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“"I felt like we were in exactly the same position as the people around me that weren't owners," Delfino said. "The treatment was no different. It was so badly organized; my husband was so disappointed." Delfino said the guide that was supposed to come to their hotel Oaks morning to explain the transportation process and everything they would need to know about getting around at Churchill never showed up. He instead gave all the information to their trainer, Jose Garoffalo, who took time out of his schedule to provide transportation and show them around. Delfino said the worst part of the Derby was after the race when the vehicle they had hired to transport them from the racetrack to their hotel failed to show up. "I asked the cops where we could get a taxi and they directed us to the other side of the racetrack," Delfino said. "I think I must have walked 20 blocks in high heels, following my husband and trying not to get lost because there were thousands of other people going the same way. "There was no attention on us whatsoever. We felt like the rest of the bunch. We were just another number -- nothing special. Churchill makes so much money on Derby weekend that I wouldn't think it would be a big deal to give the owners better treatment. We didn't feel invited at all." When told of the Delfinos' concerns, Churchill responded with a statement that indicated it would look into the matter. "We regret that Mrs. Delfino had an unhappy experience at Churchill Downs during her visits for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks," said John Asher, Churchill Downs vice president of racing communications. "Our team is following up on her comments, and we appreciate that she has shared them. "We are always looking for ways to improve the experience of our guests for the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, and every day they visit Churchill Downs, and we will use what we learn to further strengthen our hospitality efforts."
I felt like we were in exactly the same position as the people around me that weren't owners. The treatment was no different. It was so badly organized; my husband was so disappointed.” -- Josie Delfino, owner Wildcat Red