Kick Up Your Heels and Enjoy Derby Fever
It’s Kentucky Derby week and Derby fever is alive in Shady Pines. Edna Sanders is very excited. She looks forward to this horse race every year. It’s known as the best two minutes in sports.
One sign that things are getting back to normal is that this year the Kentucky Derby will once again be held on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs racetrack. That’s in Louisville, Kentucky.
Last year, due to the pandemic it was pushed back to the first Saturday in September. Why is this sporting event special to Edna?
“Oh, for heaven’s sakes. How can you not like to watch those beautiful horses running in full flight? First, they burst out of the starting gate and then all twenty of them crowd each other as they run into the Clubhouse turn.
Next, they go down the backstretch galloping along very fast. The race really gets exciting when the thundering herd rounds the final turn.
You can hear the announcer talking faster and faster as those beautiful horses charge down the homestretch in front of the grandstand. People scream for their favorite horse. They clap and even jump up and down. Why, If their horse wins, they go plumb crazy. It’s so darn much fun even just watching it on TV. It gives you goose bumps!”
The winner has a bunch of roses flung across his neck and all his human connections get to pose for a picture and get a big trophy.
MORE THAN A HORSE RACE
Edna is quick to point out, you don’t have to love horses to like the Derby. For instance, the stuff people wear is something else altogether. You have to see it to believe it. First of all, the ladies like to dress up and wear hats. But not just any hats. BIG ‘ole hats.
It seems even some of the horses are not exactly sure what those humans are doing with those things on their heads.
Let’s face it, when it comes to the Derby, bigger is better. But then again, there are those fans who like to get a little kooky with their hat selections.
And, it’s not just the women, the men get in on this hat business, too! Now, how much time do you suppose it took for this gentlemen to come up with a hat like that? It’s all part of Derby day fun.
Wonder what hat Edna plans to wear this year?
“Oh, my goodness. I haven’t had a moment to think about my Derby outfit. Normally, by this time I would know what I was going to wear and what I was serving.”
At least this year Harold and I have had our Covid vaccinations. So have many of our friends. That means we’ll be able to invite a few people over. We’ll set up the TV on the back porch. That way we’ll be outside and I can arrange the table and chairs so that there’s some social distancing.
“I may have to include my top Derby dishes on my menu, too. If Harold has his way we will start off like we usually do with some mint juleps.
It’s the traditional drink they serve at the Derby. I even have some of those special glasses to serve them in. You know, the ones with the little horseshoes on them? I make sure to serve them when they’re good and cold. I’ll tell you what. Those drinks are very refreshing and just like a racehorse, they have a bit of a kick to them. Harold likes them, but if you have kids, you’d best stick with lemonade!”
Derby Day foods are always fun and festive. If you’d like to explore some traditional Southern foods fit for the day, here are some suggestions from Woodford Reserve Derby Dishes to Explore.
As for Edna, she has some favorites that are her go-to.
“Well, Harold and I love chicken wings. And I found a wonderful recipe from those Woodford folks last year. I took a picture so you could see how they look. They are so good. We’ll have some green vegetable of some sort, some fruit and a pecan pie to round things out. We’ll probably do something like that this year.”
With food, fashion, and traditions covered there’s only one thing left to do. You need to decide what horse you’re going to root for this Saturday, September 5th.
The top three horses with the shortest odds so far are:
Essential Quality Known Agenda Rock Your World
We asked Edna if she has a favorite.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. Essential Quality is unbeaten and was the 2 yr old champion in 2020. He had to really try hard in the Bluegrass Stakes in Kentucky to win by a head. Known Agenda came from way back in the Florida Derby and won. And Rock Your World was a big surprise winner in the Santa Anita Derby out in California. Then again another horse, or even a long shot, might beat all three of them. You just never know!”
NBC Sports is home to the 147th Kentucky Derby, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app before, during and after the main event. Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. ET. The race will go off around 7pm.
And that’s why You need to watch the Kentucky Derby. Two minutes of pure fun!