Kentucky Derby preview program and Mill Reef film showing April 29
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will present its annual Kentucky Derby preview program on Saturday, April 29 at 12 p.m. in the Museum’s Hall of Fame Gallery. Racing experts Tom Amello and Michael Veitch will be on hand to offer analysis and predictions for the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby and answer questions from the audience about the upcoming Triple Crown series. The program is open to the public and included with paid Museum admission. Following the Derby discussion, there will be a special presentation of the 33-minute documentary film Mill Reef: A Legacy of Heart.
Amello has produced the “Trackfacts” selection sheet at Saratoga Race Course since 1988. In April of 1992, he began production of a television version of Trackfacts for Capital OTB TV. Amello later developed a second show for Capital OTB, Trackfacts Live. He has also served on numerous panels at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, hosted various racing education seminars, and recently began an online series for America’s Best Racing about understating the odds board at the racetrack and betting strategies.
Veitch covered horse racing for The Saratogian and its racing supplement, The Pink Sheet, from 1979 through 2017. He serves as chairman of the Museum’s Hall of Fame Historic Review Committee. A former host of “Down the Stretch” on Capital OTB, Veitch’s writing has appeared in a variety of media outlets, including Daily Racing Form. He is the author of three books on Saratoga racing history: “Foundations of Fame: Nineteenth Century Thoroughbred Racing in Saratoga Springs,” “Summit of Champions: Thoroughbred Racing in Saratoga Springs 1901-1955,” and “Legacy of Excellence: Thoroughbred Racing in Saratoga Springs 1956-2008.”
The program will be moderated by Brien Bouyea, the Museum’s Hall of Fame and Communications Director.
Mill Reef: A Legacy of Heart chronicles the legendary racehorse Mill Reef, who was named English and European Horse of the Year in 1971 when he won the Epsom Derby Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Eclipse Stakes, and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, among others. Mill Reef was bred in Virginia by Hall of Fame Pillar of the Turf Paul Mellon and campaigned by Mellon’s Rokeby Stables in Europe from 1970 through 1972. Overall, Mill Reef won 12 of 14 starts. He was trained by Ian Balding.
In 2020, the Oak Spring Garden Foundation, which is located in Upperville, Va., and was founded by Mellon’s late wife, Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, set out to create a film to chronicle the remarkable achievements of Mill Reef and tell the bigger story of Mellon’s passion and dedication to thoroughbred racing and breeding. The documentary, directed by Virginia native Cassidy Glascock, has previously been screened in Middleburg, Va., and at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, where Mellon was inducted as one of the institution’s inaugural Pillars of the Turf in 2013.
“This film was a true labor of love and teamwork, combining years of footage and photographs with the help of Brough Scott, Emma Balding, Oak Spring Garden Foundation staff, and collaboration with many museums and galleries,” said filmmaker Cassidy Glascock. “While I never met Mill Reef or Mr. Mellon, I hope that we have captured their essence and retold this story in a way that would make them proud.”
For more information about the Museum, including special events and program offerings, please call (518) 584-0400 or visit our website at www.racingmuseum.org.