While at college in 1980, my roommate Julie and I were invited to go to the Derby by a native "Louisvillian." It was great fun! I normally hate being at large crowded events, but we camped out on the infield where the "average" folks go and were able to run up to the rail whenever there was a race. The Derby is just one of many. "The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports" (Mark says he's heard "Fastest Two Minutes In Sports") derby race occurs precisely at 6:04 p.m. (5/5 update--Sure wasn't precisely this time!) It is the longest running sporting event in the US, as this is the 139th running. (Second is the Westminster Dog Show!) The winning horse is given a rose blanket, thus it's the "Run for the Roses."
Though I am pretty sure I only broke even at the end of the day, I do remember winning my first horse racing bet (haven't won since.) I bet $2 on Genuine Risk who was a) a filly, b) me betting was a genuine risk, and c) she was wearing green and white like me that day. Very scientific, don't you think? I won around $22!
I don't particularly like them, but one has to get a watered down Mint Julep if only for the collectible glass. They aren't expensive and make a nice keepsake. Some of them are highly sought after. Someone put mine in the dishwasher and the writing disappeared, so I decided to get a replacement on Ebay. That was the first of several glass purchases though I could never afford a full set of 48 (approx. $16k) Most people can't either, so they buy ones from meaningful years in their lives and or important races. I bought the one from the year Secretariat won and one from my birth year, etc. Beware, there are lots of fakes out there! Check out online reference guides to be sure. One I've seen is "Equillector." (http://www.abouthorseraces.com/equillector/)
Here is the 2013 official glass. (Frankly, I don't find it as appealing as several previous years...) It does list the past winners, which is a tradition.
Makes one serving---
4-5 mint sprigs
2 sugar cubes or 1/2 oz simple syrup
2 1/2 of bourbon
mint sprig for garnish
1. Place the mint and simple syrup or cubes in a julep cup, Collins glass or double-old fashioned glass.
2. Muddle well to dissolve sugar and to release the oil and aroma of the mint.
3. Add the bourbon.
4. Fill with crushed ice and stir well until the glass becomes frosty.
5. Garnish with mint sprig.
Another Derby tradition is "Derby Pie." It comes under other names because that one is licensed by Kern's Kitchen, Inc. It's available for purchase online. Traditionally, it is made with walnuts, but some folks basically make a chocolate pecan pie. It is so decadent, it should be illegal. Really rich, so a small slice will satisfy even me.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1 ready-made pie crust