Depending on who you ask, the most important thing to know about the 138th Kentucky Derby is not whether Union Rags or Gemologist should really have been the early favorite over Bodemeister but rather the precise measurements required to make the world's best mint julep.
For those who are focused on the track, the 2012 edition of the "Run For the Roses" at Churchill Downs features a deep and talented field that should produce a stellar race. Starting in the sixth slot, Bodemeister was the early favorite at 4-1 but is hardly the only three-year-old with a chance and the odds have shifted to reflect that.
"This is the best bunch I've seen in a long time," four-time Derby-winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas told The Associated Press. "I was out there riding next to some of them, and let me tell you, this is a hell of a group."
Whether it is the fashion in the grandstand, the debauchery of the infield or majesty of the 20 horses striding the mile and a quarter distance, the Derby is an event without equal. Of course, some people are glad about that, considering the dangers to animals involved and the hard-drinking folks in the infield who occasionally behave like animals.
In "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent And Depraved," Hunter S. Thompson summed up the infield party scene thusly to a first-time visitor.
"That whole thing will be jammed with people; fifty thousand or so, and most of them staggering drunk. It's a fantastic scene — thousands of people fainting, crying, copulating, trampling each other and fighting with broken whiskey bottles. We'll have to spend some time out there, but it's hard to move around, too many bodies."
Those watching at home will likely be far less concerned with the mirth and mess of the party and more interested to see which horse will take the first step toward the elusive Triple Crown.
Are any of the horses in this year's field capable of the feat? Is the Derby truly the "Greatest Two Minutes In Sports"? Is it an anachronism that is dangerous to animals and sometimes even the revelers? Or should everyone stop worrying about what the Derby means and realize that it's merely a terrific excuse to sugar up your whiskey on a Saturday in May?STAY TUNED FOR LIVE UPDATES:
I'll Have Another heads to the Preakness hoping to keep Triple Crown bid going.
|@ ESPNStatsInfo : Trainer Doug O'Neill wins his 1st Kentucky Derby; 9th trainer in last 10 years to win 1st ever Kentucky Derby.|
A Kentucky-bred horse captures the Derby and the national champion Kentucky Wildcats are on hand.
The trainer of I'll Have Another promised his son a hot tub if they won. And this kid is psyched! HOT TUB!
Takes the 2012 Kentucky Derby with a late surge!
Bodemeister building a 5-length lead.
Bode and Trin out front and then a length gap.. Union Rags caught in traffic.
Trinniberg at 2nd, Hansen third.
Bodemeister battling Trinniberg
Trinniberg out quick..
At 9-2 as the horses are loading in to the gate.
|@ KySportsRadio : Anthony Davis and Terrence Jones giving the winning jockey the flowers has to really make UL fans happy|
NBC reporting that the white horse is sweating profusely and has been agitated as they move the horses toward the gate.
Will they all go in smoothly? This record crowd can be a factor now. Anyone going to get spooked?
The horn has sounded and the 138th Kentucky Derby "My Old Kentucky Home" is up next.
|@ sportspickle : Fun Fact: The horses in this race have completed as many college credits as Kentucky basketball players.|
Calipari give the "Riders Up" call at Churchill Downs, signaling the jockeys to mount up. We're getting close!
|@ ClayTravisBGID : In honor of Kentucky Derby, our kids are one day going to consider sports gambling being illegal the prohibition of our era.|
Per BettorsWorld, ere are the horses that run best from behind the pack of leaders:Daddy Nose Best Done Talking Dullahan Optimizer Rousing Sermon
|@ NBCSportsPR : Computer race simulation on #DerbyonNBC finishes with Union Rags to win, and #KentuckyDerby dream bet winner Joel Einhorn picks Alpha|
Jack Black takes this one. And so did everyone in the infield.
He takes Alpha.. and Charles Barkley takes Rousing Sermon
The pomp and circumstance is in full at the Derby as "the walk" is on. The owners, trainers and their families slog round the track. The titular Bode, son of Bob Baffert, declares "It's FUN."
The favorite horse as the races draws near
|@ racheldulitz : Bob Costas is now trying to stress out Eli by pointing out what a great job brother Peyton did as SNL host. #KentuckyDerbyPreGameShow|
20. Liason 50-1
|@ DerbyMedia : Record crowd on hand for 2012 #KyDerby Day. Attendance - 165,307. Breaks previous record of 164,858, which was set last year.|