Sunday, May 06, 2007

My Derby/Louisville Experience or How I Learned to Love Bourbon and Coke

Wow! What a wild weekend for this blogger.

I spent about 90% of my time here in Louisville here which was “eventful” to say the least.

From the minute I put my suitcase down in my hotel room, I was slammed with work.

All went fairly well, but I was hoping to at least hook up with fellow blogger MT who as most of you know spent the entire week as a credentialed media member. MT provided great insights and coverage of Derby week, so congratulations to him and apologies for not getting a chance to hook up (Somehow I managed to lose his phone number and by the time I got a free minute to unwind it was late on Sat. night and I realized I didn’t have the number!)

As far as the race goes, I made it to Churchill at about 5:40 pm. Many thanks to CDI teammate Mike Murphy who got me as close to "The Downs" as legally allowable. I ran and walked hurriedly getting myself to Gate 1 a sweaty, anxious mess.

I managed to get myself in without my credential and was able to enjoy the race in person…

WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!! I can’t stress enough what an amazing atmosphere the Derby is. I recommend EVERYONE and ANYONE who as any interest in having fun go to the Derby. Though it may cost you a bit of money in tix, hotel, etc., you must grab 3 or 4 or 5 of your closest friends and/or family and make the trip. I promise you will not be disappointed.

I spent less than 4 hours at Churchill Downs all weekend, but enjoyed and appreciated every last second of it.

Closest “celebrity” I got next to: Former NY Knick sharp shooter Alan Houston

“Biggest” “celebrity” I spotted: Nick Lachey and Vanessa Mannillo being escorted to their SUV after the race.

Finally…..I didn’t have Street Sense. Couldn’t take him at 9-2. I definitely thought he was the one to beat, but how can you really take 9-2 in a field of 20 three year olds?

Street Sense’s victory and Curlin’s third place finish sets up another interesting run for the Triple Crown. If my selection couldn’t come through for me yesterday, I’m glad it was a quality horse with the potential for making the next 5 weeks an amazing, fan inducing experience. I’ll be at the Belmont (as a fan), it would be cool if the 7 others I will be “hosting” that day got to be a part of “Triple Crown Fever”!


Ron said...

Great Blog, how long does it take before you get press credentials. I went to the Derby in '96, been trying to get back since.

racetrack lenny said...

You brought back some good memories. I've been to the Derby 6 times--each time in the infield. When I first went, I was 20 years old and fit right in with the drunken crowd. Now at 54--I wish I was in the clubhouse!

I'll never forget my first (and last) mint julep. Is that the most God-awful drink or what? At least I got a souveneir glass--and a lot of ice!

Enjoy the Belmont and good luck!