By Sonya Jenkins, (sonyasspotlight.com) representing The Tennessee Tribune
The 138th running of the Kentucky Derby is HISTORY! I arrived at Churchill Downs mid afternoon to the largest crowd Churchill Downs had ever seen for a Derby – 165,307!
After navigating through the massive crowd a bit, taking pictures and being snapped by photographers everywhere, I decided to head to the Red Carpet area with one of my Derby Diva friends, Penny. We caught up with a few celebs briefly – on their way inside to watch the races – Mary J. Blige, Travis Tritt, Cyndi Lauper, Debra Messing, Cal Ripken, Erin Andrews – along with several other entertainers and athletes. With the temperature feeling like it was close to 100 degrees, chasing down a celeb for a photograph just didn’t seem that appealing to me. I had more fun gazing at the assortment of Derby hats – which ranged from big and bright, to colorful and creative.
Once in the grandstand area, everyone was festive and excited – drinking Mint Juleps – the official drink of the Derby – mixing, mingling and betting on horse races. After chit-chatting with a few attendees, I decided to bet on the 11th race – The Kentucky Derby. I had read somewhere that Bodemeister (Horse #6) had a good chance of winning, so I put $5 on a Win for Bodemiester and $5 for a Place on Bodmiester. Well, obviously, I’m not a big gambler.
Right before the race, Mary J. Blige sang the National Anthem and blew the crowd away. Several Derby attendees actually turned to me – inquiring about the soulful songstress!! “What is her name again?” someone asked. “Mary J?”another questioned. “She was awesome!” The hoopla and energy leading up to the Kentucky Derby race got my adrenaline flowing. Once the race began – and midway through the race – I just knew my horse had won!! I was screaming, “Go, Six! Go, Six!,” with many of the attendees looking on in awe as #6 took strides that definitely put him in the forefront. I was so assured that Bodemeister had won that I slipped out of the stands right before the race ended, so I could be first in line to collect my little WINNING!! But once I got to the wagering windows I was informed that horse # 19, named I’ll Have Another, had won – and not #6!! A bit disappointed, I said, “C’mon, Man,” but I still collected $15 and some change, since Bodemeister came in 2nd. I guess that just goes to show, it’s not how you start the race, but how you finish it!!
In all, my 2012 Derby experience was a pleasant one filled with fun times with friends, meeting new people, eating good food, partying and enjoying the races while wearing my Jessica Simpson chapeaux on day one and my Grace Marks chapeaux on day two. Although the horse I bet on came in 2nd, my experience at the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby was still a Sure WIN!
The Julep – Louisville’s Premier Derby Eve Event Benefitting The James Graham Brown Cancer Center
The Julep, the fancy soiree held the eve before the Derby, brought out several celebrities and dignitaries at the Galt House. Prior to the Julep, there was a featured article highlighting the national press covering the Julep this year and The Tennessee Tribune made the news. The article read, “In 2012, some of those media folks on the rope line will be as well-known nationally as the celebs they are covering. ” The article then mentioned The Tennessee Tribune as one of the Nashville news outlets covering the Julep. You can check out the article at http://louisville.edu/medschool/national- news-media-coming-to-louisville- for-the-julep-1
The Julep: The James Graham Brown Cancer Center’s Kentucky Derby Eve event has raised more than $2 million.
Sonya Jenkins at The Julep
Brought to you by The Tennessee Tribune & Sonya Jenkins, (sonyasspotlight.com), National Entertainment Correspondent for the Tennessee Tribune and Publisher & Editor for Sonya’s Spotlight Web Magazine Shares Her Derby Day Experience