A Strange Kentucky Derby

Posted by OrdinaryJoe - August 23, 2020 - Features - No Comments

This year the Kentucky Derby will not be decadent and depraved. America’s most famous horse race will be run during the Labor Day weekend without fans.

I am a fan of horse racing. I think going to the track is far more fun than going to a casino. I like sitting in the sun, studying racing programs, making a couple of bets, watching petite jockeys mount huge Thoroughbreds, sniffing the odor of fresh horse manure, and hearing the curses of fans when their nags finish far out of the money. I enjoy hearing the track announcers cheering on the ponies when they come down the stretch. A day at the races in person is more enjoyable than watching Marx Brothers pratfalls in A Day at the Races.

But even though I have lived in Louisville since 1996, I have not gone to a Kentucky Derby. I don’t want to pay sky high fees just to park my car about a couple miles from Churchill Downs. Since I am not a member of the Four Hundred, I don’t have a prime box seat at Millionaires Row. Instead, I will have to fork out a small fortune to sit cheek and jowl with over 150,00 drunken individuals in the infield just to get a brief glimpse of the horses galloping towards the finish line

Rather than going through the hassles of watching the Kentucky Derby in person, I am more than happy seeing the Derby on television. I wil get a better chance watching the pomp and pageantry of the Derby than being stuck in the infield. I can drink a homemade mint julep or two with my wife. At the end of the race, it is fun watching track officials place a garland of roses made at a local Kroger on the winning horse. It is equally fun hearing sportscasters prattle for several minutes with the winning jockey.

It will be strange watching “the most exciting two minutes in sports” without ladies wearing garish 1920s-like hats, Hollywood stars who probably think Seattle Slew is something you eat at a backyard barbecue but act like Daily Racing Form handicappers on Derby Day, and inebriated people sing an off-key rendition of “My Old Kentucky Home”. But pretty much everything during the past five months have been strange. We better get used to strange being the new normal, even for something as old fashioned and homespun as horse racing.

Joe’s Maybe Memorable Quote of the Day

I don’t have horse sense when it comes to handicapping.

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