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Ford Mustang Owner Arrested for Trashing Churchill Downs Infield

A Ford Mustang owner who was hired as a temporary contractor working on the grandstands at the legendary Churchill Downs horse racing facility in Louisville Kentucky was arrested earlier this week when he was caught doing donuts in the infield of the track in his trusty pony car – a move which resulted in a felony charge.

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The odds are pretty good that there are more than a few Ford Mustang owners (and photographers like myself) who would love the chance to take pictures of the mighty Mustang on the hallowed grounds that comprise Churchill Downs in Louisville Kentucky. This facility has been the home of the most well known horse race in the US – the Kentucky Derby – so the connection to championship horse racing seems like a perfect fit for some great photo ops. Unfortunately, Ford Mustang owner Benjamin S. Bratcher took that desire one step too far earlier this week, driving his pony car across the racing surface and onto the infield grass…followed by some foolish donuts that tore up grass and mud from the area which will play host to thousands of screaming fans in about 5 weeks.

Louisville police arrived on the scene after a security guard saw Bratcher’s romp around the Churchill Downs infield on closed circuit cameras. The Mustang owner was arrested and charged with felony first- degree criminal mischief after admitting that he did indeed drive his car out onto the track’s infield area to do some childish donuts in the grass and mud. Bratcher was also ordered to stay away from Churchill Downs so he likely lost his job and he won’t be attending the Kentucky Derby early next month - although if he was willing to intentionally tear up the infield lawn there is a good chance that he’s not a horse racing fan anyway.

According to Churchill Downs officials, the damage to the infield turf will cost the facility around $1,000 to repair, but the 37 year old Bratcher claims that he didn’t think he did all that much damage. Regardless of what he thought, he is likely to at least face a hefty fine for his felonious blast around the Churchill Downs infield. Considering the smile in his mug shot, he doesn’t realize that this joyride on the legendary horse track grounds will likely prove to be an expensive few minutes of fun.

Unfortunately, after reading through dozens of articles talking about this guy’s ill fated romp through the Churchill Downs infield, I’ve not been able to find a picture or description of Benjamin Bratcher’s car so I am not sure what generation or trimline of Ford Mustang Bratcher was driving, but based on the fact that he is a temporary set installer who wore a camo hooded sweatshirt to work and smiled during his mug shots – I would guess that it was probably older and not in very good shape. While I know plenty of Mustang owners who would jump at the chance to have their car photographed on the grounds of Churchill Downs, none of them would want to be slinging mud and rocks all over their undercarriage.

With just over a month before the 2014 running of the Kentucky Derby, the crew should be able to fix these problems before the fans arrive on the first weekend of May, but it comes as an unnecessary added bit of work in addition to all of the normally planned work.

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Aaron Turpen    April 4, 2014 - 3:48PM

Obviously, Mustangs are too dangerous and destructive for just anyone to own. We need a national registry and background check system for them. We need to close that deadly Dealership Loophole too.