Saturday, May 3, 2008

Run for the Roses

"I am fulfilled and weary. This Kentucky Derby, whatever it is - a race, an emotion, a turbulence, an explosion - is one of the most beautiful and violent and satisfying things I have ever experienced. I am glad I have seen and felt it at last." John Steinbeck

What a sad Derby Day - I'm still in tears. We were pulling for Eight Belles to win, they said she had a good shot, a filly hasn't won since Winning Colors in 1988 and it was time. Big Brown was really strong; Eight Belles gave it her all but she just couldn't stay with him.

We went to the Derby several years ago and it was an experience that I will hold with me forever. As a Kentucky girl, it was a little like being Cinderella. We went as guests through Danny's work and were wined and dined for the entire weekend. We went to the Kentucky Oaks race on Friday and then to champagne brunch at the Jefferson Club, the Derby, betting and Mint Juleps on Saturday.

We witnessed the 127th Run for the Roses from the rail of the first turn. I thought I would cry when they played "My Old Kentucky Home" but the tears didn't start until the horses started into the turn, they literally make the earth vibrate, the dirt is flying and they are gone in a flash. They were breathtaking and beautiful, if I close my eyes I can still see them.

Monarchos won that year, the best I remember he was a long shot. It was a wonderful day that I'll keep with me forever. One of those special ones you take out from time to time and enjoy.

I was a little disappointed that we didn't have a Derby party to go to this year, and I started to have one of my own. Sometimes though these Tennessee people just don't get it, besides I had a lot going on, so I didn't invite anyone over, we just hung out here, worked in the yard and then came in to watch the Derby by ourselves today.

Now I'm really glad I didn't go to a Derby party today - I'm not sure, but I think my sobbing would have been a real downer for everyone.

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