Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Kentucky Derby

Around here the Kentucky Derby is HUGE. You start seeing t-shirts and Derby glasses for sale in every store you can imagine six weeks before the race. People talk of who is the favorite, who is the long shot...who is their pick. (Mine was Big Brown...along with the rest of the world...but I did come out on top this year!) The local coverage starts at 8am. People have parties, people bet tons of money...just one of those things when a large event takes place in your state. We live about an hour from the Derby, and honestly I have never even been. We talked a lot about that at Nick's sisters Derby party yesterday, and I hope maybe next year we will go see the big race!

For now the small in town parties are always wonderful and this time was no exception. Candice and Davis had a TON of food including the always delicious Derby Pie. We started the party around two and tossed in small bets on the races leading up to the actual Derby. For the real deal everyone threw in five dollars and drew a horse from the cup. I ended up with Coronal John, which I thought was going to put me in the money for did not. I also had a ticket for Big Brown that I got at our local track, so I did manage to make a little money on the day. Not a lot mind you...the favorite winning with a $2 bet across the board is never the golden ticket to retirement or anything...

Anyway, the party was wonderful, but if you all watched the race you know this year will always be tainted by the fall of Eight Bells. The party went silent when we saw her down on the track. Then the vet came on and said they put her down. Just right there. They talked about the trainer running over to see her. How the entire family was distraught...I thought of all her hype before the Derby. How they couldn't decide if she should run with the big boys, but she drew such a great spot that they really wanted to give her a chance. She came in second, and no doubt ran the race of her life. I guess as a room full of animal lovers the coverage hit us hard. We were surrounded by our own dogs running around during the race. We know the love that is there with a pet. These horses are so loved, so well cared for, my heart just goes out to her trainers. Tarp and Jim own and train horses and it is an everyday consuming thing. The love is intense. What a terrible end to a wonderful Derby...

Anyway, sad sad sad. I do have pictures of the enjoyable party and what not. I am sure you are all in a picture viewing mood after that, but still...they are cute. Here are a few from race day!

Me and Nick on our way out the door to the party.

Host and Hostess...with the Hosts eyes half closed, but I still thought it was kinda cute...

The boys watching an early race...

The girls posing for pic's in the kitchen

Ryan with his and Arielle's new puppy Ripkin. Arielle was at the actual Derby with her dad...which we were all extremely jealous about!

And while we are looking at sweet puppies...her is ours. Looking a little bigger...which I believe is due to the cat food I caught her eating last night. Gotta find a new place to put it!

Me and Charing...where I have a lot of hair in my eyes...

Boo just hanging out
Candice trying to decide if she needs cake AND pie. Of course she does...


  1. Lots of good food and company!
    Please stop with the pictures of me sporting the 4month look. I think I need to have my jaw wired shut.

  2. It did kind of put a damper on the rest of the evening

  3. That is really sad. I didn't watch it, but I don't watch it because I feel like something like that always happens. I'm glad the horses are well loved and cared for, but do you even wonder why they put them through that, then, knowing that something could happen, and that it often does? I have actually been to visit Churchill Downs before (in Kentucky for a conference) and I don't know... Like you, I am an animal lover, and I'm just not sure what I think about the whole thing. :(

  4. I think the worst part is that they continue following the breeding and age of racing practices that led to her death in the first place - same thing led to Barbaro's injury last year, and they haven't learned anything from it.

  5. We toured a horse farm yesterday with a friend and saw many of the stallions and old racers. I also got to see a former derby winner, grindstone, and one of the top horses to breed with, Stormcat. Technically there are only a few different lines of horses to breed with in the racing world. These lines have been going on for 20+ years and have produced several wonderful horses. The truth is that horses enjoy running around all the time, and did it the whole time we were there. They may not want people strapped to their backs, but it is in their nature to run. More injuries happen on farms and in the wild when horses run through fences from being spooked. The odds are in their favor when they are taken care of at the farms. They are treated better than most humans.