The Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks this year was certainly a grand celebration.
On May 6 and May 7, Churchill Downs turned into a parade of looks full of fashionable moments. Memories were made as the first race saw Secret Oath made a sweeping win with a 2-length victory in the $1.25 million, Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas won his fifth Kentucky Oaks and first since 1990 as legions of fans donned in pink cheered him on. Kentucky Oaks is of course too a special day of tribute not only to the sport, but also to real life heroes. The Survivors Parade is a moving march of breast and ovarian cancer survivors that takes place on Churchill Downs’ historic racetrack prior. This year tears of joy were expressed by many in the crowd who felt the woes of the pandemic wash away to be able to see so much unity in person on the field.
The following day the fairy tale magic you can only find at Churchill downs only grew as the 148th Run of the Roses took place. What happened on this day was a day for the history books.
A little horse with a sassy heart and joyfully playful beat took the track and made two minutes happen that the world will never forget. Sonny Leon and Rich Strike took a long shot placement and made it a breathtaking win. Leon masterfully rode through the crowded 20-horse field to beat favorite, Epicenter, and capture an 80-1 victory no one could have predicted.
This is the power of Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks. It takes two days in the month of May and turns them into moments that millions of people around the world can enjoy for a variety of reasons.
To be on the grounds is a special treat. For many it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to dress up and play. And for those lucky enough to come again and again they take with them home stories to share for all to reveal in.
Here is to the magic that will sparkle from the twin spires for eternity.