The track was sloppy, so we can only imagine how messy things got as people partied in the infield. The Kentucky Derby is an event that everyone should experience at least once.
Orb emerged victorious coming from behind with a hard charge down the stretch. Now we can all root for the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, as Orb seems to have what it takes to at least compete. This win wasn’t a fluke.
Orb Jockey Joel Rosario discusses the race in the video above. We’re hoping they can keep this up for the Preakness.
We love celebrating the Kentucky Derby, and one critical component has to be enjoying a Mint Julep which is the drink you’ll see everywhere during Derby weekend.
Here’s a great recipe:
1.5 oz. Bulleit Rye
2 oz. Stirrings Simple Syrup
Fresh mint leaves
Preparation: Muddle mint leaves, Stirrings Simple Syrup and crushed ice in rocks glass. Add Bulleit Rye and fill glass with ice. Pour into cocktail shaker, shake vigorously and serve in rocks glass with fresh mint garnish.
Of course, a big part of Derby weekend is betting on the race, and the folks at Bulleit teamed up with professional handicapper Tony Gold to give us six tips on picking a Derby winner:
1. Peaking performance: The most important rule of all is to find the horse that will peak in the Derby meaning, look for horses who improved with each race with either a strong first, second or third finish after a long layoff, with more room to improve. You can eliminate half the field simply by doing this.
2. Age factor: If the horse is two years old and hasn’t raced, the chances of it winning are slim. These are not fully mature horses and getting to a mile and a quarter requires much conditioning.
3. Time comparison: Log resulting times from each horse’s last prep race with the rest of the board.
4. Prep race outcomes: Look at what prep races historically produce the most winners.
5. Jockey experience: Consider the jockey’s skill set from previous races. The derby is a large field and a good experienced jockey can position a horse well early and avoid trouble, which can make or a break a horse’s chances.
6. Tactical speed: A Derby winner will jump early and can be found somewhere from mid-field to the second or third place by halfway around the course.
Of course, your girlfriend might do better just picking based on a cool name, but that’s what makes this race so much fun. Enjoy!
I remember about five years ago, one of the horses in the Kentucky Derby caught my attention because of its name. The horse was a 50-1 underdog, so I thought it would be fun to place a bet. Of course I never got around to it, and then I was pretty bummed to see the horse pull out a stunning upset.
A couple of year’s later, I got to attend the race and another long shot pulled off the upset, but this time I of course bet but picked the wrong horse.
Despite these losses, I still look forward to the Kentucky Derby every year. The urge to bet on Kentucky Derby winners is always there, but there’s so much more to the whole experience. I always loved watching it on TV, and I still love watching highlights of iconic horses like Secretariat and Seattle Slew winning the Derby. I remember as a kid when Affirmed beat Alydar, and I’ve been waiting for years for another Triple Crown winner. I was at the Belmont Stakes in 1989 when Sunday Silence was denied the Triple Crown by Easy Goer. Of course, I let my emotions get the better of me as I bet on history happening. Given the very long drought, it’s become an annual tradition as each Kentucky Derby winner is evaluated for the potential of winning the Triple Crown.
But after attending the event, I appreciate the Kentucky Derby mystique even more. You can see above how celebrities love the Derby as well, as lovely ladies like Marisa Miller pick out a sexy hat for the occasion as you can see in the video above. It’s amazing how many beautiful women come out in force over Derby weekend, so there are plenty of ways to enjoy this weekend. You’ll have to try a Mint Julep of course, but frankly I thought the drink was a bit overrated.
If you’re thinking of attending, make sure to book well in advance as this is an annual holiday in Kentucky. The place will be packed, but it’s a very appropriate addition to anyone’s Bucket List.
We conclude our May 4, 2012 doubleheader with one of the most legendary of all cocktails and the ultimate Derby Day tradition. It’s also a drink, I’m ashamed to admit, I’ve only tried for myself in the last couple of weeks.
According to such experts as New Orleans bartender Chris MacMillian, the Mint Julep was to the 19th century what the Martini was to the 20th. As MacMillians also reminds us, this super classic drink’s roots actually go back far further — juleps were eulogized in 1634 by “Paradise Lost” poet John Milton in his “Comus,” which some of us old English majors have actually read, even if we don’t remember a word of it. Today, the bourbon, sugar and mint concoction is primarily associated with Southern belles and gents in old movies seeking a cool libation on a powerful hot day, not to mention the ultra-famed horse race which will once again be run tomorrow afternoon.
As I heard from numerous sources, however, the actual juleps served in recent years at the home of the Kentucky Derby have been anything but satisfying. If word on the cocktail street is correct, Churchill Downs has fallen prey to the #1 enemy of good cocktails — a pre-mix! Tragic, perhaps but also almost understandable given the enormous crowds who arrive each year for Derby Day. In any case, if you want a really good Mint Julep, you’ll have to go a high quality bar with a decent mixologist in residence or, of course, you may make one yourself.
The Mint Julep
2.5-3 ounces bourbon whiskey
1/2 ounce simple syrup or 1 tablespoon sugar and a splash of water
About 5-8 fresh mint leaves
Lots of ice — preferably crushed.
Combine mint leaves, simple syrup or sugar (preferably superfine or powdered) and water in a rocks/old fashioned glass or, if you have one (I don’t) a traditional metal julep glass. Gently muddle the mixture, being careful not to overdo it as, we are warned, over-muddling mint can release some displeasing bitterness. Fill up your glass with ice, add the bourbon of your choice, and stir. Toast your favorite racehorse and sip slowly.
There’s no doubt about it, I’m a piker when it comes to the Mint Julep. I’ve made a few decent versions of it but I don’t own the special sack — called a Lewis bag — or the mallet needed for making the crushed ice fine enough to make the julep a sort of highly alcoholic snow cone and I also don’t own a blender. Even so, this drink works fine with lots of ordinary ice, particularly if you’re a bourbon lover, as I am. I made some very good versions of it using the remainder of my Angel’s Envy — I still had some left over from my exploration of the Chicago Sour — but I had good luck as well using some very inexpensive yet sweeter and highly drinkable Evan Williams brew. I’m sure Maker’s Mark or really any brand of bourbon you like a lot would work delightfully.
The only problems I encountered were when I tried to dial back the sweetness. None other than James Bond in “Goldfinger” ordered his drink tart. When I tried it that way, the flavors simply didn’t come together. Just because you own a license to kill and save the world once a year doesn’t mean you know everything.
Of course, I don’t know everything either. Something tells me the drink, as prepared a bit differently from me by Chris MacMillian himself below, was really something.
A race fan sips champagne in the paddock at Churchill Downs ahead of the 136th Kentucky Derby horse race in Louisville, Kentucky, May 1, 2010. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT HORSE RACING)
As we pointed out last year when we highlighted Kim Kardashian in her sexy hat, you’ll definitely enjoy the sights over Derby Weekend in Louisville. Women plan their outfits all year, and they’ll have several hats picked out to go along with a hot dress and heels. We love Southern women (actually, all women . . . ) and we were pleasantly surprised several years ago to see so many beautiful women all decked out for the Kentucky Derby. It was true on race day, and also the night before as everyone started partying long before Saturday afternoon. The photo above is one of our favorites as this hottie shows off the goods in a low-cut dress, and we have some more good ones after the jump. If you’re heading to Kentucky for the race, take your camera and send us more pics!