LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- At Churchill Downs Monday morning, Gary Roedemeir found himself in the presence of race track royalty.
Simulcast host Jill Byrne was riding through the backside on a tall, regal, 11-year-old gelding, who may be the most famous horse on the grounds even during Derby week.
Byrne loves to ride and this week she's touring the backside on the most accomplished thoroughbred on the grounds. He won the Hollywood gold cup three times and the Santa Anita handicap twice.
“Yeah, this is Lava Man. He made $5.2 million. Now retired,” Byrne said.
Even though he’s retired, the horse still works it at the track for Doug O’Neill, and he'll be quite visible Derby week. He’s also headed, one day, to the Horse Racing Hall of Fame.