When I was a kid, my favorite three days of the year were Christmas, my birthday and Derby Day.
I was obsessed with horses and got into the Derby hype that was hard to miss in Kentucky.
My first crush was Riva Ridge. I was devastated when his Triple Crown campaign was over in the second race. I then fell hard for his stablemate, a beautiful, big red horse named Secretariat. Trying to prevent another two-week-long crying spell like the previous year, my parents tried to prepare me for the odds being against “Secy” winning the Triple Crown. I never wavered. I still cry when I watch him run on old footage.
As an adult, I am not as dedicated, but I keep up with the Derby. Most years we go to horse camp where we trail ride all day and then attend the camp’s Derby Party. I call it BYOH- bring your own horse.
This year I feel my old Derby excitement for Epicenter. He is the current favorite and I think it is because he was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky. That makes him like the majority of natives who were born in rural counties and not the blue-blood farms around Lexington. Granted he is well bred and worthy of the attention, but he is a horse of the people.
I don’t know if he is Triple Crown material, but it is possible that my eyes will get misty when he comes out of the tunnel and onto the track as the band plays My Old Kentucky Home.