Do you NEED the Kentucky Derby?

Posted on 3 min read 65 views

The Kentucky Derby gives secret horse lovers the perfect cover.

The breathless coverage of glittering parties, the fashion reports, the julep recipes, the roses, the home parties, the money on the line, the handicapping, the athletes โ€“ itโ€™s all great camouflage because there are horseless horse lovers out there who need Derby, even if it’s just on TV. Or live streamed.

Some of you are laughing. Youโ€™re probably not a regular reader of this blog. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But check it out:

  • Several years ago, a meme went around Twitter to the effect of “If Monday was a girl, it would be the girl who loves horses and tells the teacher when you cheat… #nobodylikesher”
  • In Real Life, at my old lesson barn, an adolescent boy who’d been riding for several years and doing pretty well at it — loved riding and horse-keeping enough for the ponies to bring him out of his shell — gave it up when he entered junior high, ostensibly so he wouldn’t be “the boy who likes horses.”
  • A friend told me a close relative of hers was selling her horse farm and getting out of horses because a significant other wanted her to get out of horses. The farm was sold to a non-profit eager for the acreage.

The Tribe of the Horseless

I’ve been to the Kentucky Horse Park multiple times. I always see another “sister.” She’s always alone but happy as she visits each horse interested in company.

So, for every two or three fashionista party animals drawn to the Derby or horse racing, there’s someone out there tagging along for a socially and financially acceptable horse fix.

Among the partiers dressed to impress at the races โ€“ or just to party — often is someone wanting to linger by the paddock or see what the race is like down on the rail or even suggests breakfast to the Keeneland track kitchen as an excuse to walk through the backstretch.

Once the Triple Crown is over, it’s back to life as normal. It’s a little sad.

When the new calendar comes in for next year, Derby will be the first occasion marked. Perhaps the DVR is set for “horse racing” or “equestrian.”

I know because I’m one of them.

“My name is Rhonda and I’m –“

I used to spend Derby in an ebb and flow of tears, especially when those atmospheric and traditional horse farm scenes come on the screen. Granted, they’re meant to be sentimental, especially with the sweeping music.The bouncy foals. The doting mares.

However, some of those wide shots used to be my view on my drive to work. Okay. Not the aerials, but I drove past horse farms, especially pastures with mares and foals. I miss foals.

Now that I ride regularly, watching the Derby is less tear-soaked, even seeing the Keeneland prep races.

But I know y’all are out there. In the future, I’ll probably re-join your ranks.

Still, the first date I mark on a new calendar is Derby.

Speaking of Kentucky Derby Day …

By now, you already have your favorite way to access Kentucky Derby coverage: your fave racing channel on satellite, or your fave website, or app, or even old-school TV.

If you still watch old-school TV, it’s all on NBC.

That includes, a live-stream on NBC’s Kentucky Derby All-Access page on your computer, phone, or tablet.

From the 2016 Kentucky Derby website are coverage times (BTW, note all the party info and graphics. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  • The only post-position draw for a Triple Crown race on TV is for the Derby on Wednesday, from 5:30 – 6 pm EDT on NBC Sports Network (cable).
  • Live racing starts up around lunch time on Oaks Day and Derby Day, on cable.
  • The Kentucky Derby coverage on your regular NBC affiliate starts at 4 pm EDT and runs until 7:30.

FWIW, I noticed a discrepancy in the Derby website time schedule and what NBC posted. So, check your local listings because your mileage may vary.

I doubt NBC will put the prep races on the main network and The Big Dance on cable, as the NBC Sports website says, but, as I always, say, your mileage may vary.

Also, NBC and NBC Sports Network will be running highlights of Rolex Kentucky on Sunday, May 8, from 1:30 to 3 pm EDT.

As they say in Louisville (Loo-uh-vul), have a good Derby.



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