Olton has come a long way since burros, in fact, the city has produced a horse trainer with two horses that have raced in the Kentucky Derby.
The Nafzger family has been ranching and farming this area for nearly a century. Now, those skills are a winning combination for horse trainer Carl Nafzger, so much so they have landed him in the winner's circle at the Kentucky Derby not once, but twice.
In May of 2007, Street Sense wins the Kentucky Derby.
"You have one day in a horses life that you can win this race," Carl Nafzger said.
A journey started back in Olton at the Nafzger family farm.
"We used to have lots of corals back out that way. It is all torn down. We had a horse walker back behind the barn, "Carl's older brother Don Nafzger said .
Don still lives in Olton where he and his brothers Jay and Carl grew up working with horses and cattle. However, it would be Carl that would end up training two Kentucky Derby winners.
"It was in his blood; he just liked it. He like animals, the horses and the cattle, just everything," Don said.
Growing up, the boys spent many hours in the family's barn. It's now littered with tractors and horse stalls, and it is also full of memories. Some even say it provided Carl with the foundation he needed to end up in that winner's circle at the Kentucky Derby.
"We'd bring our horses in there and work on their teeth and worm them. That way they couldn't twist around on you," Carl said.
A cowboy at heart, Don says Carl first put his hat in the Rodeo Arena.
"When he got hurt rodeo that time in Fort Worth, and broke his leg again, a horse runs over him, and he says that's it. That's when he come home and we started the horse business," Don said.
The Nafzger boys then started breaking and training local horses in this barn, but Don says it was hard to make money. So Carl moved east to Kentucky, and now years later, the horseracing world is taking note of this cowboy from Olton.
"Never thought about two Kentucky Derby's out of three starts. That's a pretty good record," Carl adds.
Nafzger has seen two wins at the Kentucky Derby. First was in 1990, with "Unbridled" and then more recently, with two-year-old Street Sense. That horse is only the second two-year-old in the race's history to win the Super Bowl of horse racing.
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