Friday, May 6, 2011

The First Saturday in May

The First Saturday in May is one of my favorite days of the entire year. Why? It's Kentucky Derby Day, and this year, it's tomorrow - May 7th!!

One of the oldest horse races in America, it began at Churchill Downs in 1875. Run over a distance of 1 1/4 miles, entrants are selected on graded stakes earnings to date, in a race showcasing the best 3-year-old Thoroughbreds.

With a field of twenty horses that leave the gate like a cavalry charge, it's often hard to pick a winner. This year is no different, with many of the favorites dropping out early, including the two-year-old champion Uncle Mo, scratched as of today. So this year's field will be only nineteen horses.

If you want to find a horse to root for, you might try a couple of the current favorites including Dialed In or Nehro. And there's a lot of longshots to holler home also, including Twice the Appeal, currently at 20-1, ridden by Calvin Borel, jockey of 3 of the last 4 winners.

If you care about women riders or trainers, you've got a lot to choose from this year. Rosie Napravnik, only 23 years old, is riding a horse called Pants on Fire (gotta love that name) and if they win, she'll be the first woman jockey to ever win the Kentucky Derby. How cool is that?

And two trainers hope to capture the title of first woman to train a Kentucky Derby winner. They are: Kathleen O'Donnell, saddling 50-1 longshot Watch Me Go, and Kathy Ritvo, who trains Mucho Macho Man.

Whatever happens, you'll definitely know you are watching the most exciting two minutes in sports!

Be sure and tune in tomorrow to watch the 137th Run for the Roses. It will be broadcast on NBC between 1:00 and 4:00 PM Pacific Time. Don't forget to adjust times for your area.

Do you watch the Kentucky Derby?

Have a favorite this year? (Okay, okay, for me - it's Nehro or Pants on Fire - Go Rosie!)

Ever actually been to the Derby? Yeah, I want to go someday, too. *grin* It's on my bucket list.


Linda Benson said...

I just watched Rosie ride in the Kentucky Oaks, where she manuevered a filly named St. John's River from an impossible far outside position way in the back, up the rail to almost nip the winner. She's a gutsy rider, and now I'm a fan. Go Rosie! Go Pants on Fire!

Linda Benson said...

So when all is said and done, a plain chestnut colt named Animal Kingdom, a 20-1 shot, roared up the stretch to win the Kentucky Derby. I know next to nothing about this horse, but I'm sure we'll all know plenty more soon, as everyone will wonder if he's our next Triple Crown contender. Watch for him in the Preakness, May 21st!