Saturday marks the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby. For most of my life, I never paid much attention to it. I had watched it a few times on television, but never really understood its appeal — until I lived in Louisville, Kentucky for six years.
The first spring I was there, I worked part time with nearly half of my weekly hours falling on Friday (I had no classes so I could work all day). On the Thursday before the race, I made and off-hand comment about work tomorrow, and my boss looked at me like I was crazy — we were not going to be open on Derby Day!
The local schools were closed too, I soon found out (on Friday, a race called the Kentucky Oaks is run at Churchill Downs). Apparently, the school system couldn’t find enough substitute teachers to replace all the teachers who would take off for the race. Rather than give all the students (and teachers) detention for skipping school, the schools decided not to fight it.
My better judgment (not to mention my sheer amateurism) has kept me from ever putting money down on a race, but I do like to pick ’em and watch. Last night my wife and kids decided to get in on the game too, so here are our picks to win (with odds at time of posting):
- My pick: Colonel John (4-1)
- My wife: Undecided (note: this not the name of a horse)
- My son, age 3: Bob Black Jack (20-1)
- My daughter, age 1.5: Big Brown (3-1)
What are your picks?