My best gal pal, Jaime, recently received the gift of a lifetime – a chance to go and see the Kentucky Derby! And since Derby 138 winner, I’ll Have Another, recently also won the Preakness, I thought her memento pics would be pretty cool to share on My Stable Life. So if any of you are wanting to life vicariously through Jaime as well, here goes…
The Churchill Downs Board captured all of the pre-race info and showcased a close-up of the starting gates for anyone who couldn’t see it very well:
Kentucky Oaks is the Kentucky Derby’s sister event, held this past May 4. On Oaks Day, the fillies race and in honor of the Oaks official flower (the stargazer lily) and cancer patients, the crowd is asked to wear pink. From hats to handkerchiefs and sunglasses to stilettos, Oaks guests came out in droves of pink. Of course, the sheer volume of people in the crowd is extraordinary as well.
The Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks race are the only sporting events that are also high fashion events. Of course, one of the event’s greatest traditions are the hats! Part Southern tradition, part spectacle, the Kentucky Derby hat parade is much of what makes “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” one of the greatest people-watching events in the world. From the fantastic to the sublime, there are no rules or limits when it comes to choosing a Derby hat.
Jaime tells me that during the entire race weekend there were numerous planes flying over the track with advertisements and the like. And this plane, “…just decided to make a smiley face, I guess,” she said.
Jaime was lucky enough to get a chance to see the paddock and watch as the Derby horses made their grand entry.
Here is Rousing Sermon, a horse that had 40-1 odds of winning the Derby.
Unfortunately, he didn’t finish in the top 3.
However, Jaime was lucky enough to snap a picture of this chestnut fellow…
Ridden by “Marvelous Mario” (Mario Gutierrez), who has been the leading rider at Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver prior to moving to Southern California for the winter, and owned by Canadian business man J. Paul Reddam, I’ll Have Another came to the Derby with a “…pedigree peppered with stamina influences, hinting that he could thrive with additional distance.”
I’ll Have Another stormed down the track to a 15-1 upset after he ran down pacesetter and the 4-1 favorite, Bodemeister, before a record crowd of 165,307 people. He won by 1 1/2 lengths on the wire at Churchill Downs.
Here, Jaime snapped a great shot of turn 1 in the Derby:
And here is Jaime doing her best to capture the finish line. Obviously, many other people also had the same idea:
Still, what a great memento shot for Jaime of I’ll Have Another taking the win with Bodemeister finishing 2nd!
Of course with all great events comes the aftermath of fighting through the masses and returning to one’s car…
And Jaime had a good chuckle over this – This shot was taken after the race. Prior to the race, people who lived close to the track offered guests parking on their lawns. She reported that, “…prices were between $10 and $50! It was kinda funny because the locals would offer parking and bathroom use, or cold drinks, to get people to park on their front yards! I guess it’s an easy way to make a few bucks.”
But if you’re in Kentucky next year and you’re looking for a great deal, parking after the race is the best way to save some coin…