Louisville is closed see you on Monday

John Holmes

The first Saturday in May is just about upon us but it's the Friday before that everything gets set in motion. Kentucky Oaks day begins the madness. Roads closed, traffic a nightmare, forget eating dinner at a favorite restaurant, and the parties. The one night a year Hollywood comes to Louisville.

And the entire City shuts down to the locals.

Don't get me wrong. I love the attention the Derby atmosphere brings to Louisville. It is the one weekend each year we get to take center stage and be recognized for having one of the Nation's last bastions of real sports entertainment. The fastest two minutes in sports.

One of the greatest things about picking the Derby winner is the unpredictability of being able to do so. Young 3 year old horses wreak havoc on the handicappers at Derby time.

I remember my favorite horse of all time, Secretariat, winning the Derby and going on to win the Triple Crown by blowing out the other contenders during the Belmont Stakes.

The Derby itself creates so many dramatic finishes that it usually lives up to the hype.

But I also remember when the locals were allowed to feel like we were a part of the atmosphere and could engage in the hoopla. I remember when Central Avenue was THE place to be on Oaks Day and the party continued on well into the wee hours after the Derby was run on Saturday.

I remember a time when no one cared what you were doing as long as it was peaceful. The police didn't mind so much either until they were ordered to shut Central Avenue down for good.

We Louisvillians for a night got to pretend we were somebody important sharing in the greatest spectacle in modern sports. We felt like we were a part of it all. We the people were the story on the nightly news and felt like a celebrity for just a moment in time.

Now we focus on the latest celeb coming into town and glorifying them above ourselves. It has become a corporate showcase rather than a local event we share in.

The locals are essentially held hostage to their homes and not allowed to engage in the freedom that came with the Central Avenue parties or Broadway cruising. Once a year the locals could cut loose and enjoy themselves.

Together as one.

Were things perfect and trouble free? Of course not, but just as many things happen at the track that ever happened during the local celebrations. They just don't get reported. It would ruin the ambience.

So while the rest of the world gets to focus on the narrative the media wants to portray, the people of Louisville have to sit it out. That is the saddest part of it all. The roar of the crowd while the Derby was running does not include the voices of Louisvillians any longer. The pride this City once shared as the focus of National attention for a weekend somehow has been lessened because of their inability to enjoy it.

But tradition still dictates we pick a horse to win. I won't let that tradition pass me by so for the Oaks here you go.

Long shot Angela Renee to win. Long shot trifecta play?

6-Angela Renee 13-Birdatthewire 8-I'm a chatterbox

For the Derby. I will go with what all odds say is a stupid bet and pick the favorite. Winner American Pharaoh.

Long shot trifecta? 17- American Pharaoh 6- Mubtaahij 19- Far Right

I will box both.

It can't be any worse than anything else out there......... Good luck to all!


Article Topic and Tags

Other Stories

  1. Valley Station
    According to the Courier-Journal, Trainer Todd Pletcher qualified five horses for the Kentucky Derby but will wind up


  1. May 1, 2015 - 3:08pm
    I like Include Betty to win. A longshot but has a great stretch run in her to take advantage of Churchill's long stretch. Female jockey and former Kentucky governor Brereton Jones is the breeder and owner.