Saturday, May 2, 2015

Hey, Hey, It's Derby Day!

I remember going to Churchill Downs with my family when I was ten years old, and 48 years later, I still remember the grandness of it all.  It was absolutely beautiful, and even though it was summertime, and no one was there, it was almost a better setting to take everything in.  Now mind you, I don't go to the reminds me of going to the dog races in Florida.  But I have had a steadfast rule to watch the Derby...then I sort of deviate.  I don't watch the Preakness, which is always held the 3rd Saturday in May at Pimlico in Baltimore.  BUT, if the same horse that won the Derby wins at Pimlico, I WILL watch the Belmont, which will be held June 6 this year, and as always, at Belmont Park.   There was a time a number of years ago where I stopped watching altogether, and that was the year of  Barbaro, super horse.  Barbaro's anniversary of his death was just a few days ago, on April 29 2007...he was only 4 years old.  That horse had such an effect on me, and when he had his accident, I was reading and watching everything single thing out there on him.  Actually, all of the world seemed vigilant during the course of the rest of his life.  To this day, it's still so very hard to watch the Derby, because, quite frankly, who doesn't think of him?  But, the Derby goes on, and with it comes something that ALWAYS brings a tear to my eye, and that's when the band plays My Old Kentucky Home.  Every year, without fail, I get goosebumps and teary-eyed.  And then, there's my favorite trainer, Bob Baffert.  For years inside my locker at work, I had a large picture of him with two of his horses standing on either side of him.  All it would take was for me to open my locker to make whatever bad day I had had to suddenly dissipate.  And the hats....I think part of the reason I watch the Derby is to see the ladies' hats.  Well, post time is a few hours away, at 3:40 p.m. pacific time, with the race a 3:44 p.m.  The Kentucky Derby is truly an icon, and Churchill Downs...well, I relate it to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in's something you just have to see in person to appreciate...

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