Today is the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby. Lots of tradition, fancy hats and beautiful horses.



Growing up with a horse made my sister and I naturally interested in horse racing. Lucy and I loved watching movies about horses, reading books about horses and sometimes we even pretended we were racehorses. We both wanted to be Velvet Brown in National Velvet. (starring Elizabeth Taylor) We loved the movie so much we learned every word of dialogue.

We learned to canter, trot, sprint (the only kind of dancing I ever did) and mimic the reining in of a well trained horse.


We learned to make mint juleps, we wore fancy hats, we had our own footraces and then we would venture in the back pasture to ride Scout. Scout was a pinto, not a thoroughbred but he had the heart of a race horse. When I took him out alone he had fleet feet. He would run like the wind for me. He was always a little more careful with Lucy riding on back. I wasn’t exactly what you would call a “Horse Whisperer,” but Scout and I had a real kinship. I never had to raise a spur or switch to get him to respond. Just a little pressure with my legs and he knew I was ready to rumble. What a horse!


Every year we rode Scout in the rodeo parade. Our grandmother always made us riding outfits for the rodeo. Our grandfather bought us new boots every year. In the photo above, Lucy and I are wearing our rodeo outfits while singing with our cousins, Jeanne, Vicky and Gaye. I believe we were singing, “Going to the Chapel.”

One year our outfits looked just like Velvet’s when she rode Pie in the Grand National Steeplechase. We wore hot pink cowboy hats.

Andrew Beyer of the Washington Post has a take on the race. I’m not a better. The race is about horses and running for me so I wouldn’t venture a guess on the winning horse.

Here are some interesting race links.

Shaking off Long Odds at the Derby

Roses are just a soft part of the Day

‘The Walk’ Longer than the Run for the Roses

Groundswell builds for ‘America’s horse’

This one will bring tears to your eyes.


UPDATE: The results of the always exciting Kentucky Derby this past Saturday were delightful. I watched as Mine That Bird came from behind and won the race! It was heartwarming to watch Calvin Borel’s “rose to the heavens” tribute to his late parents after he rode the great horse to victory.