How It’s New York: We love those “you’re going out an understudy, coming back a star” stories.  A teenager getting tapped by his YouTube video is our kind of story.
How It’s Irish:  Mark Boylan and his family are from County Offaly.  And the Irish have a great respect for, love of, and deep understanding of horse racing.

New blogger John Lee tells us about the phenom of Mark Boylan, a 14 year old kid who got to hear a whole stadium sing his words before the great Breeders Cup.  Welcome aboard, John!  John teaches about broadcast media and tweets and blogs for many sites, including the Huffington Post and his own blog, Media Ping

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 on November 6, after three planes and about 24 hours of travel from Louisville, Kentucky.

Mark had originally recorded his anthem in his bedroom and posted it on YouTube. When Breeders’ Cup official saw it, they invited him over to sing it on American racing’s richest day, Sat., Nov. 5
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 “Stateside,” electrifying a 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 and even national coverage in the New York Times. 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 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.
Stateside is available for download at iTunes for $1.29 with all proceeds going to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

About Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships.  The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. Total purses for this year’s two-day event at Churchill Downs, Nov. 4-5, are $26 million. The 2010 Breeders’ Cup delivered nearly $140 million in winning wagers to fans at betting locations around the globe. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup Web site, You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


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