A new, peppier, and more rhythmic version of the state song, My Old Kentucky Home, has been unveiled by the University of Louisville Marching Band. The new take, entitled Pegasus on Parade, is composed by Dr. Frederick Speck, professor and director of bands, but there’s no mistaking the origins.
The reception was enthusiastic from people in the crowd of 270,000 attending the annual Derby Festival event. Dawne Gee is, well, just being Dawne Gee. (Click on the photo.)
University of Louisville alumni will have plenty reasons to celebrate across the nation Saturday in addition to the traditional Kentucky Derby parties, and many will be wearing championship apparel. Alumni parties are planned far and wide.
Los Angeles: Dave and Tammy Radan, members of UofL’s Southern California Alumni Club, are hosting a Derby Watch party they promise “will knock your hooves off – from Mint Juleps to an original Kentucky home cooked spread, including everything from burgoo and fried chicken …” No country ham? Guests are encouraged to bring extra cash for betting and a silent auction.
Frankfort: The Capital Region Alumni Club at Buffalo Wild Wings, with raffles throughout the day, as well as prizes for the best dressed and for the most creative Derby hat.
Miami: Damon Stinson, president of the South Florida Cards, has organized an event at the Calder Casino & Race Course at Miami Gardens.
Phoenix: Roger Hayes of the Arizona Alumni Club will be hosting fellow fans at Gallagher’s Sports Club.
Elsewhere, alumni parties are being hosted by Jill Duvall in St. Louis; George Ellard in Mississippi, Kelly Hanton in Philadelphia, and Paul Hanks in Houston. UofL Alumni Association Guide here.
A national championship and runner-up in basketball, a BCS Sugar Bowl football trophy, the invitation to the Atlantic Coast Conference, combined with the Derby. Could be a wild day for many UofL fans.
One person who didn’t did get much attention in the Winner’s Circle after I’ll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby was Jack Sisterson.
Sisterson, a native of Durham, England, is the assistant trainer to Doug O’Neill at Reddam Racing in Sacramento. He’s also a former University of Louisville soccer player who played forward on UofL’s national runner up team in 2010.
“I’m living my dream,” said Sisterson, in an interview with a British newspaper. “Growing up in England, my family owned horses, and being a trainer of race horses has always been something that I have wanted to do.”
Watch for him in the winner’s circle after the Preakness May 19th at Pimlico.
No fun betting favorites in the Kentucky Derby. They disappoint more often than not.
Animal Kingdom, last year’s winner, went off at 20-1 odds. Though this was his first race on dirt, the winner had an easy trip, paying $43.80, $19.60 and $13 for a $2 bet.
Here are a few “live” outside shots that could reward their backers:
Take Charge Indy (15-1) — Won the Florida Derby earlier this spring and gets the services of local legend Calvin Borel. Few know the track better than Calvin “Bo-rail” and this horse could be dangerous if Borel can get him to the rail to sweep by tiring horses down the stretch.
I’ll Have Another (12-1) — Got his nose up in time to win the Santa Anita Derby and is hoping the track stays fast and firm Saturday. If the rains come, he may finish last…but his tracking style and stamina suggest he can make the distance easily with “wunderkid” Mario Gutierrez aboard.
Went The Day Well (20-1) — Won the Spiral Stakes at northern Kentucky track Turfway where last year’s winner prepped. He also gets the services of last year’s winning jockey, John Velazquez. The reports from the backside at Churchill Downs are glowing and positive about how he’s ripping up the morning works and loving the surroundings.
Have a happy, safe and prosperous Derby Day. As the late Louisville Times sports columnist Mike Barry would say: “I hope to break even at the track today. I could use the money.”