This week brings back some fine memories from my first live Derby experience in 2006, shared with four 43YO (like the horse reference) friends. I went equipped with a notebook to try and chronicle most of the memories and jot down quotes here and there during our three day weekend retreat. Some memories to cherish starting on Thursday night Oaks-eve:
- Running into the Juice at the Red Star Tavern with his horsemen friend Chris Hill, while enjoying some nice New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
- Enjoying a cigar with the boys in the Maker's Mark Tavern, home of the famous bourbon.
- Taking in the sights at Sully's Bar and the elevated dancing that was taking place.
- Getting the first of many "where are you #1" text messages.
On to Churchill Downs and Oaks Day and enjoying the following:
- Seeing the Twin Spires for the first time.
- Sipping on that first mint-julep, mmm.
- Wandering the Downs soaking up the tradition and the old-time feel to the clubhouse.
- The amazing amount of headgear being sported by various ladies added to the traditional décor of the day.
- Hitting a trifecta and exacta in back to back races.
- Celebrity sightings: Peyton, Eli and Archie Manning, Coach Mike Jarvis, and CuJo (how did our boy ever recognize him without the goalie mask?)
- Nios in the High Lands for cocktails.
Derby day memories included the following:
- Breakfast with the Form.
- Lunch in private VIP area with loaded buffet and cocktails
- Taking pictures from our box seats at the eighth pole
- U of L band playing "My Old Kentucky Home" (not a dry eye in the joint)
- Cigars and Juleps at post time
- Barbaro's spectacular stretch run and Prado capturing his first Derby
- Cashing one show ticket on Steppenwolfer then rebounding in the 11th and 12th races on Gomez horses
"Son, if you're here, you're a winner" from the cashier after my Oaks/Derby double ticket blew up thanks to 47-1 shot Lemons Forever!
"You're not broke and you got your shirt!" after another losing enterprise.
"You're dead for a long time"
"You have two neurons left and they are both connectred by spirochetes" Huh?
"Go big or go home"
"If you can't get it done today, you can't get it done"
"A good lawyer knows when to shut up" (still waiting)
"Patrick, is that your jacket on the ground? The one you are supposed to wear in a wedding in three months?"
The weekend came to an end, friendships were forged forever and my first Run for the Roses will always be a special part of the memories one holds.
10 - Bsharpsonata
8 - Proud Spell
11 - Pure Clan
3 - Awesome Chic
3,8,10,11 w/ Z Fortune, Pyro, Colonel, BBJ and Big Brown