I grew up in Nashville, which is a hop, skip, and a two-hour jump to Louisville, Kentucky. Even though I never attended the Kentucky Derby in Louisville at Churchill Downs, it was still a big sporting event to watch in Music City. Ladies donned big church hats and put on pretty dresses, and sipped on Mint Juleps (or they sipped on some mint tea for a delightful non-alcoholic beverage) as they watched the games. The menfolk would wear seersucker suits and aviator sunglasses, and smoke cigars with their buddies--all whilst drinking Maker's Mark bourbon mixed with cola in glass tumblers.

Middle Tennessee was also pretty heavy into horse racing because of the Iroquois Steeplechase. I remember growing up hearing about that even though my parents weren't into horseracing one iota.

The Kentucky Derby will be broadcast this year on September 5 from 11:30 a.m-4:30 p.m. on NBC. This marks the first year they've ever had the races with no fans in the stans. I am kind of getting excited to watch the Kentucky Derby races this Saturday morning. They had to shut the whole thing down to the public because of Louisville is in the "red zone" of coronavirus spread. It is going to be so eerie watching the races without wishing I was one of the wealthy sons-of-bee-words who could afford seats in the stands. This year, everyone's a sucker who can't get in! Welcome to my club, peasants. Actually, it is still on my bucket list to someday be a spectator in the Clubhouse box seats. Deep sigh.

One of my favorite childhood movies was The Black Stallion. When my younger brother, Lee, and I discovered the movie in the mid-eighties, we would reenact scenes from the movie on our front porch with a water hose. We would get that whole porch soaking wet which brought in all the ants to our house, much to the delight of my parents I am sure. (Please note the sarcasm in my voice as I mention my parents delight over the ants! That is another story for another day.)

Let's talk about all things virtual KENTUCKY DERBY party!

You will need some great Kentucky-themed snacks and some drinks. Here is a list of hor d'oeurves recipes that Chef David Danielson from Churchhill Downs recommends we make to get in the K.D. party spirit:

  • Bourbon Rice Krispy Treats
  • Chicken Kabobs with Mint Pistachio Pesto Sauce
  • Derby Day Seafood Pasta Salad (YUM!)
  • Edamame Succotash with Mint Vinagrette Dressing
  • Grilled Raddichio, Corn, Fennel Buttermilk Dressing
  • Henry Bain Steak Burger Sliders (Who tf is Henry Bain?)
  • Sweet Potato HummusTurkey Meatballs with Peach Hot Sauce

You hungry yet?!
Hey, wait, where's the recipe for Kentucky Derby Pie, HELLO?!

Did you know African American history has a steep-le (get it?) legacy with the origin of the Kentucky Derby? We are not taught about this in school and it is not talked about in the general public. The truth is that Blacks were pushed out of the sport of horseracing at the Kentucky Derby due to segregationist Jim Crow laws. (I continue to learn something new every day about the stories of how racism destroyed African American opportunities for prosperity. It burns my britches!) That is why I am using my voice to educate us. We need to share this story with our generation and the next generation so that we confront racism on its head. This is a fascinating bit of American History.