Yeah, yeah, I know it's Cinco de Mayo (a fine day which I actually celebrated on my birthday since I love Mexican food and Margarita's ;-) ) but today is Kentucky Derby Day! For a Kentucky girl, that's says everything you need to know. Ever since I was a little kid, this day was cause for the entire family to gather and watch the Race and it's a tradition I've kept going in my own family.
Today I'm planning on some fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans for dinner and I'm going to be plugged in front of my TV so I can watch the pre-race festivities. I might even grab a fancy big hat out of my closet (okay, it's not fancy or really big but it is a hat, lol). Then I'll pick the horse I think is most likely to win.
I do this with the very best of scientific principles. I first admire the horses (3 year old colts for the most part) and that's the easy part. Then I pick the one's with names that just shout winner. I usually pick 3-5 horses to stretch my odds. Let me assure you that this amazing method earns me jeers from my family. But, hey, I have a 20% chance of actually picking a horse that maybe, might, actually Win, Place, or Show.
But the race itself is so fast! The longest part is the song "My Old Kentucky Home" by Stephen Foster. I always get tears in my eyes (another source of familial jeering) then the announcer shouts "They're Off!" And I immediately look to the rear of the mad dash of beautiful horses to see if I can identify the ones I picked.
Sadly, I do find a few of them there. Every time.
It's been suggested that I simply admire the race and celebrate my Kentucky heritage without picking a horse to win since it seems like they all come in last. My response is that they're getting a head start on next year's race. No one believes that.
No matter. I love the food, the hats, the pageantry and most of all, I love the horses whether they run first, last or someplace in between.
One day, I'd love to actually see the race in person. That would be a dream come true!
So enjoy the day and, if you're celebrating Cinco do Mayo, then pause at least a little to enjoy the Kentucky Derby!
"Annddd, they're off!"