My Kentucky Derby Dreams

Posted on 2 min read 75 views

Every spring, the voices of my friends and acquaintances fill with longing. I can guess from their vocal inflections what they’re about to say.

Someday, we’ll go to the Kentucky Derby and wear big hats. You and me. What do you say? Let’s do it.”

I don’t have the heart to tell them that I don’t share that particular Bucket List dream., let alone is it my place to rain on someone’s Bucket List.

Nor is it my place to rain on someone’s Bucket List.

Even worse? I’ve been twice, both times as a spousal tagalong with my TV engineer husband who was working on the telecast of the race.

So, like any good mystery writer, I plant the distraction. I focus on the expense involved. I tell them, they need to come up with about “five grand,” unless they’re willing to brave the infield or hang in the paddock all day with a general admission ticket, which in 2017 costs $80.

Add in airfare from New England and the lodging money for both Louisville and Lexington. Because, if you’re going with me to the Derby, you’re spending a week in Kentucky because we are going to Lexington, too. Gives you the full picture, of course, especially if this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. 

My Derby Dreams have nothing to do with big hats

NBC’s Randy Moss came close to calling it in a feature video during the main Derby coverage broadcast.

Too bad I can’t find the video anywhere on the net. He even mentioned it twice.

And you know what? He’s right, up to a point.

I wouldn’t die to be in the backstretch of Churchill Downs with him and Jerry Bailey on the mornings before the Derby.

But I would get up at 4 am, pull on jeans, paddock boots, and sheddable or replaceable layers of clothing for the day stuffed into a light backpack.

I grew up in Kentucky. I know the first week in May can be 50 degrees and raining or 80 degrees and sunny, or both in the same day.

So, here’s my offer, Randy and Jerry

Yes, you have the best job in the world, but I wouldn’t die to join you. I would bring snacks.

Yes, coffee, but also doughnuts.


Or, rather, donuts, because we’re all citizens of the Land of Dunkin.

But wait — there’s more

I’d also bring “super bacon,” aka baked prosciutto, crunchy goodness with a satisfying hit of protein. Consider it upscale jerky but easier to chew. It’ll keep us going all morning but light on our feet and be ready to munch from my aforementioned backpack.

Plus, I’d bring sanitizer wipes because — well — finger food and horse barns. Know what I’m saying?

So, carbs and protein.

You know how to find me. 😉


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