San Diego

NBC's Coverage of Kentucky Derby Will Shine Light on Heroic Tales from the Lilac Fire

The Lilac Fire devastated the horse community of San Luis Rey last December and killed 46 horses. Three people were also injured in the blaze.

The fire quickly spread through the valley near San Luis Rey Downs where Scott has been training horses for years.

Racing against the flames, he and a friend made two separate trips to the downs and rescued close to 20 horses.

Nineteen of the rescues are doing well but sadly, Scott said, one of them had to be put down.

Scott’s story and many others of bravery and gallantry were heard all over the world, and will surface again this Saturday when NBC shines a spotlight on the Lilac Fire during their coverage of the 144th Kentucky Derby.

The network’s Derby Day coverage will focus on San Diego's four-legged roots and its local heroes.

Although none of the horses running in the derby on Saturday are from San Luis Rey, five of the 20 thoroughbreds have direct ties to Del Mar and Southern California.

A local trainer, Joey Gatlin, says that brings her pride and joy.

“They’re going to have a ton of support and they’re going to have all of California, all of the Del Mar area rooting them on for sure.”

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