Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue's excursion to Kentucky blue grass country is not the first time a North Carolina governor has kicked up dust over a horse racing.
Republican Gov. Jim Martin's 1987 trip to the Kentucky Derby also became political fodder because it came during key legislative negotiations designed to avert a hostile takeover of Burlington Industries.
During his 1988 re-election campaign, his opponent, Democratic Lt. Gov. Robert Jordan, ran a TV commercial featuring footage of the Kentucky Derby, and criticizing Martin.
“His idea about what's good for North Carolina and what's good for North Carolina jobs is a little different from mine,” Jordan said on the campaign trail. “I would not have have gone to the Kentucky Derby while were fighting to save Burlington's jobs. I would not have gone sailing in the Caribbean while we were making budget decisions.”