Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Run For The Roses

Calvin Borel wins his first Kentucky Derby.
This Saturday May 7, 2011 will be 137 Kentucky Derby which is held in Louisville Kentucky. The oldest continuous sporting event in the United States.The first Derby took place on May 17,1875.It really is an event centered around the glamor and tradition of Kentucky horse farms.
For most women however it's a day that's all about the hat. There are mixed opinions about which comes first the hat or the dress. Either way the hat plays a very important role in attending The Derby or The Oaks. I do love hats, on other women, their just not for me. I do love to see women wearing hats. You just don't see them worn much anymore ,and they do bring a certain charm to the day.
 The Derby is to me like a step back in time.What I don't like is in some ways it still has a strong class division with only the wealthy being able to enjoy most aspects of the event. I told a friend once who came to visit that it reminded me of the Titanic where the poor were placed down in the bottom of the ship. This is similar to how the Derby is today,if you're not wealthy you will never have access to many of the festivities.
I laugh when I remember Calvin Borel giving the Queen a hug

Even if you wanted to spend the outrageous dollars on tickets to the event there really aren't any available.These are held by large companies or handed down in families,but are not available to the average person. Oh you could go and pitch a chair in the infield area,but that can be rather wild and crazy,and there is no way to see the track. So for me I'd rather watch it on TV. Once we went to an off track place where you can place your bets and watch the race on a television.....believe me it just doesn't have the same bling!
A few years ago I accompanied my husband who was working behind the scenes monitoring the many generators his company had placed at the track. We had a great time,and I actually got to see the horses up close and personal as they ran. It is an incredible sight to see,the size of the horses, the intense power of them fighting for position and the brilliant colors of the jockey's silks.

The other fun part of the Derby is picking a winning horse. There are all sorts of superstitions about picking a winner.Some people believe in only betting on a gray horse. Many will only bet on a jockey,or a certain trainer, or only on a Kentucky born and bred horse.There is a strong school of thought that the name of a horse will speak to you, and that is the best way to win big.

We use a much stronger more scientific approach,we rub the top of the head of our oldest grandson and then ask him what he likes. It has paid off about as often as any of there other method. But one thing we have learned for sure,is never ever change your mind as you walk up to place your bet,because that will backfire on you every time.
So glad my Dad felt healthy enough to be able to come.

Several years ago we won a Day at the Downs from the silent auction at the first Triumph Gala. I will never tell what we paid for this. Because once we put a bid down on an item it becomes the challenge of the night to make sure we win.

We set up our day on a Sunday in November because that has been a traditional time for my Father and I to take each other to Sunday brunch at Churchill Downs, for our November birthdays. You know a private joke of I'll buy yours and you can buy mine...well we get a big belly laugh out of it!

We got to experience a tiny bit of what a horse owner must get to enjoy each time. We were allowed to be in the paddock area as the horses were brought out.

We were able to watch the race in a special area up front and on the fence. At the end of the race we were taken to the winners circle,but not the winners circle of The Kentucky Derby,that is only used for the Derby,just one time each year.

After the photos were taken we were presented with a trophy with our company name. It was such a great day and worth every dollar we spent to be able to create such a fun and lasting memory.
So I'm on my way to the kids house to give our grandson head a good rub. You never know where $2.00 can take you.....perhaps Millionaires Row,oh who am I kidding!


  1. Those hats are fabulous! It's not just the class separation you talked about, but the hats look like Titanic-era, too! LOL I want a fancy hat like that. I'd wear it to the homeschool prom. ;D

  2. This is great!
    How exciting :)
    Hope your weekend is fun filled, I am sure it will be <3