The most exiting two minutes in sports. The run for the roses. The first jewel of the Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby is known by many names. I call it “The one sporting event I make a point to watch every year, because it’s the only one I care about.”
I first started watching the Derby in 2008. I don’t know what I was doing the other years, I’m not even sure why I started watching it. All I really remember is that the television was on NBC that afternoon, and I was in the dining room watching it, and there were celebrities on the screen talking about their picks for this horse race they paid a small fortune to come and watch. One of the celebrity, I think it was Jerry O’Connell, said that they was rooting for Eight Bells because having a filly in the Derby was (and still is) such a rare thing. That is what caught my attention. One girl against 19 boys? Count me in! You go, girl horse! So I watched the hours of footage and interviews and touching back-stories. I watched the race, where I favorite came in second place. I watched her fall down after the race was over, having broken both front ankles, and I heard the announcement that she had been euthanized. So… that was a memorable first experience.
I was a little anxious when I went to watch the next Derby, but I watched it anyway. I watched Calvin Borel win two Derbys in a row, and then lose the next one. I watched the rivalry between the scrappy underdog I’ll Have Another and grand favorite Bodemeister. I missed the 2013 Derby (I don’t remember why, maybe I was out of town, but that’s not a reason not to turn on the tv) but I went back on track last year, when “people’s horse”, California Chrome, took the race by 1 and 3/4 lenght. And I’m going to watch tomorrow.
Who do I pick to win? I don’t know! Every year I tell myself that I really should start following the racing world during the rest of the year, get more informed and make a more educated choice then “I like that horse’s name”, and every year May comes around and takes me by surprise. So I guess I’ll be looking out for the interviews, the expert opinion and the touching back-stories. So far, the names I like best are Frosted and Carpe Diem.