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Saturday, May 02, 2009

135th Kentucky Derby

Today marks the 135th Anniversary of the Run for the Roses in Louisville, Kentucky. I love the Derby. It is the first race of the Triple Crown races. Three year colts (and the occasional Philly) compete to win the one and a quarter mile race at Churchill Downs – a truly beautiful track. It is described as the most exciting two minutes in sports.

Though I usually review books on Mondays, I have two books all about horseraces I wanted to introduce you to. It’s timely.

Title: Behind the Scenes The Racehorse
Author: Nikki Tate
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside

This book explains the domestic history of horses and how humans have harnessed their strength and speed over the ages. Thoroughbreds and Quarter horses are the preferred breeds for racing. The book is a great intro book – explaining the various employment roles of people at racetracks, companion and training animals, training facilities, husbandry and horse racing culture. It also explains how to read a program book. Full of great factoids.

Title: The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby
Author: Crystal Hubbard, Illustrator: Robert McGuire
Publisher: Lee & Low Books Inc.

This book is actually written by a local author (St. Louis, Missouri). I am hoping to meet her and have her sign this book before I donate it to the children of Clay Elementary School. Jimmy “Wink” Winkfield was born and raised in rural Kentucky and love to ride horses. He was a natural. By the age of 19 he was racing horses professionally, and won his first official race in 1899 at the Harlem Racetrack near Chicago, Illinois. The following year he raced in the famed Kentucky Derby and placed 3rd. In 190l, Wink rode His Eminence and won the first race of the Triple Crown; and won again in 1902. His final Derby race was in 1903. He placed second and that was also the last year an African-American competed in the Kentucky Derby.

Well, now I’m off to find my hat and find a great seat to watch the race!

2 comments:

Rabiah Mayas said...

Danielle,

Are you going to be in Indiana this weekend for BioBlitz? We'll be there both days, so give me a buzz if you'll be around. Hope all is well in dissertation land:-)

-Rabiah (Science Chicago)

DNLee said...

no, I'll be in Washington DC for the American Institute for Biological Sciences meeting. BioBlitzsounds like fun. can't wait to see your write-up.

Do you know about the Blogging While Brown conference? They're offering scholarships for Chicago bloggers.

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