This year’s Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby week was definitely memorable to me—from the heartbreaking phone call I made to John Greathouse about his ill-fated filly Devil May Care, to the quiet beauty of the descending twilight on Oaks night, to the thrilling Derby finish of Animal Kingdom and the realization I had scored the biggest triumph of my betting career (which isn’t saying much, but I was still elated!).
It was truly a week I won’t forget. Now, as I’m back to semi-reality on this languid, summer-like day, I feel as if Derby/Oaks week was gone in a flash. As usual, I’m already looking forward to Breeders’ Cup.
Instead of making a top 10 list of memories this year, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite photos from throughout the week. One of my much loved things to do on Derby week is take my little point-and-shoot camera with me to the backstretch of Churchill Downs in the early dawn and snap away at everything I see. And of course, carrying it with me on the big days of Derby and Oaks is also a must.
Without further adieu, here is this year’s Oaks and Derby through my eyes:
Joyful Victory and Larry Jones surveying the crowd on the backstretch
The Factor receiving his bath in the misty dawn
Backstretch kitty, begging for love
Crowds gathering to observe the morning works
Horses heading out to stretch their legs
Lady Gaga impersonator at the press party
View from the paddock on Oaks day
And they're off in the Oaks!
Oaks-winning owner John Fort parading Plum Pretty after her victory
Oaks-winning trainer Bob Baffert helping jockey Martin Garcia hoist the trophy
John Fort towering over Baffert:)
Celebrity chef and Thoroughbred owner Bobby Flay being interviewed on the Derby red carpet
Animal Kingdom with the roses following his impressive Kentucky Derby win
A winning ticket!
What were some of your favorite memories of this year's Derby? I want to hear!