In 2014, I touched down in Louisville on a rainy moring, counting the private jets as we taxied to the gate. When the gate agent opened the door, she wasn’t dressed in standard company uniform. She was elegant dressed in bright spring colors, pearls and one maginificent hat! It was Derby Day and the entire staff of the Lousiville Regional Airport were decked out in their Derby Best! I remember walking through the airport and seeing jockey silks hung by each gate, and a beautiful, massive horseshoe made of red roses! Visiting Louisville swept me into the Derby Mania fold. After being sick this week, I could just scrape this Friday Five together as I watched the running of The Kentucky Oaks this evening.
Private Jet Parking Lot!
Q1: Have you ever been to Louisville for the Derby?
The one opportunity I had to actually experience the Kentucky Derby in Louisville was on a layover. We had this terrible hectic three-day trip, but the reason each person on my crew kept the trip was because as of the morning of the trip, we were scheduled to layover at the one of the most historic hotels in downtown Louisville. While we were in the air, our crew received a scheduling change– we were still going to Louisville, but staying out by the airport for our 20 hour layover. I took my lemons and whipped up some pretty sweet southern lemonade. Louisville is one of those cities on my must see list.
I had so much fun in the Winner’s Circle with the DerbyMe app!
Q2: Have you ever been to a Derby Party?
When I was in undergrad, I saw all these sorority girls and frat guys with event shirts titled “Derby Days,” but being a non-Greek, when I inquired what exactly “Derby Days” entailed, I was informed it was a party to which I was not invited1. Needless to day, it wasn’t until I had my first layover in Louisville, that I started reading up on the history of the Derby and how horse racing works. Bottom line is no, but I am already whipping up ideas to throw my own next spring!
Yes, I watched my first Derby on a nook demo screen at a B&N.
Q3: What’s the nerdiest horse name you’ve seen on the lists?
Admittedly, I squealed when I was perusing the lists of the fillies running the Kentucky Oaks and saw a young lady named Dothraki Queen! Yes, there is a Khaleesi-inspired filly running races, but for some reason, she didn’t actually run in the race tonight. It seems she was just edged out of a spot at the gates.
Elegant Unicorn seeks Southern Stallion who likes Bourbon.
Q4: What do you know about horseracing?
Honestly? Not much at all, but growing up, my uncle loved horseraacing. One of my fondest memories with him was using his four-color ink pen to go through the racing columns, trying to pick winners. As an adult, I rarely gamble, largely in part to being exceptionally stingy and unwilling to drop money when I don’t understand all the rules.
So about the math in high school that I didn’t learn…
Q5: What is your preferred bourbon for Mint Juleps?
After watching Orb clinch the 139th Derby in a Barnes & Noble in 2014, I moseyed back to the hotel bar. The Brick House Tavern intorduced me to the Kentucky Brewing’s Bourbon Barrel-aged Ales, but they didn’t have any signature silver cups of Derby Drink available. The bartender at the hotel smiled when I told him my woes of how we ended up spending a long layover at an airport hotel due to poor scheduling management. For my troubles, he pour me two of Mint Juleps using Early Times. My knowledge of bourbon is limited, despite reading a book about it. I want to perfect my own signature MJ by next when when I plan to throw my own Derby Party.
My very first mint julep was on Derby Day in Louisville!
This year’s Derby coverage starts at noon eastern time, and goes well into the evening. The official running for the roses will start at 6:43PM as “the most exciting two minutes in sports” begins! I may not be in Kentucky, but I will be celebrating from home! Who is going to check it out?
Answer Me, These Questions Three
- Have you ever been to a Derby Party?
- Should I wear a fascinator or a giant hat for my Derby Party?
- What are you Derby Party MUST haves?
- I have friends who were in the Greek system in university, and I am well aware that not all of them are meanies. I am not bitter, simply recalling the incident when it happened.