Mark Boylan Back from Breeders’ Cup Triumph

Fresh from performing his Breeders’ Cup tribute song Stateside before more than 65,000 people at Churchill Downs on the final day of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, 14-year-old singer/songwriter Mark Boylan and family returned home to to Banagher, County Offaly, today after three planes and about 24 hours of travel from Louisville, Kentucky.

Singing from a stand in the racetrack’s infield on Saturday, looking out at Churchill’s signature twin spires, Boylan delivered a spirited rendition of his Stateside on Saturday, electrifying the crowd which sang along with the official 2011 Breeders’ Cup Anthem from lyrics printed in the track program.

“Mark is such a talented kid and added so much enthusiasm to the Breeders’ Cup festivities,” said Peter Rotondo, Breeders’ Cup Vice President Media & Entertainment. “From doing media interviews to posing with fans, Mark was a great ambassador for the Breeders’ Cup and horse racing during his visit to Louisville this past week. We are all looking forward to what he’ll do in the future.”

Even before his memorable performance, Mark had become a Louisville celebrity thanks to enthusiastic coverage by local TV, radio, print and online media, racing media, national coverage in the New York Times and a free lunchtime concert at Louisville’s entertainment center, 4th Street Live. All week, his new fans stopped him for photos and autographs, including Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day and renowned film star Bo Derek, much to his amazement.

“Great to be home even though I really didn’t want to leave Louisville—it’s one of my favourite places in the world,” Boylan said. “This was the most amazing weeks of my life especially the two days of the Breeders’ Cup Word Championships. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this wonderful experience—all the people who welcomed and encouraged me, the folks at 4th Street Live and the Louisville Visitors and Convention Bureau, the media which covered me so kindly, everyone at Churchill Downs and especially the Breeders’ Cup and MOC Insurance who sponsored my trip.”

Mark’s performance on Saturday was the centerpiece of a great day for the Irish as it followed trainer Aidan O’Brien’s win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (Grade 1, $1 million) with the Irish-bred Wrote, Ryan Moore up, for the Coolmore team of John Magnier. Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith. O’Brien would be back in the winner’s circle after Mark’s song with the same owners when the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (Grade 1) went to Irish-bred St. Nicholas Abbey, with the trainer’s 18-year-old son Joseph O’Brien in the irons, the youngest rider ever to win a Breeders’ Cup race.

Stateside is available for download at iTunes for $1.29 with all proceeds going to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.