When I arrived in Healdton on Friday evening, Mom and Sue informed that we would be watching the telecast of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday afternoon.
I said that sounded like fun but really wondered why we were watching the race -- my family isn't big on horse races and to tell you the truth -- I didn't even know it was 'Derby Weekend' I am clueless as far as the 'Sport of Kings' is concerned.
Eventually, I did ask why we would be watching the race and was informed that my Mom's first cousin, Pedro (my second cousin or 1st cousin-once removed depending on where in the US that you reside – but it's mainly a 'Southern' thing), and his wife Pat would be attending the race.
Mom went on to further inform me that Pedro's daughter and son-in-law had invited them to the Derby because it seems that the son-in-law is the CEO of Churchill Downs!
What an adventure for Pedro and Pat! They would be right up there in ‘Blue Grass’ country - mingling with celebrities, maybe even catching a glimpse of Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth the 2nd !
After all the ‘junking’ and visiting around town it was late Saturday afternoon and we all settled in to watch the 'pre-race' shows for the Derby. During the this program, we noticed that a lot of the people attending the race were drinking Mint Julips which they seemed to be enjoying very much – at least they all looked happy.
Not to be out-done -- our little Derby-Watch-Party in Healdton, Oklahoma, featured Sugar-Free ice cream and cookies with our drink of choice -- Diet Coke. We may not have had those fancy drinks in hand for race day -- but, we were certainly watching our sugar levels. And, because I have actually had a Mint Julip -- I can truthfully say our refreshments were much tastier.
Another thing we did notice on the 'Pre-Race' show, was that everyone (and I do mean everyone) was wearing a hat. A few hats were pretty far-out but some were down right stylish. The Queen was wearing one of the stylish hats in pale green and pink and it very pretty on Her Royal Highness. We all speculated about what kind of hat that Pedro's wife and daughter were wearing and how fun it would be if we could see them when the cameras panned the crowds.
Then the horses were put into the gates (is that the right term??) and the race was off and running. It was a very exciting 4 minutes as the jockeys and horses thundered around the track.
In the end, you couldn't help but be happy for the winning jockey, he was so jubilant and thankful for the win. He appeared to be such a nice man and I think that was confirmed when I noticed that when they brought over a bucket of water and a sponge to the jockey -- he washed down his horse before cleaning his own face for their turn in the 'Winners Circle'.
It was a tight squeeze of people, press, horse and jockey in the Winner's Circle; but, as you can see by this photo (taken of my Mom's television screen) -- there in the middle of the screen is Pedro's son-in-law, Robert L. Evans - CEO of Churchill Downs and to his left is his wife looking pretty -- and of course, wearing a very classy hat!
I’m sure somewhere toward the back of all this crush of people, Pedro & Pat were just about to float away with pride !!