This year, the Kentucky Derby fell on Cinco de Mayo, and once again proved to be full of surprises and unexpected finales. It’s an anticipated tradition every year at Southgate Coins, where big hats, bright outfits, beautiful horses, and delicious food are the main attraction. Read on for more about this year’s Kentucky Derby Day.
In my (Nicole) four years of participating in the Kentucky Derby event at Southgate Coins (and Maya’s six years—wow!), no girl has picked a winning horse with their free $2 bet. For those of you who don’t know, Rusty and Marie place a $2 bet for each of us on whichever horse we think will win the Derby. Maya chose the stark-white beauty, Hansen, I chose Gemologist, and Marie chose Daddy Nose Best. Rusty always chooses a few horses for his bet, but he never reveals them until the end.
Our attire would have fit right in at Churchill Downs, and without coordinating it, all us girls seemed to follow a “pretty-in-pink” theme. Marie wore a chic, black and pink floral jacket and a pink feather headpiece. I wore a blue and pink dress covered in roses, paired with a white blazer and white hat. Maya wore a bright, hot pink hat with a black blouse and flowy skirt, while her daughter Embry dressed in a pink dress decorated with roses, along with a pink-rimmed hat. Rusty wore his customary Derby jacket and his blue, Smarty Jones baseball cap. Even our mailman Brian, who knew what to expect on Kentucky Derby day, was a good sport and put on a Derby hat to let Rusty snap a few pictures of him and Mr. Horsie.
As we closed up shop for the day and got ready for the big race, we set up our mouth-watering array of chips and salsa, skillet queso dip, and buffalo wings from Chili’s, with pink lemonade to drink. There was so much food, that there was still plenty left to take home for leftovers.
The race soon began and we all expected a so-called “predictable” race, but as it quickly unfolded, it was anything but that. To all our surprise, I’ll Have Another, an underdog with the odds 15 to 1 charged ahead of Bodemeister within the last few seconds and took the crown. Yelling out of frustration, Rusty said that, yet again, he had his top-two bets place second and third (Bodemeister and Dullahan)—which is a rare occurrence for Rusty! We all grunted with disapproval since this was another year where an “off the radar” horse had won. In addition to I’ll Have Another this year, in the past we’ve seen other underdogs swoop in for the rose blanket, such as Giacomo in 2005, Mine That Bird in 2009, and Animal Kingdom in 2011.
Although the race was a let-down, the Kentucky Derby is a special occasion for us at Southgate Coins to dress-up and enjoy a cherished tradition, no matter what the outcome! We’ll see if next year any of us can break the curse of not having a winning horse.