Saturday, September 7, 2013

The 139th Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is without a doubt one of the most unique and exciting annual traditions of any state in the Union. The beauty of the champion thoroughbreds, the elegance of Churchill Downs, and the pomp and circumstance of seersucker suited men and derby hatted women combine to make the first Saturday in May a truly timeless event. Few things give me goosebumps quite like hearing the entire grandstand sing the state anthem "My Old Kentucky Home." Nor does any sound quite spike my heart rate as the thunderous hoof beats of the pack rounding the first turn. Every Derby is different, and this one was no exception. A steady, soaking rain fell throughout most of the afternoon, creating a sloppy track for the big race. Crowd favorite Orb crossed the finish line in first to clinch the most prestigious single race title in racing: Kentucky Derby champion.

Race horses complete their morning workouts at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on the morning of the 139th running of The Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times