"Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself."
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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Derby Day!

Today is the 134th running of the Kentucly Derby so I'd like to share images related to that, for Sharing the Wealth day. I have missed very few Derbys in my almost 50 years & w/ the advent of DVR, I'll never miss another one. I tear up at the end of nearly every race...I don't know why I get so emotional over them but I do. Maybe because, as a child, I spent many races sitting in my grandfather Colonel's lap, while he sat in his old, tattered leather chair...we both enjoyed the races so much. *dabbing a tear away as I type* But a good racehorse is one of the world's greatest athletes....to see a horse have the same drive to win as man, just swells my heart. I know that dogs race too but they (much as I love dogs!) do it because they are trying to catch some rabbit that's running around the track. Horses ( a good racehorse anyhow) do it because they love to run & they want to win...they do it for the same reason people do it. That's awesome!


This is a photo of the racetrack in 1934 (click on image to enlarge)




One of these days, I'm going to be sitting in that crowd, wearing some huge, fou-fou hat & sipping on a mint julep... so help me, I am! But not this year...this year, I'll be watching it w/ my grandson Caeden (I may or may not be able to talk him into sitting in my lap...he's funny that way! LOL) but by golly, I'll have a mint julep in my hand & some goofy hat on my head. ;o)



This is an old postcard. Love this one! It's an old program from 1941!


For all you race fans out there, here's a wonderful (gave me chills!) video of the industry's two greatest icons, Man O War & Secretariat. There are other videos in the sidebar of this one (just click on menu in the frame of the video)....of other racehorses & some actual races from long, long ago. There's even one of Man O War racing Sir Barton! I spent most of an afternoon watching all those old reels of race legends I had only read about. I did get to see Secretariat race though. I was 12 that year & watched all 3 Triple Crown races w/ Colonel..... he was rooting for Secretariat & I was rooting for Sham (he came in second in the Derby & Preakness then finished last in the Belmont.... he tried so hard to keep up w/ Secretariat that when he failed, he never raced again). Colonel always was a better judge of horseflesh than I was! But as great a racehorse as Secretariat was, I think, I may still hold a childhood resentment for the legend that broke my favorite's heart. I'm funny that way. ;o) The Belmont that year was the last horse race we watched together. I was busy being a teenager the next year & he died the following. I had some good times watching horse races w/ my grandfather...I hope my grandkids' memories of watching horseracing w/ me, bring them as fond of memories, as I have w/ Colonel. I loved him very much & I think of him often. Even after all these years.



Here's the recipe for mint julep that I use....



Mint Julep


INGREDIENTS:
2 fluid ounces Whisky
1 tablespoon simple syrup (I use at least double that)
Mint sprigs
Crushed ice

Simple Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 bunch fresh mint sprigs


DIRECTIONS:
1.
Crush a few mint leaves in the bottom of an 8-oz. glass, then fill with crushed ice. Add one tablespoon of simple syrup and one tablespoon of water. Add 2 ounces of a good Kentucky whiskey. Stir gently until glass frosts. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig, sip and enjoy.
2.
Simple syrup directions: Combine sugar and water. Boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Pour mix over a handful of mint leaves, and gently crush the mint with a spoon. Refrigerate overnight in a closed jar. Remove mint leaves, but continue to refrigerate. Stays fresh for several weeks.



I also like to sprinkle mine w/ a bit of powdered sugar....it looks good & adds more sweetness.



I'm looking forward to the race today....may the best horse win!



Update: I not only teared up after the Derby yesterday...I was bawling! Poor 8 Belles! Being the feminist that I am...I was, of course, rooting for her. I remember how excited I was when Winning Colors won the Derby, 20 years ago & was hoping for a repeater. Belle made her gender proud...she came in second but collapsed after the race, broke both her front ankles & had to be put down. It sooo reminded me of seeing Ruffian go down (I saw the match race w/ Foolish Pleasure in 1975) & I can't tell you the impact it had on me. I'm still haunted by it. When Barbaro broke his leg in teh Preakness 2 years ago, I had DVRed but not yet watched the race. When I heard the news of Barbaro's break-down, I just deleted it w/out watching it....to spare myslef the sorrow. I almost wish I hadn't seen yesterday's race either. :o(

3 comments:

HoneyB said...

Vinty I love reading your blog and the photos are great to see! I have never had a mint julip but I believe I should try one!

MARIA said...

:)

GrannyLooHoo said...

Vinty, I was crying too when I heard about 8 Belles. This could be a newspaper column--it's a wonderful post!