by Sean Nix
The Kentucky Derby is known around the world, it’s considered the “Greatest Two Minutes In Sports.” Each year, former Presidents, professional athletes, movie stars and other top celebrities attend the race on the first Saturday in May held at historic Churchill Downs. What many don’t see is the early mornings on the backside of Churchill Downs leading up to the big day.
For many years now, the people of Louisville flood the backside each morning from about 7:30am to 9:30am to socialize, drink coffee, eat breakfast and to catch a glimpse of their Derby horse. As much as the Kentucky Derby means to most around the horse racing world, arriving on the backside each morning means just as much as the race does to most in the Louisville, KY area. People line up three deep off of the fence in hopes to watch the next superstar put in their final preparations for the Kentucky Derby or Oaks.
It’s become such an event that all of the local news crews set up on the backside for the week, radio stations will air live and on occasions, parents will allow their kids to miss the first hour or so of school so they have the chance to enjoy all of the sights and sounds as well.
The Kentucky Oaks was once the day of the “locals”, I’m beginning to believe the locals have taken over the Churchill Downs backside each morning leading up to Derby from 7:30am to 9:30am. If you have the chance to go out one morning, please do, you won’t regret it.