Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Kentucky Derby

Every year, I wait impatiently for Derby Day. The most exciting two minutes in sports, surrounded by a day full of pageantry and pomp, a return to old-style southern luxury, and of course, lots of big floppy hats.

Here's the kicker. I don't follow racing. I know the big stables, and all that, but I don't follow it obsessively. Just the Triple Crown, and yes, I was watching when Barbaro broke his leg. I knew something was wrong before the announcer did, and the heart that he displayed by fighting to run anyway made me cry.

I have, however, been to Churchill Downs. I was in awe the entire time. Meanwhile, my ex was bored out of his mind while I gazed avidly around on the backside tour, touched the memorial headstones near the Kentucky Derby Museum reverently, and drug him to the grandstands to watch the day's races.

I didn't care, I was at Churchill.

So, every year I watch the Triple Crown. No mint juleps for me, but I will kick back with a beer or a mixed drink and cheer.

Another odd thing about me... I don't do predictions until they're on their way to the gate. I can research the horses, look at their workout times, do all of the things you're supposed to do to pick the winner.... and I'll be wrong.

But if I watch them head to the gate, and pick a horse then, that horse will at least show, more often than not. It's a talent I have.

So, welcome to Derby Day, grab your hats and some bourbon and settle in, folks, cause it's time for the Sport of Kings.