Derby horse with ties to Butler County wins Kentucky Derby

Mage, at 15-1, pulls off a stunner Saturday for 149th Derby at Churchill Downs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mage, which has ties to Butler County, won the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby Saturday night at Churchill Downs.

Mage was 15-1 and was a lightly raced 3-year-old ridden by Javier Castellano, trained by Gustavo Delgado and owned by OGMA Investments, LLC, Restrepo, Ramiro, Sterling Racing LLC and CMNWLTH.

Mage is owned by a syndicate that includes Helen Stevens-Gleason and her husband, Rick Gleason, of Middletown. They own 200 shares of the horse. When interviewed this week, they didn’t want to disclose how much they invested in the horse.

“I can’t believe it,” she told this new outlet on the phone Saturday night. “Oh my God. Oh my God. I’m so excited.”

Last week, Helen Stevens-Gleason said winning the Kentucky Derby would be “a dream come true.”

Mage paid $32.42, $14.58 and $9.08. Two Phil’s paid $10.44 and $6.52 and Angel of Empire paid .$4.70.

Thirteen years ago, Helen Stevens-Gleason suffered a “medical emergency,” a ruptured colon that hospitalized her for 18 days.

It also was a wake-up call for Stevens-Gleason, an elementary teacher who retired after 40 years in the Franklin School District.

“Tomorrow is not promised,” she said this week. “It was time for us to live. Let’s get out and enjoy ourselves.”

So Stevens-Gleason and her husband, a racing official at Miami Valley Gaming in Monroe, entered the thoroughbred racing industry by investing in syndicates.

“It’s like the stock market,” Rick Gleason said. “When your horse wins, you win.”

Mage broke his maiden Jan. 28, then was fourth on March 4 in the Fountain of Youth Stakes and second on April 1 in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. Both times the eventual winner was Forte, the Derby favorite who was scratched Saturday morning.

Stevens-Gleason comes from a horse racing family. Her father, Russell “Tootie” Stevens, trained standardbreds and show horses. He always attended the Oaks, the 3-year-old race for fillies the day before the Derby, then hosted a Derby party.

When it was time for the playing of “My Old Kentucky Home,” Stevens made everyone stand up and place their hands over their hearts. No matter where they watch the Derby Saturday, Rick and Helen will be doing the same.

“He’s up in heaven as excited as he can be,” she said. “He probably never thought his little girl would have a horse in the Derby.”

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