Just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and more than happy to share. I can't even begin to describe how unusual the experience was today and can't imagine what it will be like tomorrow and Saturday! Saturday will be my 25th consecutive Derby doing this and it will certainly be one unlike any other.
Happy to share the most surreal KY Derby with everyone here. It was certainly an uneventful 3 days at CD until the Derby paddock. The issue with Thousand Words was scary to say the least and had that happened in the normal Derby paddock crowd, it would have been disastrous. I was standing with CD medical director Dr Bayard Rice when it happened just a few feet away and when Jimmy got up, there was no question what had happened.
I thought it was a fairly mundane Derby run. Credit to Baffert for building the stamina of Authentic as he had the look of a horse who had peaked too early and wouldn’t get the distance to me. Tiz had an absolutely perfect trip but just wasn’t good enough. Honor AP looked like he simply galloped around the track and at no point showed any turn of foot to me. I’ve read the Trackus info and adjusted time for ground loss showing his run time at nearly 1:59 flat equating into the fastest Derby ever. To my eyes it looked anything but.
The scene in the Winner’s Circle was something to say the least. Baffert said the horse wouldn’t like the me garland when they went to put it on him and he was right! Yep Bev, that is me and was my vantage point to the whole thing. The garland was much different than it had been in the previous 23 years I’ve had the privilege to carry it to the museum for sure. I can guarantee there will be no more ribbons like that on it ever again.
And yes, after it all it is still quite a thrill to be able to carry the roses to the museum. No mass of humanity to work our way through this year so we took our time and enjoyed the moment. I’ve carried them for the last 24 years after the race (Silver Charm was the first) and it just doesn’t get old.
Spanky, no that is one of my guys who is a police officer. He lost a bet with his son and hasn’t shaved or had a hair cut since November of last year. He can’t get one until after high school football season is over!
...informed this morning by Churchill Downs that my services, nor those of any member of my team, will be needed at Churchill this week. It was a good 25 year run and I was able to see some amazing horses, likely carry the Garland of Roses more than any one person ever had before, but will be watching from home this year. Sorry, no pictures this year Dell! Best of luck all.
ON BEHALF OF ALL OF US HERE AT UPINCLASS... Thank you for the wonderful photos over these many years, my friend!
Last Edit: Apr 27, 2021 10:51:06 GMT -5 by UpInClass
It's Derby week and anything can happen and apparently has. After an inquiry, the order of finish has been reversed and I'll be on site Oaks/Derby after all. I likely will not be in the paddock so when I figure out exactly what's going on, I'll be sure to share whatever I can. 26 years and still going!