LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – As he approaches Bill Mott's all-time wins record at Churchill Downs, Dale Romans says there are tons of memories he's had while being a part of barn 4.
He says it's kind of his identity at this point. But of course, the one race that eludes him is the Kentucky Derby, the big one at Churchill, but Romans says win or lose, that will not make or break his career.
Even just three wins shy of Mott's 31-year-old record, Romans says nothing is guaranteed.
"Everybody thinks it's a foregone conclusion, don't think Bill Mott can't come in here and start winning races. I told Bill to let me have it for one day, and I can say at least in one point in my career I was the all-time leading trainer at Churchill," he said.
There was a time last year that Romans wasn't sure he would return to the track he loves.
After the Kentucky Derby, Romans was involved in a car accident that totaled his car. Suddenly, winning races wasn't everything anymore – it was just enjoying the game.
"It's literally been the center of my world for as long as I can remember. This barn, Barn 4 at Churchill, I've been coming here. I don't remember not coming here. I mean that's almost every day at least spring through fall, and it's an important place. It's an important place for the city and the state too. It's a lot more than just Derby day," he said.
Of course, for the Louisville-born and bred trainer, he still aches to be in the winner's circle on the first Saturday in May.
"We will keep shooting at it, but as I've said it takes a lot of luck. It takes a lot of skill to get there, but it takes a lot of luck to win the race. Hopefully one day we will get lucky," he said.
But after almost 700 wins and a lifetime of memories, Romans says it isn't everything.
"I guess there's some pressure to it, but I know if I don't win a Kentucky Derby it won't be the end of the world for me. It's been a great place for me. It's been a great place to make a living. It's been a lot of fun to be at Churchill Downs."