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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Kentucky Derby

May 2, 2015: The Kentucky Derby

     I don't want to say that if you don't live in Louisville Kentucky you don't really understand the thrill and excitement of the Kentucky Derby because I know there are people all over the country and beyond who follow the event and look forward to it with the greatest of anticipation. I never paid much attention to it before I came to live here, but there were other events that held my attention even though I was never able to be there. NBA playoffs, the World Series, the Super Bowl are some that I couldn't wait to see, but people love sports of all kinds, and I admit that there is a lot of exciting things that happen in the city such as the Great Steamboat Race where the Belle of Louisville (this year's winner) races down the Ohio River against steamboats from other cities, the Kenducky Derby where they release a mass of marked rubber duckies into the Ohio River and award some kind of small prize to the first duck past the finish line, and even a bed race where people try to soup up a bed with wheels and steering to see who can win a race of that sort. The Run for the Rose' is where waiters race across a course with a serving tray full of wine glasses without spilling any of their spirits.
     Of course, the kick-off is usually the amazing Thunder Over Louisville, which is a day long air show of some of the armed services finest aircraft performing over the Ohio River followed by the most incredible display of fireworks that this guy has ever seen. There are concerts, galas attended by many of the rich and famous with the ladies wearing fabulous gowns and outstanding Derby hats, fine dining and of course the much touted Mint Julep, which I have yet to get to try. People look forward to each and every event, and when the Thursday before the Derby comes with the Pegasus Parade, everyone knows that it's only a day away from the Oaks on Friday and the Incredible Kentucky Derby on Saturday.
     This year the talk is about two horses, American Pharoah and Dortmund, but each is said to have something against its chances of winning, so it's anyone's guess who will win. America Pharoah drew a favorable post position, but because of a couple of scratched horses, he moved into a slot that has never won the Kentucky Derby before. Dortmund did not race as a two year old, and is racing as a three year old this year, and no three year old starter has ever won. Everyone has their opinions, and it is fun to listen to the back and forth as folks defend their reasons for their choices.
     They're about to line up for the "fastest two minutes in sports", and you can just feel the buzz of the crowd and the tension hanging thick in the air. The reporters are interviewing the owners of the horses, and of course every one of them seems to feel that his horse has not gotten the acclaim that he was due. Soon the trumpet will sound the Call to the Post and each horse will take its place at the starting gate. The sportscasters are all over the place, but Dortmund, American Pharoah, and Carpe Diem got most of the votes. We'll see how they fare this year.
     "Riders up!" has been called and they are making their way to the track. There's the Call to the Post and now the 141st Kentucky Derby is honoring the state with the playing of "My Old Kentucky Home". This song always brings back memories of going to see the Stephen Foster Story in Bardstown Kentucky, always a treat. Only three more horses to load into the gate.
     There you have it. American Pharoah, new winner of the Kentucky Derby! Firing Line in second, and Dortmund in third place. Now, it's time to collect the bets if you were lucky enough to pick a winner, or to just laugh it off and look to next year. Another great race for the wonderful fans of horse racing!


  1. Nothing better than a 2 week party honoring a 2 minute race!

  2. Nice article.

  3. I want to give my wife Pam some of the credit for helping me get all the names of the various events straight. She's my right hand person!


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