I watch the Kentucky Derby basically every year. Some years I've known the entire field, their stables, the jockeys, everything. Some years, I don't know a single name until the coverage begins, but I've always thought it would be fun to go, at least once. One year our Young Women's group did a super fun Derby Day Mother/Daughter Party (shout out AF 5th Ward!)
Unfortunately, this year was kind of a bust and a major disappointment. Not the race itself (I'm still hoping for I'll Have Another to win the Triple Crown!) but the way the entrance gates and crowds were handled. It was a record crowd this year and Churchill Downs was completely unprepared and had no idea how to handle the logistics. It was a nightmare. The infield was so crowded that you could barely move, let alone sit, there was no chance of actually seeing the track, it was incredibly loud and rowdy, and to top it off ... it was HOT.
That said, the people watching was spectacular.
Cort and I had walked back around to the stable area and found that there was actual space with actual track views. Unfortunately we had already abandoned our chairs, the blanket, and most of our "give a damn".
This is the photo I tried to take of an actual race, but seriously, those horses are moving fast. If you aren't exactly on time...nothing but empty track.
Commemorative glasses...the hotel we stayed at in Bardstown gave us two and then we both bought a julep at the Derby so we ended up with 2 sets.
We are standing in front of the famous spires, but the drunken (yet kindly) citizen who took the picture failed to get them in the picture.
Self portrait on Derby Day.
If there is a next time, I will be springing for the grandstand seats. You can bet on that.