Friday, May 6, 2011

The Kentucky Derby Festival
Saturday is the 137th Kentucky Derby.  An annual horse race for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses.  The first derby was held in 1875.  It is the oldest horse race in the US, and is the first race of horse racings Triple Crown.  It is also called "The Run for the Roses".  It is followed by the "Preakness Stakes" then the "Belmont Stakes".  The horse must win all three to win the "Triple Crown". 

My dad always enjoyed watching it. I remember him calling us in just before the race started and we would all gather around the television and watch it together. It is known as the greatest two minutes in sports.  So, I have carried on the tradition. I love watching all the pre-race festivities.  The Kentucky Derby is all about the Churchill Downs Race Track in Louisville, the thoroughbred horses and their colorful names, the jockeys, the red roses, the fashion, the Mint Juleps, and the hats. Especially the hats. Beautiful, colorful, feathery, flowery, huge, small, ugly, tall, outrageous hats!!!!!


Now here's the recipe for a Mint Julep.  I have pictured Wild Turkey Kentucky Bourbon because it was my late brother, Johnny's favorite, but you can use any bourbon you like.

                                                                A true Southern Pleasure


                                     Bourbon, Water, Sugar (or simple syrup) and Mint - is all you need.
                                     1 Tbsp. simple syrup (or use fine sugar and water)
                                     2 oz. bourbon
                                     6–7 fresh mint leaves (and a mint sprig for garnish)
                                     Metal Cup (preferably silver)
                                     Crushed ice

Crush a few mint leaves in the bottom of an 8-oz. glass, then fill with crushed ice. Add one tablespoon of simple syrup and one tablespoon of water. Add 2 ounces of your favorite bourbon. Stir gently until cup frosts. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig, sip and dream.....

Simple syrup directions: Combine sugar and water. Boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Pour mix over a handful of mint leaves, and gently crush the mint with a spoon. Refrigerate overnight in a closed jar. Remove mint leaves, but continue to refrigerate. Stays fresh for several weeks.

                                               Now to the race........marvel at the names!!!

The iconic race at Churchill Downs kicks off the Triple Crown season. The 2011 Kentucky Derby will feature a massive 20 horse field. Here is a look at the 20 horses in the Kentucky Derby field according to their post positions. I got this info from here:

1. Archarcharch - Jockey: Jon Court

The first post position has 12 wins at the Kentucky Derby, tied for the most in history. That bodes well for this horse, which is a contender but far from the favorite. Court has never won a Triple Crown race.

2. Brilliant Speed - Jockey: Joel Rosario
The number two horse has won the Derby nine times. This horse is considered a long shot, and Rosario lacks any Derby wins.

3. Twice The Appeal - Jockey: Calvin Borel
Borel is the hot jockey, winning the Derby three times in the last four years. His experience will be needed, as the three post has just eight wins and this horse is a long shot.

4. Stay Thirsty - Jockey: Ramon Dominguez
The four post has 10 wins at the Kentucky Derby. This Todd Pletcher trained horse is in the middle of the pack in this race, but the post should help.

5. Decisive Moment - Jockey: Kerwin Clark
This post is tied with the first post with 12 wins. That should help a horse that is a long shot and a jockey that is fairly green.

6. Comma To The Top - Jockey: Pat Valenzuela
Valenzuela famously rode Sunday Silence to the Derby title in 1989, but this post position has only produced the Derby champion six times. The horse is a long shot.

7. Pants On Fire - Jockey: Rosie Naprivnik
The chances of Pants On Fire fall in the middle of the pack. The number seven post has produced the winner eight different times.

8. Dialed In - Jockey: Julien Leparoux
This Nick Zito trained horse is one of the early favorites. The post is also successful, producing 10 Derby winners.

9. Derby Kitten - Jockey: Javier Castellano
Castellano rode a Preakness winner in 2006, but he is on a long shot here. The post has only produced four winners in history.

10. Twinspired - Jockey: Mike Smith
This horse is another long shot, but the post position has seen some success. 10 different winners have emerged from this position.

11. Master Of Hounds - Jockey: Garrett Gomez
This position has only produced three winners in Kentucky Derby history. Gomez is a seasoned jockey, but has never won a Triple Crown race. This is probably not the horse to do it for him.

12. Santiva - Jockey: Shaun Bridgmohan
This is another long shot horse, and it isn't helped by the post position. Only three winners have come out of the number 12 post.

13. Mucho Macho Man - Jockey: Rajiv Maragh
This horse is considered a contender, but only four horses have won from this post position.

14. Shackleford - Jockey: Jose Castanon
This is another horse that has what it takes to win. It will have to work extra hard, because this post has only produced the Kentucky Derby winner on two occasions.

15. Midnight Interlude - Jockey: Victor Espinoza
Espinoza won the 2002 Derby aboard War Emblem, and this is one of the better horses in the field. The 15 post has only produced three Derby winners.

16. Animal Kingdom - Jockey: Robby Albarado
This is a horse with little chance to win, and the post won't help. The 16 horse has only won the Derby three times.

17. Soldat - Jockey: Alan Garcia
Garcia won the Belmont Stakes in 2008, and he is aboard a pretty good horse here. However, this post has never produced a Derby winner.

18. Uncle Mo - Jockey: John Valezquez
It was announced on May 6 that Uncle Mo will not run.

19. Nehro - Jockey: Corey Nakatini
This is another strong horse with a good jockey. However, the 19 position has never produced a Derby winner. With so many good horses in the area, it could be extra tough for Nehro.

20. Watch Me Go - Jockey: Rafael Bejarano
The number 20 post has produced a pair of Kentucky Derby winners. However, this is one of the longest shots in the entire field.

The winner gets a blanket of roses and lots of fame and lots of money.....

 It's an American tradition.  If you have never watched it, I guarantee you will enjoy it. 

I Wish You Love and a Great Saturday!

"Listen to me carefully"

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