A Piece Of Kentucky Derby History Is Buried In Wyoming
I grew up in Kentucky and it's really hard to describe what the Kentucky Derby is for a Kentuckian. The city of Louisville(pronounced Luh-Uh-Vull) basically shuts down that Thursday leading up to the Derby. I was scheduled for two weeks of jury duty once in Louisville once, the second week was Derby week, and the judges won't do court that week, so I lucked into one week of civil service. The University of Louisville finishes up finals the week before to usher out the kids in dorms to move in the National Guard. The whole city revolves around it.
Now, here's something interesting that you'll appreciate, no one in Louisville goes to Churchill Downs on Derby Day, for the most part. The day prior is for locals for Kentucky Oaks. Derby Day is for parties across the city of Louisville, and really, the state of Kentucky. You typically go to a friend's or relative's house for beverages and barbecues. And you better believe there are some tears of pride shed during the playing of "My Old Kentucky Home".
A point of pride from the Kentucky Derby is the horses and how Kentuckians feel a connection to the winners. After moving to Wyoming, I found a piece of Kentucky Derby history, here in the Cowboy State that brings me a piece of pride.
The first-ever Triple Crown Winner is buried, right here in Wyoming, in Douglas, to be exact. The horse's name was Sir Barton, and he made the feat all the way back in 1919. Sir Barton was able to breeze through The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness, and The Belmont Stakes on his way to becoming the first great racehorse.
After he was retired from being the greatest racehorse ever, Sir Barton, after a few stops, made his way to JR Hylton's ranch, outside of Douglas, Wyoming to spend his final years. Not a bad retirement. You can see Sir Barton's monument in Memorial Park in Douglas.
With the Derby being tomorrow, I'll share with you my favorite thing to read on Derby Day. I have the illustration of this article from 1970 in my office. It's from Louisville Native, Hunter S. Thompson, you can read here. Read it out loud if you want, just, not around children.