The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports
Julia @ Kids Matter
If you, like me, were a kid growing up in the great Commonwealth of Kentucky, there are several things about the first Saturday in May that you are born knowing…
2. Plecher, Lucas, and Baffert are household names.
3. Secretariat’s real name was Big Red, and his colors blue & white.
But what is it like? What is it like for a Kentucky girl like me, who rode horses like her mother before her? What are my traditions with the Derby? For me, I usually don’t attend the Derby or parties; I like to watch the coverage all day at home with my mother and brother. Derby Day is a HOLIDAY! We love to snack, drink, snicker at clothing choices made by female attendees, and sneer vehemently at certain trainers whose techniques we don’t agree with.
We watch the races leading up to the “big one” with a certain impatient edge that comes with Derby Fever. Then, I hear the famous, “RIDERS UP!” and small flutters occur in my belly. The trumpet calls the riders to post. “My Old Kentucky Home” by Stephen Foster plays, and I choke back a sob of Kentucky pride as these magnificent creatures trot to the gate. Millions of eyes are on my home, my state, my commonwealth; I couldn’t be happier.
Like any athlete, you see the determined and slightly wild look in the thoroughbreds’ large rolling eyes. Their nostrils flare, sensing the thousands of people and their excited energy. The flanks tighten and mouths slightly froth at the anxiety to be free and run their hearts out. They line them up, which can take a few minutes if you have some unruly ones who are spooked by the smallest things. My breath is held as lock them in. My mother instinctively curls her hands, as if once again holding reins, and turns to me and states, “I just want a clean round…”
AND THEY’RE OFF! Two heart stopping minutes of jumping, screaming, pleading, cursing, crying, and cheering that seem to last an eternity. When you think you can’t scream any harder you hear the famous, “AND HERE THEY COME DOWN THE BACK STRETCH!”
There are between 12 and 22 thundering horses with dirt covered jockeys looking for the outside break. And millions of spectators screaming in unison, “GO BABY, GO BABY, GO BABY!” Then someone crosses the finish line. Was it the favorite, the first timer, the filly, was it your pick?
It’s over, and we are finally able to breathe once more. We instantly begin to chatter about the race highlights before the famous roses are draped across indeed, a ‘good baby’.
If you don’t watch the Derby, you should! It’s A-mazing! You can find all things Derby at http://www.kentuckyderby.com/visit/security-information. Local coverage (in Louisville) is from 7AM – 10AM with NBC national coverage starting at noon on NBCSN and 4PM on NBC with race time approximately 6:20PM and show ending at 7:30PM. (All times are EDT)
Two recipes common on Derby Day are “Derby Pie” and Mint Juleps. You just have to give them a try!
The pie was created by George Kern and his parents in their restaurant in Prospect, Kentucky. It is a chocolate and walnut mixture, in a pastry crust. The original recipe has remained a secret, so we do not have that recipe. Following is a recipe for possibly the best pie I have ever had. So, try it... you’ll like it.
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
9 inch unbaked pie shell
Directions: Combine all ingredients except the pie shell. Mix well. Pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees or until brown on top.
Mint Juleps (Mock)
4 -5 mint sprigs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups cold water
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 quarts ginger ale (or Ale8 1)
Thinly sliced lemon (to garnish)
1. Rinse mint and discard stems.
2. Mix sugar, water, and juice in medium bowl.
3. Stir in mint leaves.
4. Let stand 30 minutes.
5. Fill large pitcher with ice.
6. Strain liquid over ice.
7. Add ginger ale and lemon slices.
8. Serve in tall glasses with lemon slices to garnish.