I’ve lived in Indy since 1987 and there is one thing I still can’t get used to…the beginning of May signals Indy 500 month and all of the race festivities from the mini-marathon to the race (click here for IMS schedule of events). I grew up in Southern Indiana, all of our TV stations (yes, this was before cable!) were out of Louisville so for me, the First Saturday in May = DERBY DAY!
I love Derby Day! The history, the hats, mint juleps and of course, the horses! It has long been said that the Kentucky Derby is the “greatest 2 minutes in Sports”, for me, it’s the entire experience! Always hoping that whoever the winner, they continue to win at Preakness and Belmont, always in search of the next Triple Crown Winner.
Only eleven horses have won the elusive Triple Crown. The grueling schedule of three races in 5 weeks at longer distances than most have run previously in their careers is probably the most difficult task any horse will face in his racing career. Affirmed in 1978 still remains the last Triple Crown winner. Sadly, the last Triple Crown winner left alive, Seattle Slew, passed away on May 7, 2002. Several horses have come close in recent years, winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness only to fail in the Belmont Stakes. Many thought Big Brown was a cinch to finally break the drought in 2008, but a bad hoof, and perhaps all the pressure to win, led to his debacle in the Belmont Stakes, pulling up in the turn and being eased while longshot Da’Tara won. I’ll Have Another had a chance to become the 12th Triple Crown winner after his victories the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, but sadly he was scratched due to an injury the day before the Belmont Stakes and retired to stud.
So who will win the “Run For The Roses” this year? Normandy Invasion and Verrazano are favorites by the experts…I’ll wait until closer to the day to make my pics…who will you choose?