylor’s family since last year’s deadly shooting. 

Aguiar posted on his Facebook page after the win that “it was awesome” seeing “Breonna” win. He had purchased the horse a month after the police shooting that took Taylor’s life, and said his wife named her after Taylor because “she was beautiful, strong, and resilient.” “She’s tough and has swagger,” he said to local NBC station WTHR. “But to those closest to her, she’s also loving and kind. That was Breonna Taylor as well.” Co-counsel Lonita Baker shared that Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, watched the race from his office, which should embolden family and friends to honor the win.

“Any time we win a horse race is exciting, but it takes it to a new level when you name your horse Breonna in honor of #BreonnaTaylor,” Janelle Aguiar wrote in a Facebook post after the win. “The horse wins at Churchill Downs on Derby Week and you hear so many people #SayHerName.” 

The $10,000 purse from the win is said to be donated to the Breonna Taylor Foundation.

Aguiar represented the Taylor family in its lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Police Department and the FBI is still conducting a civil rights probe of the shooting. Just this week, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Department of Justice would launch an investigation into the LMPD.

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