- CHARITY BENEFIT
LOUISVILLE – America’s most famous race was in full graceful speed this year at The 138th Kentucky Derby. A record-breaking crowd of nearly 165,000 gathered at Churchill Downs on the traditional first Saturday in May to see a chestnut colt named I’ll Have Another take home the gold.
But the road to The Run for the Roses is filled with much more excitement than just the two minutes the race takes place in. The Kentucky Derby is a day from start to the finish line full of non-stop thrills that for most begins months before the actual race.
From hat making to seersucker suit selection there is a great amount of prep work involved. But it is worth every moment spent doing it. “We take a lot of time to get ready for Derby in my family because it is tradition,” stated Brian Rutger of Beckley, West Virginia. “This is my grandmother’s sixtieth race and it just gets better and better for her every single year.”
Whether you are spending the day in the infield partying up in the mud or sipping mint juleps in Millionaire’s Row, you will find something to cherish during this trip of a lifetime. “It is hard to describe the way we are feeling today,” blissfully stated Olivia Gay who was at her first Derby with her twin sister Melissa. “It is simply amazing and I am sure it will not be the last race we attend.”
And many others were left speechless with joy including couple Ryan McCauley and Veronica McColmick of Louisville, who became engaged at the start of the third race down near the wagering windows. “I am still shaking,” said McCauley right after placing the ring on his girlfriend’s finger. “I won big today!”
Everyone walks away a winner from Derby. Churchill Downs embraces individuals from all communities on this special day. When talking to staff you come to realize that some are volunteers who are donating their pay to various charities such as Boy Scout troops or local shelters. No other race in America today handles international crowds, celebrities and locals with such legendary grace.
“There is so much more going on here than just a horse race,” gleefully stated Steven Williams of Chicago who saved for three months for grandstand seats. “People work hard to be here because they want to create memories to last forever.”
To cross the finish line first is a jockey’s dream. And to be at The Kentucky Derby is a glorious desire for so many across the world because it is a fascinating story that is only told once a year. At the end of the 138th race all were left saying I’ll Have Another….and another….and another.
ElizaBeth Taylor is a journalist for the new social commentary website www.sensiblesocialite.com