Rick Howlett

Broadcast Managing Editor

Rick has been a member of the WFPL News team since 2001 and has covered numerous beats and events over the years.   Most recently he’s been tracking the Indiana General Assembly and the region’s passion for sports, especially college basketball.

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Local News
10:23 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Field for 139th Kentucky Oaks Down to 10

Rick Howlett/WFPL

More than 110,000 fans are expected at Churchill Downs Friday for the 139th running of the Kentucky Oaks.

Oaks Day has long been considered “Louisville’s Day at the Races,” and in recent years has also become platform to heighten awareness of breast cancer and raise money for research.

As for the Oaks itself, the field is down to 10 filles after Flashy Gray was scratched, reportedly because of a bruised heel. The morning line favorite is Dreaming of Julia.

Local News
7:40 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Orb is the Early Favorite in 20-Horse Kentucky Derby Field

Trainer Shug McGaughey
Rick Howlett

The post positions are set for Saturday’s running  of the Kentucky Derby.

Orb has been made the early 7-2 favorite for the Derby and a full field of 20 horses.

Trained by Shug McGaughey, Orb drew the No. 16 post on Wednesday. Four horses have won from there, most recently Animal Kingdom two years ago. McGaughey is in racing's Hall of Fame, but the 62-year-old trainer has yet to win the Derby in six previous tries.    He says he's happy with the post position draw. 

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Local News
1:11 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Kentucky Derby Post Draw is This Afternoon; Albarado to Ride Golden Soul

A full field of 20 horses is expected for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

The Derby post positions will be drawn later today.

An unexpected addition to the field was announced yesterday when the owners of Giant Finish announced that he would run.

Giant Finish has enough points in the new Derby qualifying system to take the 20th spot in the field, bumping Fear the Kitten from the list of 20 starters.   Fear the Kitten could get into the race if there's  a scratch.  

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Local News
1:22 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Dreaming of Julia Leads Field of 11 in Kentucky Oaks

Dreaming of Julia
kentuckyderby.com

A field of 11 is set for Friday’s running of the 139th Kentucky Oaks.

The post positions for the fillies-only race were drawn this  morning at Churchill Downs.

The early favorite, at 3 -1, is Dreaming of Julia, one of four Todd Pletcher-trained entries.    Jockey John Velazquez will be aboard.

Dreaming of Julia is coming off an impressive victory last month in the Gulfstream Park Oaks, which she won by nearly 22 lengths. 

She'll  break from post position eight in the Kentucky Oaks.

Local News
1:25 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Bob Baffert Won't Have a Horse in Derby Field

kentuckyderby.com

For the first time since 2008, Bob Baffert won't saddle a Kentucky Derby horse.

The Hall of Fame trainer said Monday that Govenor Charlie would not run, nor would his other possibility, Code West.    Baffert said neither horse would have been competitive.

Govenor Charlie was 11th on the points leaderboard that determines the 20-horse field for the 1¼-mile race.   Code West was ranked 21st, but was likely to make the field.

Baffert hasn't sat out a Derby since 2007 and '08. He has won the race three times, but not since 2002.

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Local News
7:16 am
Sun April 28, 2013

Two Southern Indiana Landmarks on Endangered List

Old Clarksville Site
Indiana Landmarks

Two southern Indiana sites are on the latest list of the state’s Most Endangered Places, compiled by the preservation group Indiana Landmarks.   

One of the places, the Old Clarksville Site, is a holdover from last year.

The nearly 300 acre site along the Ohio River includes remnants of pre-historic settlements, and the spot where Lewis and Clark launched their expedition of the western U.S. in 1803.

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Local News
4:57 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

"Ag-Gag" Bill Apparently Dies in Indiana General Assembly

A bill that would have made it a crime to secretly videotape the operations of a farm or factory with the intent to harm the business may have  died in the Indiana General Assembly.

Without comment, House Speaker Brian Bosma abruptly withdrew the measure during floor debate today, the final day of the session.    

The heavily amended legislation had earlier won Senate approval, but some lawmakers raised concerns about its constitutionality.

Opponents of the bill say it would weaken effort to expose the mistreatment of workers or animals, or other illegal activity.

Local News
3:04 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Indiana Lawmakers Approve Criminal Code Overhaul

The Indiana Senate has given final approval to a bill that would overhaul the state’s criminal code, with the aim of sending fewer nonviolent, low-level  offenders to prison. 

The measure calls for most felons to serve at least 75 percent of their sentences.   Current law allows most felons with good behavior in prison to be released after serving half of their sentences.

But the overhaul would also direct many people convicted of drug or property offenses to work release or other local programs.  

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Local News
3:18 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

U of L's Russ Smith Coming Back for Senior Season

Rick Howlett

Saying he wants to earn his degree and defend the school’s national championship, University of Louisville basketball player Russ Smith announced today that he’ll be back for his senior season.

Smith led the Cards in scoring this season and in the NCAA Tournament, which U of L won for the first time since 1986.

Smith has been wrestling with a decision on whether to enter the NBA draft.   He says he made up his mind this  morning after talking with coach Rick Pitino about his prospects in the league.

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Politics
10:20 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Indiana Lawmakers Could Wrap Up Session This Week

The 2013 Indiana General Assembly is winding down, with legislative leaders saying they may be able to wrap up business early.

The Indiana General Assembly faces an April 29 deadline to wrap up its business, including adoption of a new, two-year state budget.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said last week that he thought the legislature might be able to finish its work by the end of this week.     If that happens, lawmakers would not have to return to the Statehouse for a final day on Monday, April 29.

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