Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Destination Kentucky Derby 2017

The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports



The Twin Spires were added to the new grandstand in 1895. The job went to D. X. Murphy and Brother Inc, a Louisville firm, the design was created by architect Joseph Baldez when he was 24 years old. Here is the first view of the spires from the parking lot.

National Historic Landmark in 1986

On Race Day, the people will enter through the gates below. 

Click here for Ticket Pricing

Tickets purchased in advance are offered at discount prices so
the earlier you get your tickets the better the price.

If you are not there for a race, the museum is awesome and a memorable experience. I was two months too early to see the Derby but I loved the horsing around experience, from the starting gate, appropriately placed at the beginning of the tour and museum experience. There are several optional tours. I took the Historic Walking Tour, it offered plenty to see and learn about Churchill Downs.

One of the first things you will come across is the lineup of winners commemorated in order, in a neatly designed border in green and white, above the pillars and just below the balcony. Aristides appears to the left in the prime spot as the first winner of the Kentucky Derby in 1875.

Inside the museum you learn about Oliver Lewis (1856 - 1924 ), the jockey who rode Aristides to victory.

Of note below, in green and gold and you can notice the crown, this designates the 12 winners to date of the Triple Crown. War Admiral, of course is a favorite name in Delaware County that also honors the winner with the street named in his honor, War Admiral Lane in Aston, PA also honoring owner Samuel Riddle, a Delaware County native. War Admiral's father Man O War never raced at Churchill Downs but if he had and I am not a gambling gal, I bet he would have won. Just my luck, there is a special Man O War Exhibit at the Museum.  It started April 8 and I am not sure how long it will last but there are special tours you can take to experience the legacy of this horse May 31st and August 23rd including a trip to Mt. Brilliant Farm.

A very cool part of the tour for me was seeing the Paddock area because I recognized the walking ring and the runway from watching the event on television. Watching the Kentucky Derby has been a tradition in my household from way back, so far that I can not remember when we did not watch it. It is a fond remembrance of my 96 year old Uncle Lou.  He knows how to pick the ponies.

You do not get to see the Paddock area and walking circle so clearly on Derby Day because it is packed with people, so this is a special experience and it only gets better.

The Paddock is located just behind the grandstand that is topped by the famous Twin Spires. Just beyond the white fence to the right is the runway and the area where the contenders walk out to greet the crowd.

This Mare's adrenaline was rising as we walked through the same tunnel where the next winner of the Kentucky Derby will trot through and possibly the next Triple Crown Winner as well. This is exciting!! The pavers are a soft almost spongy rubber material, Pavesafe, designed specifically for the safety of the horses

Let's get ready for the race, a warm up on YouTube, twinspires from 2016 "My Old Kentucky Home" it is a tradition to play this song before the race. The song was written by Stephen Foster in 1850 and made popular on both sides during the civil war.

 The track was empty but you could easily picture the horses rounding the curve, here they come 🏇🏇🏇🏇🏇🏇🏇🏇🏇🏇🏇🏇🏇🏇🏇🏇🏇🏇🏇🏇

and there they finish. Let's Run for the Roses. 🌹

and this my friends will be a photo finish.

Here you get a glimpse at Winners Circle with Millionaires Row above and in the foreground. Look for the gold railing.

There is so much more to see and experience, I can't possibly leave Derby week here.  Tune in tomorrow for more of the race and racetrack background and events.


1 comment:

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