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Hornell has a horse in the race

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“Messier” is a favorite to win the Kentucky Derby this weekend

Photo of “Messier,” from

By Andrew Harris

The pinnacle of horse racing in America is just hours away and a Hornell girl has a big stake in this years Kentucky Derby. Joan Masterson and her husband Robert are investors in a horse that is getting lots of attention this year. As of this morning, “Messier,” is running at 8-1 odds.

Joan Masterson, grew up on Seneca Road and graduated from Hornell as Joan Rohver in 1963, and currently resides in California with husband Robert. Joan’s father, Paul Rohver, was a teacher at Hornell High School and Alfred State College. They have three children and eight grandchildren, residing in both Palm Springs and Del Mar, California.

The Masterson’s are one of several owners of “Messier,” who was born in 2019. The colt’s career has been productive with a win at the Robert B. Lewis stakes at the Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA. “Messier” finished second in two races, and the horse racing world has taken notice. Hornell’s Bob Smith gives some details on the colts namesake, career, and odds:

“The horse is named after Mark Messier, a retired NHL hockey player who played in the NHL for 25 years. WOW! The horse Messier has raced 6 times. Won 3 times. Came in second 3 times. Not too shabby. Was trained by Bob Baffert until he was suspended for doping horses. Zandon is favored at 3-1, Epicenter is at 7-2 and Messier is at 8-1. They are the only horses out of 20 at better than 10-1 odds.”

District 6 cheers for local sports

Want to bet on the hometown horse? Just follow this link to “Messier”:

Of course I would be remiss not to include my personal favorite writing about the Kentucky Derby, which is a great read if you enjoy crude humor.

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