This will be my 8th Derby Day as a resident here in Kentucky. It’s always a fun time. No, I don’t go to the actual Derby. You have to know people or save a bunch of money to do it right. And I’m spoiled. I’ve done the Breeder’s Cup right, with the banquet, the free cocktails, the table-side betting. And I’ve worked the backstretch of a race track – the complete opposite view of things as a groom at the yearling sales here in Lexington. I’ve lived both sides!
What I do is I set up shop in the living room and flip on our local NBC affiliate and watch the entire day through their eyes. Yep, here in Lexington the Horse Capital of the World they air the ENTIRE day – every mint julep, every race on the card, every talking head they can get to go public with an opinion on the certain winner (they’re all different – count on it). I sit with my sketch book or paints and draw and color. I take breaks to go out and love on my own horses munching hay in the barn.
Maybe at 3 or 5 or 10am I’ll crush some ice, pick some mint, stir up some simple syrup and fix Mikey and me our own juleps.Then when the bell rings and “They’re Off!” I sit with my heart in my throat wishing as hard as I can for every equine to travel safely and without damaging incident, around that mile long dirt oval in front of millions of dollars of hats, seersucker and sucker suckers.It usually works. They’re usually hale and hearty when they cross the finish line and one little man raises his arm over his head pointing to his God and shouts gleefully.