It’s Derby Day. Which in my house growing up, Derby Day just meant that it was a Saturday.
I mean, I’m all for watching 3 minutes of the Derby every year. But I don’t really even think about horse racing the other 525946 minutes during the year. (OK, fact check – so now that I’m married, I do get to watch the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes – so I don’t think about horse racing the other 525,940 minutes a year…)
But my husband’s family didn’t feel the same. Weddings, family gatherings and special occasions surround Derby Day…so for the past few years I’ve gotten to see a little into this Kentucky mania.
And I have to admit, it’s fun. It’s fun to research the horses, hear their stories, hear the stories of the jockeys, and figure out who to cheer for.
This year, we took it up a notch. We decided to actually put some money on the line.
Which isn’t as easy as it sounds. You have to play online, obviously, unless you’re going to pay a crazy amount of money to drive to Louisville and attend the event…
And the betting site of Churchill Downs, obviously, has some rules. And our banks have rules. So we couldn’t use our debit or credit cards to actually fund the bet. The site was asking far too many personal questions for us trust them with our actual bank info.
So we drove to Kroger to buy a $50 card (plus a $4.99 service fee) that we had to pay for in cash…then drive home, put in a crazy amount of information…and start playing…
While everything we read said that California Chrome would win – what fun is that? Plus, with 2 to 1 odds, what fun is that? So we read and researched and picked.. C went for Medal Count (I don’t know why) – I decided on Intense Holiday (because I like the colors and the big yellow star on the Jockey’s silk), and Danza (because, of course, he’s named after Tony Danza. Duh.)
This afternoon we had a commitment to go to a concert so we snuck out a bit early to cheer on our ponies…and 2 minutes later, we were out $54.99.
Danza did come in third, but that doesn’t matter in horse racing. And all I could think about was that $50 could have been new shoes or an awesome dinner out….But that $50 was a fun adventure of trying to figure out just how this whole betting thing happens, and was something we got to do together. And talk about. And laugh about.
So there ya go. We didn’t lose $50. We spent $50 – and I imagine that won’t be the last time.
Oh well – it was a fun experience. And we’ll do it again next year, I’m sure.
BTW – I don’t plan to bet on Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. I so want California Chrome to win the triple, but holy crap! Ride on Curlin was picking up speed there at the end – might make for an interesting race…