We Asked, You Answered: Your Favorite Derby Memories
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We Asked, You Answered: Your Favorite Derby Memories

Chris Tomlinover 5 years


Article written by:Chris TomlinChris Tomlin

Anxious patrons await the start of the Longines Kentucky Oaks race on May 1, 2015 at Churchill Downs in Louisville. The Oaks and the Derby are the oldest continuously contested sporting events in history.

Hello, Friends. You’re looking well. Hey, gimme five. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Stop trying to kiss me, you weirdo. Haven’t you ever given someone five before?

Friends, it’s Derby season in the Bluegrass. That magical time when the flowers bloom and our own regal Commonwealth pastime shines in the spotlight. If you’ve lived in Kentucky for any amount of time you have a favorite Derby memory. A couple of weeks ago I asked for you to email me your own special Derby memories, and you didn’t disappoint. It was great reading all of your notes and I wanted to share some of my favorites here today.



“I remember being in the infield in 2004 when the pack flew by. I was holding my one year-old son and Smarty Jones came barreling past, ahead of the pack. I remember the look on my son’s face, the smile as he saw the horses. I’ll never forget that.”
-Neil S., Paducah


“In 2008 my friend Brent had box seat tickets for the Derby, we were all pretty excited to go; it was many of our first time. Brent picked us up that morning, we put on some tunes and we got on I-65. About two hours later Brent got off on the Munfordville exit and pulled into an empty parking lot. ‘Oh no, guys,’ he said, ‘this isn’t Churchill Downs. It’s an old burned out Mexican restaurant. And these aren’t Derby box seat tickets, they’re McDonald’s Monopoly pieces I peeled off my food yesterday. I’m really sorry.’ I’ve never punched someone so hard in the face. And I’d do it again.”
-Peter A., Elizabethtown


“I had just finished the second Charlie’s Angels movie and someone asked me if I wanted to go to the Derby. Of course I did! A limo picked me up and took me to a private airport, where a jet took me cross country, and another limo picked me up and took me to a suite where I hung out with Kid Rock and the cast of Will & Grace and I had, like, two steaks and almost a whole bottle of champagne. Then I went to another party and someone gave me a new computer and some jewelry just for being there. I still don’t know what state I was in or what the Derby is, but it was a great day.”
-Cameron D., Los Angeles


“I remember in 1994, my family took my grandfather to the Derby. He had been to eighteen Kentucky Derbys in his lifetime, the event always held a special place for him. Now he was old, probably almost ninety, and halfway through the day he started ranting about how some day we’d all have little computers in our pockets and how Donald Trump might be the president, and then he kept arguing that Pluto wasn’t a planet. Because of that a few days later we put him in a home and I never went to see him again. Looking back, I feel pretty bad about that now.”
-Chad M., Hopkinsville


“My favorite Kentucky Derby is every Kentucky Derby, because I’m a stripper in Louisville. A couple of years ago I made enough money to an airplane — an entire airliner, actually — and last year I bought enough stock to own a controlling interest in General Mills. I feel really good about our Q3 earnings for 2016.”

-Cinnamon T., Louisville


“I was at the bar getting a mint julep when I heard giggling behind me. I turned around to see Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem hitting on my wife; he was telling her about how he had a lake house or something and she was eating it up. We had a huge fight that night about it and she stormed out. A few months later our marriage was over. Looking back on that night, I realize now that all I did was drive her right into that horse’s arms. I’d give anything to have Diane back again.”
-Dan L., Georgetown

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