A memorable week culminates in the biggest day of horse racing Jeff Krulik has ever witnessed.
After a week of growing crowds and excitement, Derby morning dawns quiet on the Churchill Downs backstretch.
Tucked away from the pomp and glitter, a house party erupted with bands paid for with bottles of Budweiser and bourbon, Kentucky’s age-old currency.
Since I was the last one in the media center the other night, I missed the van and had to take the employee shuttle. It was a memorable ride.
Just another day on the backstretch. A loose horse and Ruben Sierra are among the day’s sights and sounds.
It’s Derby Week across the board.
One horseplayer’s rallying cry to his hometown heroes and friends, Kathy and Timmy Ritvo.
My first visit to Churchill Downs’ legendary backstretch is in the rain. The pouring rain. But John Scheinman guides me through the sights and sounds and most importantly, the thoroughbred right-of-way. Then, to Wagner’s Pharmacy.
Despite the weather, Tuesday turned out to be a pretty good morning after all, and those who stayed in bed missed all the fun.
Jeff Krulik arrives at Churchill Downs for Kentucky Derby week.