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Mint Juleps, Fancy Hats, and . . . Mud! May 2, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies.

HorseracingWe’d been invited to a Kentucky Derby party and promised Mint Juleps ~ a drink I learned to love at the King’s Arm Tavern in 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.

The Mint Juleps won out and I headed 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 conditions on the track ~ the sea of mud looked like a disaster waiting to happen.

220px-Horse_and_ManFrom Seabiscuit, I recalled that wet tracks can be lethal to animals racing around them full tilt.

Until post time, I kept hoping the race would be scrubbed or postponed. My hopes were not to be realized.

Waiting for the race, I tossed back a few Juleps, garnished with mint sprigs, and relaxed.  Such is the calming effect of Kentucky Bourbon.

The alcohol worked its magic until the horses began sloshing through the mud on the way to the starting gate when my heart lodged in my throat, blocking 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 immobile, eyes glued to the track, holding my breath while chanting, “please don’t slip, please don’t fall,” to each of the horses racing around the slippery track through dangerous ankle-deep mud.

I’m glad the Kentucky Derby is a shorter race than, say, the Indianapolis 500.   And delighted to report that all horses survived the messy ordeal.

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. Tracy - May 2, 2010

Nice post Nancy. I never really gave much thought to the KY Derby either than to enjoy a party if I went to one. Now that I’ve opened my eyes, it’s a different story. I think humans are better than this kind of barbarism. We can choose another way.

2. nrhatch - May 2, 2010

Same here.

When I read Seabiscuit, I got the impression that race horses LOVE to race. But maybe the author of the book wished to create that impression.

In any event, races should be scrubbed when the track is nothing more than a sea of mud like it was yesterday. Or maybe they could swap out the horses with some of the inebriated fans in the stands when track conditions are less than ideal. : )

3. Loreen Lee - May 2, 2010

The track on the road of life can be muddy too, but we can still benefit from the race, as you always say. Glad you enjoyed the day.

4. Joanne - May 2, 2010

“Or maybe they could swap out the horses with some of the inebriated fans…” That would be fine, even though jack asses don’t run as fast as horses 🙂

5. nrhatch - May 2, 2010

Ha! You made me laugh!

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