Owner Displays Patriotism on His Silks

Thoroughbred owner and former U. S. Congressman Toby Roth has had an American flag sewn onto the shoulder of his stable's racing silks as a display of support for the troops fighting in Iraq.

And he hopes other owners emulate his show of patriotism, especially those with horses in this year's Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3.

A Republican from Wisconsin who served in Congress for 18 years before leaving in 1997 to form the consulting/lobbying firm The Roth Group in Washington, D. C., Roth races a stable on the East Coast, with his horses running mainly in Maryland. Roth said he had the jockeys' room personnel at Laurel sew the American flag onto his orange silks, which include a black cross sash.

"If people in Iraq can march through the streets waving American flags, then I think we should do our part to show our support for the troops," Roth said. "And there is nothing more Americana than horse racing. I think it would be great if when the horses come onto the track for the Kentucky Derby and the band is playing 'My Old Kentucky Home' if the silks of every horse in the race had an American flag sewn onto them."