Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday, 4 May - The Derby, happy and sad

Well, yesterday was the Kentucky Derby. One had the feeling that it was a holiday, like the 4th of July. The anticipation of the race, like the anticipation of fireworks on the Fourth, was around all day. After all, the Kentucky Derby is THE big event in this state, drawing 150,000 people to Churchill Downs. People all over the world have Derby parties -- we heard of one going on in the Netherlands, where people were watching Lexington TV online. Channel 18 carried the events in Louisville live all day, and it was really interesting to catch it all, right here in Kentucky. Just to think, the Derby was going to happen only 40 straight-line miles from here!

We didn't get up to Lexington to place any bets at Keeneland, where there was a huge Derby party going on. It's a good thing -- to spend that money for gas just to go up and place some bets at the drive-through window, then come home, would have been a waste of time and money. Now if we had been going there for the day, that would have been a different story. Weather wasn't the best, so maybe next year.

However, we did pick some fresh Kentucky-grown spearmint for our mint juleps. We made the spearmint syrup (enough to go for several drinks), and got out the pewter cups which we only use on Derby day. All was in readiness.

Anyway, we asked Barry's son to place some bets for us at his local racetrack, which he did. The good news -- I won some money on "Denis of Cork" -- I bet on him because of his first name... I also won the exacta (pick the 1st and 2nd horse), with "Big Brown" and "Eight Belles". Happy Day! Look for Denis of Cork in the Preakness and the Belmont coming up. He'll have MY bet, that's for sure. He was dead last, 20th, in the back stretch, yet he finished third! Big Brown finished first from the 20th starting position -- hasn't happened in the Derby since 1929! If he can win from that position as convincingly as he did, may he will be the next Triple Crown winner!

Then, right after she finished second, Eight Belles broke both of her front ankles, and had to be put down right there on the track! The joy of winning was gone...what a tragedy to see a beautiful animal like Eight Belles now gone. Many of the women at Churchill Downs, and all over the world probably, were betting on the one girl in a field of 20 horses. And by golly she beat 18 of the best colts in the race! It's so sad -- her trainer and her jockey had the winning horse in the Kentucky Oaks on Friday. Eight Belles was supposed to run in the Oaks, but her owner or trainer chose to put her up against the boys -- and she did SO well.

It's not the old ABC sports motto, "The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat," but the juxtaposed emotions are the same. This Derby will not be forgotten for a long while.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Mr. Denis!

    The derby has always fascinated me. I love to watch horse races or movies about horses and their riders. Flagstaff team misses you and your "funny" jokes a lot. CRP's are a drag on our spirits, but we're putting up with them.

    Have a nice day!