Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Ode To Kentucky Derby Past
Some people think it is attending the 7th game of the World Series. Others think it is being among the many at the Super Bowl. Some poor souls think it is attending the Masters. And then some will argue it is a front row seat at Wimbledon, the Indy 500, NASCAR, or the World Cup, or the Stanley Cup final game, or the NCAA championship final. Wrong wrong wrong. I am here to tell you it is a breath taking two minutes held on the first Saturday in May in a little old town called "Louavull" on a horse track known as Churchill Downs for a race called The Kentucky Derby.
I attended the 1973 race that is, without doubt, the greatest Horse Race in recent history where Secretariat blasted the mile and a quarter in under two minutes. Over 35 years later, his record stands.
In 1974 I attended the 100th running when Cannonade received the blanket of roses. I was one of a crowd of 165,000 + spectators. We were packed into the infield like the wild animals we were (back then) and no fence could restrain us! At the first turn, we knocked down the fence and rushed the rail. (if you watch to about the 40 second mark you can see me, I am the one with the sunburn).
JUMPING JESUS! Watching the entire race I realized you can see the guys climbing the infamous flag pole!! Whoever - some one, only they know - climbed the pole and "streaked" (flashed/mooned) the entire infield
It was many many years later I returned to the Derby. I thought that the incident at the 100th running would have been forgotten by that time. I believe it was 1987 and I got to see the great horse Alysheba, son of Alydar, who was always a bridesmaid and never the Bride finishing second every single race to the Triple Crown Winner Affirmed!!
People wonder why? Some people do not get horse racing. All I have to say is get to a Derby once (preferably in Millionaire Row) and you will forever understand.