Mint Juleps, Fancy Hats, and . . . Mud! May 2, 2010Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies.
Tags: Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby, King's Arm Tavern, Mint Juleps
We’d been invited to a Kentucky Derby party and promised Mint Juleps ~ a drink I learned to love during visits to the King’s Arm Tavern in Historic Williamsburg, Virginia.
After accepting the invitation, I ran across an article about the dangers inherent in thoroughbred racing, The Dark Side of the Kentucky Derby, which made me question whether I wanted to watch the race at all.
At the last minute, the Mint Juleps won out and I headed over to the party, sporting my Kentucky Derby “derby” ~ a broad-rimmed straw hat banded with palm trees.
On arrival, I glanced at the TV and gasped in horror at the soggy condition of the track ~ the sea of mud looked like a disaster waiting to happen.
From reading (and watching) Seabiscuit, I recalled that wet tracks are especially lethal to animals racing around them full tilt.
Until post time, I kept hoping that the race would be scrubbed, or postponed ~ knowing full well that my hopes were unlikely to be realized.
While waiting for the race, I tossed back a few Juleps, garnished with sprigs of mint, and relaxed ~ such is the calming effect of Kentucky Bourbon.
The alcohol worked its magic only until the horses began sloshing through the mud on the way to the starting gate ~ at which point, my heart lodged in my throat, effectively blocking the passage of further Mint Juleps.
And then the race started.
As the horses raced around the challenging course, splattering the jockeys with mud, I sat completely still, without breathing, eyes glued to the track.
Fortunately, the Kentucky Derby is a shorter race than, say, the Indianapolis 500 and all the horses survived the muddy ordeal.
Aah . . . that’s better!