The bars are serving ’round the clock, learjets fill the skies and fresh mint is as rare and expensive as marijuana. It’s Derby time. The race is tomorrow and per family tradition we made our way to Churchill Downs at dawn to watch the horses warm up. Only this week does the track let people in ahead of the daily race schedule.
Who do I like this year? That’s a bad question. In fact I understand they’re starting the Derby a little late this year because my horse from last year is still on the track. I was going with Hoppertunity but the horse was scratched from the race this week. The smart money is on California Chrome and Wicked Strong. Lovers of clever names may prefer Danza or my personal favorite, Vicar’s in Trouble. I have no picks for Oaks, the big all-fillies race for locals that’s happening today, I guess because I’m still working on becoming a local!
Because of all the requests, I’ll pass on a quick “ultimate julep” recipe for those of you who are hosting Derby Parties tomorrow. In a high ball glass, muddle some shaved ice and a few torn mint leaves. Drizzle in an ounce of simple syrup and insert a straw into the glass, cut so it protrudes barely an inch over the lip. Now, holding the glass gently from the bottom pitch all that frilly nonsense out and fill it with bourbon. Drink!
That, my friends, is how the locals do it.