Friday, May 6, 2011

Derby Planning: Part III


Central Park really is the park of all parks. Fredrick Law Olmstead who designed CP, also designed several parks in Louisville. How 'bout that for some useless trivia?

Girl, I have Derby FEVER! I'm like a kid at Christmas. I can feel the energy even though I'm 577 miles away. So here's my final update for Sara on all things Derby Tradition.

Official Poster for 2011 Derby

Ok, I started to type of a guide to the Kentucky Derby, but why reinvent the wheel. Read this and you'll have the basics.

Things to watch for and a few tips:

The Hats! Everyone knows the Derby for all of the beautiful hats and for good reason. In my narrow view, if you've never worn a very large hat to an event... you haven't lived! I know what you're thinking: "Hats? I don't do hats." But at Derby, everyone wears hats, and it's FUN.

The Infield. The center of the track is open to race fans as well and the infield is a funny funny place. Picture a giant field party where it's very possible and likely that you will never see a horse. It's super crowded and a bit more casual than the people with seats. To say the least. I earned my Infield Merit Badge, but I don't think I'll be going back anytime soon. Let's just say it's a sh*t show and leave it at that.

The Bugler. This lovely chap announces the beginning of the race by playing the Call to the Post. If you're the luckiest girl on the planet, he also announces you at your wedding (greatest suprise ever from my Dad!). Did I mention Derby is a big deal in my family? You'll already be excited for the big race, but when this guy does his thing BAM! Your heart's racing and you're ready to go!

My Old Kentucky Home. Queue the tears. Written by Stephen Foster in 1853 this song is played by the University of Louisville Marching Band and sung by everyone in the stands (don't worry they put the words up on the screen). It gets very emotional. I've heard a lot of people say they've never seen their Dad cry until their wedding day... I have! Once a year at the Derby when the entire crowd sings My Old Kentucky Home. Crocodile tears welling up. Bill? No! I swear on Barbaro's grave.

Betting. On TV you will hear announcers talking about horses odds etc. It can be very confusing, but here's a breakdown.
Win = First Place
Place = Second Place
Show = Third Place

From there you can make lots of more complicated wagers. Here's a little more info.

Family Traditions. What's it like at my parents house Derby weekend? The house is stuffed with friends and family who come in town for all the fun. Everyone is up early because you can't sleep from excitement, even if your head still hurts from the mint juleps and cigars the night before. The garden is full of champaign bottles (at the end of the weekend if you can't throw a champaign bottle over your shoulder into the garden without hitting another bottle, you know it's been a good weekend!). In 2008 we debuted the mint julep slushy machine (very scientific) which was a smashing success. And by that I mean everyone got smashed. Oh, and my Dad has a stupid smile on his face like Bill Gates just died and left him his fortune. It's the best day of the year!

And Lil' Q graduating from AU is just about the only reason I would miss it. Congrats Lil' Q!!!!!

Go Baby Go!