Two Races and How Many Winners? Derby Day Is Officially Here With A Contest!

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’s contest and 2016’s Derby winner – Nyquist!

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.

Churchill Downs Oark on left. Belmont Park on right.

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.

From top left: (2) Thunder Snow; (17) Irish War Cry; (6) State of Honor; (5) Always Dreaming; (10) Gunnevera; (1) Lookin at Lee; (16) Tapwrit; (8) Hence

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.

Clockwise from top left: (19) Practical Joke; (15) McCracken; (13) J Boys Echo; (3) Fast and Accurate

So many fun names make up the roster this year…

Clockwise from top left: (7) Girvin); (4) Untrappd; (11) Battle of Midway; (9) Irap; (12) Sonneteer; (18) Gormley; (14) Classic Empire; (20) Patch

…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!

 

We Have A Winner! Deer Gets A Name!

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Ladies and gentlemen… it’s a great day to name a deer! On behalf of our statuesque stag, Ms. Jeannie is pleased to announce a winner in the Name That Deer contest!

After much deliberation, Deer is excited to say that from here on out he will now affectionately be called…

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Hudson!

Named after the 19th century Argentinian born writer and naturalist William Henry Hudson (1841-1922) who wrote the gorgeous rain forest love story Green Mansions, our newly titled Hudson was taken with this name because it combined both literature and nature.

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But this was not to say that this was an easy decision to make! Ms. Jeannie herself marveled at all the fabulous suggestions. The choices included gorgeous classicals: Charles Dickens, Brete Harte, Sebastian Flyte, Hemingway, Jack London, E.B. White, Clement C. Moore and Washington Irving along with super creatives: Val and Belletristic. There was a nod towards Deer’s feminine side with the suggestions of Emma and Pearl S. Buck. And there was even a funny one among the mix with the nomination of Vinnie’s Son –  a play on the word venison! Such choices. Such fun.

A big, big congratulations goes out to mariedge2033 over on Instagram for contributing the winning name! A most special prize is heading your way shortly! Hudson would also like to sincerely thank each and every one one of you who took the time to help him find a name. Thank you, thank you dear readers for being so fantastic.

Help! This Deer Needs A Name!

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Dear readers, Ms. Jeannie needs your help! Her resident deer needs a name. He’s been a handsome part of the Ms. Jeannie landscape for almost a year now, quietly adding some elegance and dignity to the library where he lives. But this morning he woke up on the wrong side of the shelf. He was upset, and most rightly so.

For close to 365 days he’s just been called Deer. That was fine in the beginning but now he wants a proper name. It seems Deer will just not do any longer. Upon hearing this, Ms. Jeannie racked her brain. She couldn’t come up with anything creative except for George Eliot, which Deer reminded her was the masculine pen name for a lady writer. He wants something manly. Rhett Butler she suggested next. But they both knew that wasn’t quite right either. What then? Ernest, F. Scott, William? Tolstoy, Kipling, King? There are a million names, a billion names, centuries worth of names, but Ms. Jeannie couldn’t think of one that seemed fitting. What could a good name be?

This is where you step in, dear readers, with one of your super sensational suggestions.  Deer has fabulous taste and a shining disposition. He’s statuesque in style with a head for poetry and a heart for adventure. Before he met Ms. Jeannie he lived in an attic for so long he forgot his own purpose and turned the color of dust. Now he grazes everyday on the great words of great writers and acts as shepard to a growing flock of books.  Now he wants to be called something captivating… something big… something bold. Now he wants a name of literary proportions. Now, now, now he says!

Please help! Contribute a name in the comments section below.  The one Deer loves the best will win a prize and a place in his heart forever and ever.