I made the trip to Louisville safely and awoke at 4:30am to prep my self for the track with my partners in media crime.
The track was very busy, dare I say swamped today. Everyone seemed to be in high hopes and in good terms. Trainers, horses, grounds personnel, and even the track shuttle driver told some dry jokes at 6:00am, too early to really laugh at the jokes. Yet I did chuckle at the shuttle driver and the guy next to me snickered a bit, we were piled in tight. The distance between the media parking lot and Churchill Downs is a long haul, especially with cameras/stands/mics/gear, so we took the shuttle. By long, I mean a mile or two at least.
All the horses were waking, being bathed and pampered for their
romp on the track as we strolled through the gates. Soapy horses are just fun to look at.
I was able to watch the works of the horses, Pyro
still looked great, Colonel Jon was amazing and Z Fortune looked
amazing as well. Country Star looked stunning, the diva she is. Big
Brown was not on the track but a glimpse of time, with his blow out
being incredibly fast.
At that, what an entourage Big Brown has aquired, he
could easily run his own Verizon advertising campaign, you know how in
the Verizon commercials they have a huge crowd of people follow the
customer everywhere? Yeah, it was like that. Tale of Ekati didn't do it
for me this morning, Z Humor looked average as well. Bob Black Jack
made an appearance and gave a little show parading around, but nothing
there to keep my interest. To be honest, all the Derby horses looked good, I mean they did make the Derby. It's just that a few stood out strong.
I did experience the first siren/light show for a runaway horse, I had never seen one run up the bleachers before and that was eventful, but the horse was safely returned.
The media was covering every nook and cranny of the backside area near
the track, but vanished after the last Derby horse exited the track. I heard I might see fits of craziness, but I found all the media guys to be understanding and kind. There is plenty to see, and I did not witness any
bickering or fists thrown amongst each other. The media personalities and several photographers helped to spot sweet camera shots/angles and it was great! One of my several tasks was being such a spotter and it is tough when horses of certain trainers won't wear their Derby saddle cloths.
I was, however, in great disbelief at the media center and the area where we were
suppose to be offered free dough nuts and coffee. Anybody and everybody
were running over there, my media credentials finally felt
unappreciated and feelings hurt. Free for all is the best term to describe that situation.
After shooting video for the News Minute, we went to film the hit web show And They're Off! We had trainers and all kinds of industry people come up complementing Steve and Lenny on the previous show posted Wednesday. We would be walking around then stopped and asked about the video, not just ATO, but the Alydar/Affirmed feature as well. The shoot today, for tomorrow's release, was a blast. If you like the first one, then the special Derby Preview edition will knock your socks off. There is even more action packed commentary and explosive dialog.
I saw a lot of America's Next Top Model judge Nigel meandering around the backside, and then heard about him from several of our staff writers. Nigel was on a photo shoot for a magazine was the scoop. We did not secure an interview with him though, but if you are a media personality and reading this, come find us and we will interview you about the Derby.
Most of the sights and sounds will be seen in the videos posted today or tomorrow. Then keep watching videos through Saturday to see what else I have experienced. It is great stuff. I will to try posting here on site tomorrow and Saturday, but we will be at the track all day, so no promises.
The New York Times is following the Derby also! They have some interesting things to read up on, so why don't you go check their blog out for a bit.