Horse Racing

John Asher, Col. Matt Winn To Be Honored With Statues At Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs Racetrack will host a public ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 16 to dedicate and unveil commissioned statues that honor the late John Asher and Col. Matt Winn. The statues, sculpted by local artist Raymond Graf, depict Asher sitting on a horse shoe bench and talking with Winn, who oversaw the early growth of the Kentucky Derby into America’s greatest race.

The statues are positioned on the north side of the saddling paddock in the Plaza area and guests will be able to take photos on the bench in the shadow of the iconic Twin Spires. Churchill Downs officials, Graf and members of the Asher and Winn families will be on hand. The general public is invited to attend the ceremony free of charge.

For more than 40 years, Asher was the voice and face of horse racing and radio broadcasting in Kentucky. He joined the Churchill Downs family in 1997 and served as Vice President of Racing Communications until his untimely passing on Aug. 27, 2018 at age 62.

Asher, who always spoke of his hero Col. Matt Winn, once said, “When I get to the great day, I would be awfully happy if someone said, ‘Matt Winn would’ve loved this guy.’”

Winn, who served as general manager and later president of Churchill Downs from 1914 until his passing at age 88 in 1949, was the driving force in the development of the Downs and a tireless promoter of his beloved Kentucky Derby.


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