Yesterday was a great day in sports (depending on your point of view of course).
The Rangers won the first game of the semi-finals (east) 2:1. Dad was out reffing so Pi picked up the coaching from the couch duties.
The Puppy napped.
Pi got ready for Prom (yes, prom is a sporting event). She looked fabulous, complete with a gold converse sneaker on one foot and a pink tie-died sock and aircast on the other.
The Puppy barked and had to be bribed to get out of the pictures.
There was golf. Records were broken. (Clean up on aisle 3.)
And American Pharaoh swam through the mud to victory at the Preakness, which means there is the possibility for a triple crown in three weeks at the Belmont Stakes.
The Puppy chewed on his foot to address an itch and then suggested he share dinner with Dad.
But here’s the best part of the day.
Charlotte Brown finished third at the Texas State Championships. You may remember (if not, I’ll remind you) that Charlotte Brown is an amazing teenager who just happens to be a blind pole vaulter. Vador, her guide dog, joined her on the medal stand. Massive cheers!
The Puppy was suitably impressed. Then asked to be scratched.
And if you thought Kentucky Derby Day means watching 2 minutes of horse racing, you’d be right—but only partially so.
If you’re a horse, you can’t just wake up one morning and decide you want to be a contender. You have to qualify by earning points in a series of 35 races. The top 20 point earners get to compete in The Derby and run for the roses (roses first appeared at the Kentucky Derby in 1896).
If you’re planning a Kentucky Derby Party (it’s a little late at this point, but it’s good advice for next year), be sure your venue has more than the traditional party allotment of square footage per person. This is because hats are a big thing on Derby Day. And by “big thing” I mean important to the event as well as brim size. Because Kentucky Derby Hats are BIG. Some are even bigger than the jockeys. All the jockeys put together. Side Note: Horses are not required to wear big hats.
For those heading down to Louisville for the races, there is a highly civilized schedule (and by “highly civilized” I mean mint juleps are available from 8am to 7pm).
This is how the official Kentucky Derby site says to make mint juleps. (Check your license for age appropriateness, please.)
Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Old Forester Kentucky Bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Sprigs of fresh mint
Old Forester Kentucky Bourbon
Silver Julep Cups
Since the recipe takes 24+ hours, you’re out of luck if you didn’t start yesterday.
You can go out to the infield to see what’s happening inside the track (anytime today), you can watch the Military Armed Forces swearing in ceremony (2:15), or you could go crazy and watch one of the 13 horse races that will be running.
Events run all day, but things get serious around 5pm when Josh Groban sings the National Anthem. Following this seriousness, the Derby is trying to set a Guiness World Record by having “The World’s Largest Champagne Toast”. Not sure how that relates, but what the heck.
Then the horses parade out (it’s now probably about 5:55) to lots of commentary and last minute betting. At 6:15 comes the Rider’s Up call.
At 6:20pm, everyone becomes instantly sober for the most important moment of the day—the singing of “My Old Kentucky Home.” Did you notice how much closer to race time this song is compared to the Anthem? There is room for much commentary here, but I’m skipping all that today.