A trio of Northern Kentuckians sure got a lot of television time since the last edition of NKY Magazine was published.

As California Chrome made a run for the Triple Crown in thoroughbred horse racing, Walton’s favorite son—Steve Cauthen—had his name whipped about more than a leather riding crop. “The Kid,” as he was known back in the spring of 1978, was still in his teens when he rode Affirmed to horse racing greatness. Thirty-six years later, Cauthen is still the story.

Like many Northern Kentuckians, I watched each story on California Chrome’s quest with mixed emotions. Horse racing is in decline and a Triple Crown would have brought some badly needed interest back to the sport. Still, I did not want to see anyone knock The Kid off his king’s saddle—least of all a horse owned by a loud-mouthed Californian who ended up being a bigger horse’s ass than any thoroughbred in his stable. When Cauthen called “Riders up!” at the Belmont Stakes in New York, he did so with style. It was to be expected that The Kid appeared a tad bit older than we may remember. But, unlike the rest of us, Cauthen looked like he could still ride a mount to victory.

And all the time California Chrome was making his chase, it was Northern Kentuckian, oddsmaker, track announcer, sportscaster and (by his own account) wannabe-pro-golfer Mike Battaglia who was giving America the inside scoop. Others may try to claim the title, but make no mistake—Battagelia is “the voice” of horse racing in America.

Listening to Mike Battaglia call a race is like listening to Tony Bennett sing “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” It just doesn’t get any smoother than that.

Then just when the hub-bub of the Triple Crown died down, it was suddenly time to watch clip-after-clip in honor of the 50th anniversary of Jim Bunning’s perfect game.

On Father’s Day, 1964, future congressman and senator Jim Bunning tossed his way to baseball immortality. With his wife Mary (and one of his nine kids) in the stands, Bunning took the mound for the Phillies against the New York Mets. The lanky side-arm hurler sent all 27 batters sulking back to the dugout of Shea Stadium.

At the time, it had been 84 years since anyone had tossed a perfect game in the National League and 50 years later people are still talking about it.

Perfection is something all of us strive for, but most of us can’t claim with any degree of certainty. So, hats off to three from Northern Kentucky who can make such a claim—Cauthen for three perfect rides, Battaglia for the perfect voice and Bunning for the perfect game.