As silly as it probably sounds to many, I’ve looked forward to going to the Kentucky Derby ever since I can remember. Now, with great confidence I can say that my first Derby experience was nothing short of marvelous!
The calm before the storm—early in the morning in the infield posing with my Kentucky Derby 139 program in front of the iconic twin spires!
Walking through the tunnel into the infield to meet up with the ABRV Saturday morning was surreal. You could literally feel the excitement in the air---the entire electricity of Churchill Downs was amazing and team excitement was at an all-time high.
The morning started off calm. People were trickling in and others were meandering around the infield staking out their spots to watch the 139th Kentucky Derby.
Jose and John decided to have a match race of their own.
Shortly after, it began to rain. But rain or shine, people were determined to have a good day. I almost think that the rain brought people together—we all realized that there was nothing we could do about it so we might as well make the most of it. I even splashed around in some puddles, what can I say, the rain brings out the child in me—especially since I was prepared with my rain boots and was in the best mood ever!
Other people took it a bit further and decided to have some fun with the rain and take part in THE muddiest slip and slides I’ve ever seen (wish I would have gotten pictures)!
The ABR hats, koozies and jockey goggles were huge hits---we walked around giving them away to people and talking about what America’s Best Racing was. I think it helped take the rain off of everyone’s mind, especially since the hats and goggles helped protect them somewhat from the rain and because the koozies helped keep their drink-holding hands a bit warmer.
Lots of people were both surprised and excited to find out that there were exciting events similar to the derby that happened year round that they could attend. Hopefully we’ll see some of there faces at some of the tour stops. Even after we had given out all of the SWAG, we had people knocking on the bus door begging us for more.
Yes, I cried at the national anthem & then a bit during My Old Kentucky Home–ME, someone who isn’t an crier at all–I was so moved and so emotional, IT WAS AMAZING!!!
After My Old Kentucky Home played, my fellow ambassadors and I* got on the ABRV to watch THE MOST EXCITING two minutest in all of sports and what an exciting race it was! (I took it upon myself to set up two of our cameras to record our reactions to the derby—hilarious! and soon to be shared, promise).
*On the other side on the track, ambassador Chip McGaughey was in the midst of it all, spending the day with his dad, 139th Kentucky Derby winning trainer, Shug McGaughey. It was so exciting for us to see our fellow ambassador in the winner’s circle after the amazing Orb/Rosario/Shug win! I’m also a sucker for history and I love seeing a family that has been in the industry as long as the Phipps/Janneys finally have a Derby winner.
What an amazing way to wrap up such an exciting week and epic stop on the ABRV Tour. I can’t wait for the Preakness in less than two weeks!