The Kentucky Derby, "America's Greatest Race," will take place at Churchill Downs this weekend. CNN international has answers to 11 general questions to get you started in the festivities, and NBC New York has a short history of the spectacle around the race, which is largely about fashion through the decades. And then there's the opening ceremony and song - My Old Kentucky Home (official "sing along" video). It sounds pretty somber, and it is, especially if you sing all of the original 1831 lyrics. The Forgotten Racial History Of Kentucky's State Song (NPR Codeswitch). [more inside]
American Pharoah Wins Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown [New York Times]
American Pharoah is the 12th horse and first since Affirmed in 1978 to win three races on different tracks at varying distances over a five-week span. He won the Belmont Stakes by five and a half lengths, the Derby by one length on May 2 and then romped to a seven-length victory in the rainy Preakness two weeks later before demolishing his rivals Saturday. [via: CBC]
So it's Kentucky Derby time, once again. But I don't care much for horse racing. So I could say it's really just an excuse to post this wonderful video of Chris McMillian on how to properly craft a Mint Julep. But that would be a lie. I don't care much for Mint Juleps either. They're really just an excuse to post this heart-breakingly beautiful poem about Mint Juleps: [more inside]
Director's cut: "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved": An annotated look back at one of Hunter S. Thompson's greatest hits. [more inside]
From Derby Winner to Horsemeat. Victories in the 1986 Kentucky Derby and the 1987 Breeders' Cup Classic figured to have earned Ferdinand a cushy retirement when his racing days were over. Instead, his life apparently ended in a Japanese slaughterhouse in 2002 (NY Times link). The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation argues for a stop to horse slaughter in this white paper, and there is pending legislation to ban the practice. Sooooo, how many of you have visited a boucherie chevaline?
Try Saying Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Tea And Mint Julep Without Smiling: it can't be done. Coz June is busting out all over in Bourbon country and the mint is as high as an elephant's eye. For this we all rejoice. But - wait - did you know that, for that most perfect Summer drink, the thirst-quenching nec plus ultra they call the Julep, "the most important ingredient is a T-shirt for the mint juice extraction"? Oh yes! The time has come. Here comes the sun. Mmmm...