150th Kentucky Derby features one contender with deep ties to the Central Valley

Just Steel, owned by Hanford’s Central Valley Meat Company Brian Coelho, is coming off of his biggest performance ahead of the Kentucky Derby.

As all eyes turn to Churchill Downs for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday afternoon, Valley racing fans have an extra reason to cheer. 

There’s at least one contender with deep local ties. 


Driving the news: Just Steel, a Kentucky-foaled, three-year-old racing horse, is owned by BC Stables, a partnership between two close friends in the meat industry: Texan John Bellinger of Agri-West International and Valley native Brian Coelho. 

  • Coelho is the President and chief executive of Central Valley Meat Company, the state’s largest meat packer. 

What to watch: Just Steel’s odds to win the Kentucky Derby sit at 34-1, per the morning line.

  • Despite that, the 3-year-old is coming off his best performance of his career  is 20-1 in the morning line, but is coming off the best race of his career, a second-place finish in the Arkansas Derby on March 30.

Hear from Coelho: 

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