Meet the man behind the KY Derby bugle

Meet the man behind the KY Derby bugle

LOUISVILLE, KY (WVUE) - He doesn't have a parking spot or a grand office. Steve Buttleman didn't even have credentials in his first year on the job and had to talk himself into the gates at Churchhill Downs.

But 21-years-later, he remains the longest tenured bugler in Kentucky Derby history.

"When they announced my name the first time, I was shocked," Buttleman said. "There were a lot of great trumpet players there, and there are a lot of great trumpet players in Louisville. So the fact that I get to do this is humbling and awesome."

The job description seems simple: Play the call to the post, wash, rinse, repeat. But playing a perfect tune in front of thousands of people isn't easy.

"Well it's harder than it looks," Buttleman said. "The call to the post sounds fairly easy, but it has triple tounging in it, which makes it more difficult."

The hours are probably better than most.

"Every 25 minutes I work for 15 seconds, and then I go back in. Then in between races I'll do various things. Get on the internet or practice some more and read," Buttleman said. However, it's those 15 seconds that mark the start of history being made every year.

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