Kentucky Derby weekend is upon us! How exciting! Like every year we are giddy with anticipation about the big race but something is very different this year from all Derby posts of the past.
For the first time in over a decade we will not be hosting a Derby party which means no cooking menu to plan or drinks to mix. Like the horses just before post time, I myself will be posed to break out of a gate fast and furious. It’s not a horse gate and I won’t be in Kentucky – instead it’s an airport gate and I’ll be in Washington D.C. It will be a mad dash to the hotel with just over an hour before post time but if luck is on my side I’ll make it with moments enough to spare in order to drop my bags, grab a julep and watch the horses go. Fingers crossed.
Last year, we hosted a contest to guess the Derby winner with a very special vintage-themed gift as a prize. Although we had lots of fabulous speculations and a couple of close calls, no one picked Nyquist as the first to line finisher. With the promise of carrying over the un-won prizes from last year to this year, we will be holding the contest again but this time during the Belmont Stakes on June 10th. That gives us a chance to celebrate the races in true party fashion. It also makes the second leg of the Kentucky Derby all the more exciting. The horses by that stage will be one step closer to achieving the Triple Crown and you’ll be a seasoned expert on the horse racing scene of 2017.
This change in the contest also gives you a chance to pick two winners this year – one for the Kentucky Derby and one for the Belmont. Twice the fun! It is super easy to enter this contest. All you have to do is pick your favorite horse to win this year’s Kentucky Derby and type the name into the comments section below. This will automatically and officially register your pick. Next month, you will do the same thing for the Belmont Stakes. If one, either or both of your horses are picked as winners in the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont then you will be a winner in the contest.
If you haven’t caught up with the field yet, this year holds a spectacular group of contenders. The numbers next to each horse correspond to their post position in the starting gate. If you are feeling especially intuitive select your winner via face, name or number value.
Or if you’d like to read up on this year’s entrants visit kentuckyderby.com for all the latest information, statistics and industry commentary.
So many fun names make up the roster this year…
…Always Dreaming, Irish War Cry, Sonneteer and Practical Joke are among my favorites… but Patch is the horse of my heart this season. He only has one eye and that makes him an unusual entry, but it sure doesn’t slow him down. A tumor in his left eye caused his handicap but he was so quick to recover and return to his normal pace that it seems destiny had decided this handsome guy’s fate long before his eye ever showed signs of sickness.
I feel a special kinship to Patch because I’m legally blind in my left eye and like him I’ve gotten along just fine all these years regardless. Many trainers believe that the power of racing comes from a horse’s heart, not their legs or their physique or their genetic makeup. It comes from their love and sheer excitement to run. One eye or two, it doesn’t matter. Patch has already proved he’s a contender in more ways than one.
Share your thoughts and your guesses for this year’s Derby winner in the comment section below. Voting closes at 5:45pm (eastern time) Saturday, May 6th, so like the race itself speed is of the essence. There is also only one vote per person allowed, so make your guess a good one! Winners will be announced next week on the blog and the vintage prize package will be mailed out thereafter. Curious to see if I’ll win the airport race in time to watch the horse race? Stay tuned to Instagram for that update on Saturday!
Good luck and Happy Derby Day!