While Tara was at Mifflin, I was a five-hour drive south of Evanston with some friends in Louisville, “Kentuckiana” for the 136th annual Kentucky Derby. Mother Nature was a little against us for the day of the race — it was overcast and drizzly most of Saturday — but that did not stop people from getting done up in their Derby best for the big day.
It was our first time at Churchill Downs and the Derby, and we had the everyman’s ticket: the $40 general admission infield ticket. We knew it would be wet, so we pulled on our rain boots and toted along jackets. We weren’t underdressed for the sloppy, muddy party that was the infield, but infield aside, everyone at Derby looked stunning. Women must have taken months to plan their outfits; heels, hats and dresses were all perfectly matched and equally extravagant. Men dressed the part just as much and donned pastels, seersucker suits and fedoras. We spent most of our first hour at the track marveling at the dresses, hats and how beautiful everyone looked.
The Kentucky Derby is actually only one race in two days of racing, and people head to the track early to get bidding on all the races, soak up the scene and sip some mint juleps — or just Miller Lites. Because you can’t go to the Derby and not bet, we too made our way to the overrun wagering windows to place meager money on some horses in the Run for the Roses. While some serious bettors were studying the programs for stats on the horses and jockeys, we went with the foolproof logic of selecting favorites with lucky numbers and fun names. Based on a tip from a new buddy we made at the 21c Museum Hotel bar the night before, one of my friends placed a $2 bet on Super Saver to win the race, and win he did! The rest of us weren’t so lucky with our bets, but this guy was the undoubtedly the luckiest of all.
If you missed the race, check out the video below — it was definitely an exciting run. I’m already looking forward to returning to the charming, energy-filled event in a couple of years and watching the race from up in the stands wearing my Derby best. Outfit planning begins now!
–Karina for TKGO
Powered by Facebook Comments