BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Dreams Come True of Louisiana is granting a Baton Rouge boy's wish, to attend the Kentucky Derby.
Joseph Sanford, 12, who underwent a bone-marrow transplant in May 2016, said his only wish was to attend the Kentucky Derby. The team in charge of granting wishes says they were surprised by his request.
"I looked at his mom and I have another member with me, we both looked at each other and she said, 'He's serious,'" said Becky Prejean, executive director of Dreams Come True of Louisiana.
"He just started talking about how he knows the horses. He knows the history. He knows what horse won the Derby. He knows the jockeys. I was just dumbfounded," said Prejean.
It was a Hall of Fame jockey from Louisiana that shared with him the news that his dream was coming true. Kent Desormeaux, who rode Real Quiet to victory in the 1998 Kentucky Derby, surprised Sanford during lunch at Walk-On's in Lafayette. Desmoreaux brought him the big news and an autographed hat.
Dreams Come True of Louisiana is able to grant wishes to as many as 80 kids from Louisiana annually thanks to various fundraisers throughout the year. The non-profit was able to provide Sanford, his parents, and his cousin with travel expenses, hotel accommodations and money for expenses.
Dreams Come True of Louisiana reached out to the New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course who then contacted Churchill Downs to assist in making Sanford's trip even better.
Prejean says he'll be going to different races three days in a row, he'll be shown the jockey room, and introduced to the jockeys. Sanford will also be sitting at Millionaire's Row on Friday. As for the big race, for now, his "Derby Day" plans are being kept a surprise.
Marty McGee, a Kentucky correspondent for Daily Racing Form caught up with Sanford in Louisville on Wednesday sharing a photo of him on Twitter.
The 2018 Kentucky Derby, also known as "the greatest two minutes in sports," is the 144th race. "The Run for the Roses" post time at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky is 6:34 p.m. eastern time.
- Saturday, May 5th
- Post time: 6:34 p.m. ET
- Churchill Downs
- Louisville, KY
Dreams Come True of Louisiana, a non-profit organization based out of Youngsville, Louisiana, raises money to grant wishes through a number of community fundraisers. While many of the dream children reside in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas, dreams are granted to children living anywhere in the State of Louisiana.
Since his bone-marrow transplant, Sanford is in recovery, still hoping to beat the odds. He is currently in home school but taking a break this week for a little unbridled fun.