By Dick Downey
Photo by Churchill Downs
The solid gold trophy that awaits the owner of the 2013 Kentucky Derby winner was delivered to Churchill Downs Monday, weighing in at 60 ounces.
The arrival came 40 days before the 139th Run for the Roses on May 4. The 14-karat gold trophy is created each year by New England Sterling of Attleboro, Mass.
Marc Forbes was on hand for the formal unveiling of the trophy. Accompanying Forbes to Churchill Downs were Susanne and Bill Juaire. The Juaires are artisans with New England Copper, a sister company to New England Sterling. They have helped craft the trophy for 28 years.
"Someone is going to realize their dream as they hoist this trophy above their head in the Winner's Circle with exhilaration of having won the Kentucky Derby," Forbes said. "Just as they have that exhilaration, so will New England Sterling and its artisans. We have manufactured this trophy since 1975 and take a lot of pride in doing so."
"This trophy has been a part of my whole life," said Susanne Juaire. "We love to watch the end of the race and see the presentation of the cup, and to see the smiles on all of the faces. It brings us a lot of joy."
The trophy stands 22 inches tall, is topped by a 14-karat gold horse and rider, has horseshoe-shaped wreath handles and stands on a jade base. Forbes said it takes "about 2,000 man-hours" to create the trophy each year.