Louisville Journals

And They're Off! (a Day at the Derby)

A May 2001 trip to Louisville by Carmen

Riding to the Gate Photo, Louisville, Kentucky More Photos
Quote: One of my good friends lives in Lexington, KY, and so I packed in a visit with her with a trip to the Derby. It was certainly a great experience. One that I remember now every year on Derby Day.

And They're Off! (a Day at the Derby)

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Overview

A horse barn Photo, Louisville, Kentucky
Quote:
I never thought I'd get so emotional over a horse race! There are 10 races throughout the day, with the most important of all -- the Kentucky Derby -- running around the 8th race. My most memorable moments are all related to that one race, and here they are: 1. Watching the horses be led into the gates, and trying to pick the one I had put good money on. (I had bet on lucky number 2 -- Millenium Wind, mostly because I liked the name.) 2. Singing "My Old Kentucky Home" which I learned in advance, I'm not even from Kentucky, and I got all weepy singing the thing. 3. Hearing that trumpet blow! 4. Hearing that bell ring, and the announcer say "And they're off!" 5. We...Read More

Mint Juleps

Story/Tip

Quote:
Here's an insider tip for you. If it's hot, like it was the day I was there, you may want to stick to just one mint julep. Here are the reasons: First, the mint juleps are all julep with a little mint. In other words, they're almost pure liquor. With the sun and the heat, a few of those will give you a heck of a hangover. Second, they taste awful! I've had some good mint juleps, but not at the actual Derby. :) The highlight of the julep is that it comes in a commemorative Derby glass. There are some collectors that have one from each of the years. Note: If you stick around after the Derby, you're likely to find lots of glasses left behind for you to freely take. Just throw th...Read More

Placing a bet

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Thought I would just include a little sidebar about placing a bet. I learned a lot in my one forray to the betting window. You can pick a horse to either win (come in first) place (come in second) or show (come in third). You're given a book that names the horses running in each race, and if you look at the odds board, you can see the updated odds for the horses in that race. Note: Place your bets long before the race ever starts. If you wait too long, you'll miss the race for standing in the incredibly long lines. However, I wouldn't place your Derby bet unitl an hour or two before the race, because the odds will change (unless you're like me, and just bet on the horse with the best n...Read More

Churchill Downs on Derby Day

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Story/Tip

Riding to the Gate Photo, Louisville, Kentucky
Quote:
Boy, when you first see those spires, you know you've arrived. I was actually surprised by the urban surroundings. I expected Churchill Downs to be a little more out in the boonies. It kind of sits in the middle of something akin to an industrial park. When we walked in, there were just people everywhere. I mean everywhere. I'm glad I went just once, but I'm not sure anything could persuade me to tackle all those people again. There are actually 10 races on Derby Day. We arrived around 11 after spending the moring at the Derby breakfast in Frankfurt, KY. There's one race each hour, each race is less than 5 minutes, so it's a long day. The best way to fill the time is people...Read More