What a day, what a day. It rained, it poured, then the sun shone bright on my old Kentucky home.
We weren’t in any rush to head over to Churchill Downs today because of the wet weather. We waited until 3:00pm and then got dressed to go. Monica donned her new hat and I my new Darth Vader bow tie!!! Funny story… I didn’t have a tie until a couple of days ago when Monica and I visited a nearby shopping mall… she was looking for a red accent flower for her ivory hat. We wandered into a novelty store that was playing loud music for the 20 something crowd. At that moment we walked in, the British jazz-rap group, Us3, was playing “Dark Side” (actually quite a melodious tune). Monica spotted the bow tie as if it was calling my name.
We spent the morning studying the horses and by noon, Monica had her picks and I had mine…. “Always Dreaming”. I knew nothing about the horse or his history…. I just connected with his name. It suited me.
At 3:00, off we went on foot for the 20 minute walk to Churchill Downs. The crowd today was 150,000 strong and we had to push our way through to the wager wickets as soon as we arrived. My bet was $6 on #5 Always Dreaming ‘across the board’ (cost me $18 total). Bets placed, we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon watching both the people and the horse races.
At 6:50 pm, Harry Connick Jr. sang the National Anthem and it was time for the 143rd run for the roses. Just then the sun came out in full force and the crowd exploded in the grandstand as the horses exploded from the gates. Guess who won? Always Dreaming came in first and I made $61 on my $18 bet. What a great experience… definitely something you’d have to be there for to really understand.
After the race, we packed up and drove out of Louisville and headed north toward Cincinnati… chatting and reliving the day’s moments all the way to our hotel for the night. Tomorrow is Sunday and we are going to church… a very special church. I can hardly wait.
Here are the highlights of day 22 – Saturday at the Kentucky Derby