We're another day closer to the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby. As I was driving the kids to school this morning, I saw a lady in her car, wearing a big, pink hat. Yep, she was heading to the track this morning, along with many other folks in town (the spring meet started last Saturday, so regular racing is taking place, in addition to the Kentucky Oaks and Derby). By this time during Derby week, the traffic is a bit lighter, there are fewer cars in the parking garages and offices become ghost towns.
The Vineyard Vines pink tractors are out in full-force at Churchill Downs, prepping the track before each race. Apparently VV will have tents set up in the Jockey Club and in the Infield. For those VV folks working the Infield, may the force be with you. All I'm sayin' is it's not the same crowd as the Foxfield Races or Carolina Cup. There will be plenty of alcohol flowing, but very little preppy clothing. Often times, very little clothing period. You're doing well with the Jockey Club; definitely more your demographic.
Today is the Pegasus Parade. There will be floats, inflatables, marching bands and countless other people and characters marching down Broadway. And, for some bizarre reason, Kate Gosslin is going to be in the parade and will be a guest at the Derby. Seriously?? Why??
I don't get it, but each year there are D-list/scandal-prone guests who are invited to Derby. Not sure if it's the party promoters seeking extra media attention or what, but these folks manage to snag a coveted invitation as if they're more worthy than others. The likes of Kato Kaelin, Larry Birkhead (Anna Nicole's baby daddy), a Kardashian or two, Heidi and Spencer (especially gag-inducing), and the list goes on. Spare us.
On the other end of the spectrum, I've seen such dazzlers as Queen Elizabeth II, Jack Nicholson, Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Bo Derek, Dennis Hopper, Alice Cooper (who is a super-nice guy and avid golfer; saw him arriving in Louisville sans eye make-up, wearing a pink golf shirt) and Justin Timberlake. Not that these celebrities are especially deserving, but they're well-known for having actual careers that have taken them to great heights in their respective fields, not for roles in sordid reality programming.
This year, Martha Stewart will be attending her first Derby. I've heard she's planning to craft her own hat from flowers, straw and other organic materials from her own garden. For her juleps, Martha will have her own mint flown in from her Bedford, N.Y. farm, with ice made from special Fountain-of-Youth mineral water. The ice will be crushed by one of her five assistants who will walk behind her -- five feet exactly -- throughout the day. And, no eye contact, of course. I also understand that members of her staff joining her on this trip will be partaking in their usual cocktail, the "God Help Me," which is a vicodin with a vodka chaser. Insert snarky smile here.
So, if you're watching the Derby at home, see if you can spot any celebrities. People-watching is one of the best things about the day. The hats, the dresses, ties and high heels are such fun. And when Jack Nicholson walks in front of your box on the track, smoking a stogie and waves at you, well, that's pretty darn cool, too.Images from Vineyard Vines Twitter Feed and phyllisaylse.wordpress.com