Kentucky Derby 140
May 5, 2014 by jimmycsays
We returned to Kansas City last night after spending the weekend in Louisville and attending the 140th Kentucky Derby.
Whenever masses of people determined to have fun and be seen come together, you can count on a spectacle, and the Derby never disappoints in that sense.
Over the years, the event has become too commercialized, especially with a huge, new video board pummeling you — at seemingly stratospheric decibel levels — with advertisements and various promotions. Of course, it would be naive to expect anything else. Maybe it’s a sign of age, but I’m starting to wonder if I’ve reached the point where the event is becoming more of an endurance contest than an opportunity to kick up my heels…Really, I can’t get very far off the ground any more.
Enough complaining and philosophizing, however, let’s get to the photos…
The crowd. (Note that the Twin Spires, Kentucky’s No. 1 landmark, are getting dwarfed by the high-rise construction of top-dollar seating facilities on either side.)
An alluring look always accentuates a beautiful hat.
Sophistication doesn’t have a monopoly on the proceedings, however.
Two of our “boxmates” — Adam and Eva, from the Chicago area. (Adam and Eva…I swear.)
Eva (right) and Ella, another boxmate, with tasty treats.
Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy C. Fitzpatrick of Kansas City, Missouri.
Under cover, in the First Floor Clubhouse.
Not all the hats are special.
It can be difficult to maintain the pace.
Sometimes it’s the shoes that stand out.
Before the Derby race, even the chefs (note the two or three tall hats in the top tier) stop what they’re doing to watch the horses come over from the stables.
The “walkover” from the stables is one of the great Derby scenes. Horse trainer Bob Baffert once called it “an out of body experience.”
Immediately after the race, even the bright reds start to pale.
Then, 164,000 people have to get out of the track and its environs.
No van for us…We park with Charlie and his wife Barbara, who live a few blocks from the track. See you next year, Charlie…God willing.