Locally owned horse to race at Churchill Downs - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Locally owned horse to race at Churchill Downs on Breeder's Cup day

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By Carly O'Keefe - bio | email

VILLA RIDGE, IL (KFVS) - A horse with ties to several Heartland states will round the track at Churchill Downs this weekend.

It's the Breeder's Cup weekend in Louisville, Kentucky, and a locally owned mare will help kick off a day of big races in Louisville.

"She'll be up against the toughest competition she's faced," said owner John Mathis.

John and Holly Mathis of Ridgewood Stables in Villa Ridge just learned Tuesday their horse Gibson Crystal will be one of only 12 horses to compete in race one on Breeder's Cup day at Churchill Downs.

"The breeder's cup is the thoroughbred world championships," said Holly Mathis. "Our filly is on the undercard, she'll race opening race on Breeder's Cup day."

The Ridgewood Partnership comprised of 13 investors, from the southern Illinois, the Missouri Bootheel, western Kentucky and several other states, just bought Gibson Crystal last month.

Now the newly formed group's first race with its first racehorse will be at a historic track during a major event.

"With a little luck, we'll make our way into the winner's circle and there's not a better place to experience that than Churchill downs on breeder's cup day," said John Mathis.

The couple says a win at Churchill downs could open the gate for Gibson Crystal's career to really shine.

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