Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kentucky Derby

Years ago, I used to sit with elderly women in their homes sort of like a caretaker. All of my ladies were just the dearest creatures. One in particular made such a big impression on me. Her name was Eva B Isaacson nee Hunter. She had been a nurse and was a by product of a very privileged upbringing. She had such wonderful stories to tell. She had been to the Kentucky Derby and so we always watched in the first Saturday in May. I never hear of the Derby without thinking of Mrs Isaacson.

The derby is held at the legendary Churchhill Downs.
What would the derby be without mint juleps?
I don't drink but real juleps are made with Kentucky Whiskey so here is a recipe for real mint juleps.
2 fluid ounces Early Times® Kentucky Whisky
1 tablespoon simple syrup
Mint sprigs
Crushed ice

Simple Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 bunch fresh mint sprigs

Crush a few mint leaves in the bottom of an 8-oz. glass, then fill with crushed ice. Add one tablespoon of simple syrup and one tablespoon of water. Add 2 ounces of Early Times. Stir gently until glass frosts. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig, sip and enjoy.
Simple syrup directions: Combine sugar and water. Boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Pour mix over a handful of mint leaves, and gently crush the mint with a spoon. Refrigerate overnight in a closed jar. Remove mint leaves, but continue to refrigerate. Stays fresh for several weeks.
The Best Times are Enjoyed Responsibly
Early Times Distillery Co, Kentucky Whisky, 40% Alcohol by Volume, Louisville, KY ©2005 EARLY TIMES is a registered trademark.

Now the version I will be drinking. Nonalcoholic Mint Juleps

5 lemons
1 bunch fresh peppermint
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
3 qts. ginger ale


Squeeze juice from lemons and strain to remove any seeds or pulp. Add lightly crushed mint leaves, sugar, and water and let stand 30 minutes. (Use a large stainless steel or glass bowl. Don’t use aluminum.) Pour over a large piece of ice in a glass punch bowl and add ginger ale. Serve in small glasses. This is a recipe from the early 1900s.

And no self-respecting southern belle would be caught dead at the Derby without her derby hat. This is the hat I would choose.

Even Barbie has her outfit ready.

Just a wee bit of trivia ( I love trivia btw)
Kentucky Derby Trivia
By Kelly Coughlin
A horse named Aristides, with Oliver Lewis up, was the first winner of the what is now called the Kentucky Derby. He ran the race in 2:37.75 over a mile and a half course. The distance was changed to a mile and a quarter in 1896.

The fastest Derby was in 1973, by Secretariat, who broke the two-minute mark and blazed the mile and a quarter in 1:59.4. Remarkably, each quarter mile split was faster than the one preceding it. No other horse has broken the two minute barrier in the Derby.

Dominated by the boys, geldings and stallions, the fillies have done some winning at the Derby too. Three fillies have won the Kentucky Derby: Favored Regret in 1915, Genuine Risk in 1980 and Winning Colors in 1988.

Willie Shoemaker will never live down what he did in the Kentucky Derby in 1957. Leading on Gallant Man, he mistakenly pulled up 110 yards before the finish line and was passed by Iron Liege. But Shoemaker will also never be forgotten for what he did at Churchill Downs in 1986, when he became the oldest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. He was 54 when he rode Ferdinand, trained by 73-year-old Charlie Whittingham, to the Derby win.

Two jockeys, Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack, have each ridden five Kentucky Derby winners.

Jockey Eddie Arcaro rode to two Triple Crown wins. The first on Whirlaway in 1941, and then on Citation in 1948.

The first woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby was Diane Crump on May 2, 1970.

No matter when a racehorse is born, they all "become" a year older on New Year's Day.


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