Friday, May 1, 2009

I'll Be Enjoying the Kentucky Derby On A Lazy May Afternoon

The 135th running of the Kentucky Derby is tomorrow at Churchill Downs in Louisville. The Kentucky Derby is a Grade One stakes race for three year-old thoroughbred horses, held annually on the first Saturday in May and capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival.

The race is known as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate duration, and is also called "The Run for the Roses" for the blanket of roses draped over the winner. It is the first leg of the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing and is followed by the Preakness Stakes then the Belmont Stakes.

If you've never attended a horse racing event, you really should do so at least once in your life. Growing up in Miami, I spent many a Saturday at the world renown Hialeah Race Course. The excitement of the horses in the paddock and on the track, the many beautiful women strolling the clubhouse in their finest and the prospect of a winning paramutuel ticket are fond memories of days gone by.

Aside from wagering on the race itself, the Kentucky Derby is a perfect example of pomp and circumstance with both the infield and clubhouse areas awash in fine clothing, drinks and revelry. A number of traditions play a large role in the Derby atmosphere. The Mint Julep, a historic iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint and a sugar syrup is the traditional beverage of the race.

Women, such as the lovely ladies pictured, appear in fine outfits lavishly accessorized with large, elaborate hats and are ready to party (Garnett, yours is the one on the right). As the horses are paraded before the grandstands, the University of Louisville marching band plays Stephen Foster's "My Old Kentucky Home."

The Derby is frequently referred to as "The Run for the Roses," because a lush blanket of 554 red roses is awarded to the Kentucky Derby winner each year. The tradition is as a result of New York socialite E. Berry Wall presenting roses to ladies at a post-Derby party in 1883 that was attended by Churchill Downs founder and president, Colonel M. Lewis Clark.

I Want Revenge, winner of the Wood Memorial, has been made the 3-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday's 135th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Lightly raced Dunkirk and Santa Anita Derby champ Pioneer of the Nile are 4-1 co-second choices for Saturday, while Louisiana Derby winner Friesan Fire is next at 5-1.

The $2 million Run for the Roses has a full field of 20 three-year-olds entered for the 1 1/4 mile race. The race and pre-race activities will be televised on NBC.

The Cat's Ass Trophy (CAT Award) has one nomination from Robin, who nominated Octomom Nadya Suleman for her newest "pregnant" idea, a tattoo on the back of her left shoulder. One would think that taking care of 14 children might be her number one priority and keep her busy, but evidently not.

Between shopping sprees and television appearances and interviews, she still had time to "commemorate" her 14 fatherless children and set a fine example for them by getting a tattoo.

The CAT Award is open for nominations until Monday at noon and you can make a nomination either in your comments or by emailing me at

This Date In History: 1707; The Act of Union unites England and Scotland as the United Kingdom of Great Britain. 1851; The Great Exhibition, the huge display "...of the Works and Industry of All Nations", opens at the Crystal Palace in London. 1931; The Empire State Building in New York City has its official opening. 1941; Citizen Kane, starring and directed by Orson Welles, premieres in New York.

1945; Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels commits suicide as Russian troops storm Berlin at the end of World War II. 1967; American heartthrob Elvis Presley marries Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas. 1997; Tony Blair wins the general election to become, at 43, the youngest British prime minister since Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool, in 1812.

Picture Of The Day: The Kentucky Derby is today's theme and the choice of pictures. The splendor of the event and all the festivities culminate in the final two minutes as the starting gates open and the familiar cry of "and they're off!" echoes into the grandstands.

Twenty thoroughbreds will then race toward the first turn and the race begins to take shape. The speed horses normally surge to the front and as the horses head into the backstretch, you can see the jockeys manuevering their mounts for the third turn.

It's interesting to watch each jockeys "rate" his horse (tighten and restrict the reins so that the horse doesn't make its charge too early) and watch what happens when the jockey finally gives the horse its "head" (loosen the reins so that the horse can run to its full potential speed.

The final charge down the frontstretch is the most exhilerating moment of the race culminating as the horses pass underneath the "wire" (finish line) and the 135th winner of the Kentucky Derby adds its name to history.

Birthdays: Joseph Addison, essayist, poet, and statesman 1672, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, British soldier and statesman, Prime Minister of Great Britain and Ireland (1828-1830), best known for his victory over Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo 1769, George Inness, painter 1825, Glenn Ford, actor 1916, Joseph Heller, novelist 1923.

Printable Things I Never Told You: 1) How do you get a sweet little 80-year-old lady to say the "F" word? Get another sweet little 80-year-old lady to yell "BINGO!" 2) My first legal gambling trip was to Dania Jai Alai and I won $325.00. Needless to say, since that date, I have personally have paid those winnings back many times over. 3) I've learned that the difference between a new wife and a new dog is that after a year, the dog is still excited to see you. 4) I love to gamble and one of the first lessons I learned was not to play with the rent money. 5) Life isn't like a box of chocolates, it's more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.

My thanks to my pals Linda and Robin for their contributions to today's graphics.

The Hits Just Keep On Coming:

A hard working mother of three rarely had time for herself. The only relief she got was the twice-a-week bridge game she shared with a dozen other women. The only flaw in the bridge club relationship was that she loved to tell off-color stories and the girls didn't want to hear them. To teach her a lesson, the other women decided that the next time she told an off-color story, they'd just get up, walk out and meet by themselves at another home.

Sure enough, at the next meeting, the woman started, "You know, girls, there's a rumor going around that a busload of prostitutes will be leaving in the morning for that big gold find up in Alaska, and they say...."

Just then, the women all stood up and started for the door. The woman was disconcerted but only for a moment, then she understood what was going on and said, "Hey, girls! Hold on! There's plenty of time 'cause the bus doesn't leave till morning!"

One day a man decided to wash his sweatshirt. Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to his wife, "Honey, what setting do I use on the washing machine for my shirt?" His wife replied, "It depends, what does it say on your shirt?" The man yelled back, "University of Oklahoma."

Frank calls in to work and says, "Hey, boss I can't come to work today, I'm really sick. I got headache, stomach ache and my legs hurt." The boss says, "You know Frank, I really need you today. When I feel like this I go to my wife and tell her to give me sex. That makes everything better and I can go to work. You should try that." Two hours later Frank calls again and says, "Boss, I did what you said and I feel great. I'll be at work soon. By the way, you've got nice house."

That's it for today my little rosebuds. It's Friday and a trip to AREA 51 is definitely in order. It may be difficult to sip my Johnny Walker Black through my surgical mask but with some possible help from one of my lady friends, I'll give it a try. Have a great weekend and more on Monday.

Stay Tuned !


garnett109 said...

jimmy your right or mine?

Rose said...

Great idea! If CVS doesn't get their supply of masks in before my trip to Boston.....I'll use my bra!


Linda's World said...

We have the beautiful Emerald Downs here in my area. I've only been there once & it was exciting and the grounds were beautiful. I would love to go to the Kentucky Derby, even if I don't drink Mint Juleps & I hate hats. So here's the can have my Mint Juleps and wear my hat! Deal? Good!
Have a marvy weekend..Linda in 74* Washington

Anne said...

I love the Derby. I've been a few times and you describe it well. It's fun to watch but even more exciting at the fence where you can hear the hoofs pounding. It's my Old Kentucky Home, Far Away! Anne

Julie said...

I guess I will nominate Sen. Arlen Specter, closet democrat come out of closet democrat. I love watching the beautiful horses race, the hats.... I am still upset I need to start wearing one, need to find a cool one yet. Masks, kill the virus with martini's. Works every time.

Paula said...

I've been on day trips to the horse races at Corpus Christi, Texas several times. I'm sure they are nothing like the Kentucky Derby but we had fun. I bet on the horse with the name I liked. lol

Missie said...

Considering the Octomom doens't work, I sure hope my tax dollars aren't paying for the tattoo. I think she should use that money and pay back the hospital some money!

Enjoy your weekend!

Tabby said...

Hi Jimmy
That was some interesting stuff on the derby as I myself have never been to one. I love the face mask Have fun this weekend!

Pamela said...

I've been to Churchill Downs one time. They weren't racing, but it was fun touring the place. I'd love to be there now!
Hope you had fun at Area 51!! LOL on the mask.

Martha said...

That last one was great!! Hope it's been a great weekend and thanks again Jimmy for featuring my kitties over at Possum's journal. Have a great week! :-)