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May 3, 2013

NASH: How do you celebrate the Derby?

It’s that time of the year again when the eyes of the world look to Louisville for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby. If you judge by just turning on the television it would seem that everyone is excited about the big race that happens every year on the first Saturday of May, but that is not actually the case. The people I know are split into three groups when it comes to their feelings on the “Run for the Roses.”   

Some of my friends live for the day, or at least the two weeks that lead up to a horse race that lasts only two minutes. They get excited when the official poster of the “Kentucky Derby Festival” is released. They are first in line when the “Derby Glasses” go on sale. They have a collection of “Pegasus Pins” that dates back to the mid-80s. They also line the banks of the Ohio River to watch North America’s largest fireworks display and then come back a week and a half later to watch the world’s slowest boat race.

They don’t get a lot of work done during Derby week because of the festivities, so in recent years their bosses have let them take half days on Wednesday and full day off on Thursday. They have never worked on Oaks Day, whether they were going to the race or not. Now the local school districts have even gone to planning off days. New Albany-Floyd County Schools schedule Oaks Day as a snow make-up day.

These are the people that think the “chow wagon” is the only place to eat during Derby week. They think that a Mint Julep is a tasty drink, and a bargain at $8. They buy a new hat each year to wear to the track and they can tell you who was the jockey that won last year’s race, or any year when they actually cashed a winning ticket. I won $103 in 2009 with Calvin Borel on Mine That Bird.

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