Current Derby favorite Nyquist was one of the first runners I saw this morning and he was totally having a “I have my own wind machine” moment. That horse knows how to work a camera!
Today marked the first time I saw Nyquist gallop at Churchill Downs and I loved how he looked. He’s the favorite for a very good reason.
I was very excited to spy Santa Anita Derby winner Exaggerator this morning. I really like him for the Derby, and I think he may be a smart horse to bet on Saturday.
I also, of course, adore that he was escorted by Harley, who’s one of my favorite “ponies” at the track. Two handsome horses in one photo – can’t beat that!
Unfortunately I wasn’t very impressed when I saw Lani, the Japanese entrant. He seemed very unfocused as he made his way around the track.
In fact, his rider had to give him a few taps on the shoulder just to keep him motivated. I think he’ll be a horse that I skip in my Derby bets.
Brody’s Cause looked very workmanlike as he galloped today. I also noticed that his rider had some sort of GoPro on his helmet this morning.
This is it – I’m not sure what kind of camera it is, but keep an eye peeled for some cool video coming from the Brody’s Cause camp this week!
I am really impressed every time I see Shagaf. If you can forgive him for his poor performance in the Wood Memorial (and I can) you may want to include him on your betting ticket.
Majesto is a huge question mark – he’s kind of the mystery horse in this year’s Derby group – but, man, he is one good looking horse.
I just really liked this photo of Mohaymen with the iconic Twin Spires of Churchill Downs behind him, and I felt like sharing it with you.
One of the things that make the Kentucky Derby special is that every moment is an event. These ladies brought their fashion A-game to morning gallops!
After Derby training was over, I went back to Doug O’Neill’s barn to see Nyquist. I spotted his and Land Over Sea’s saddle towels drying in the sun, which made for a festive sight.
Nyquist was treated to a quick drink of water before his bath. Doug has some wonderful grooms taking care of the horses in his barn who clearly love their charges.
After Nyquist was sponged off – it was a little chilly for a full bath this morning – his grooms soaked his bandages in ice water to keep his legs cold and tight.
Meanwhile, Nyquist relaxed under the care of his trainer Doug O’Neill. The two clearly have a great relationship, and I can’t wait to see what the team does on Saturday.
Another famous member of the O’Neill barn is stable pony Satire. This handsome guy is a retired racehorse and at 21 years of age, he’s a calming force among the younger Thoroughbreds.
He also was available for pony rides this morning! I have no idea how I got so lucky, but I got to ride him for a few minutes. Best. Morning. Ever!
After I (reluctantly) dismounted, I headed over to see new arrival Danzing Candy getting his bath. I loved his team’s red and yellow “DC” hats made especially for the Derby.
I wasn’t the only one interested in seeing him, Danzing Candy acquired quite a crowd of admirers over the course of his bath!
But once the crowd dispersed, Danzing Candy put on a show, standing up on his hind legs in a fit of high spirits as he grazed in an enclosed grassy area.
After that, it was time for me to head to the press box and get ready for a day of racing. There really is something magical about the horses running under the Twin Spires, isn’t there?
Churchill Downs had a robust crowd for a Tuesday afternoon, with fans lining the paddock to glimpse the Thoroughbreds before their races.
I saw some pretty spectacular hats this afternoon. That’s why I love Derby week; everyone’s here for the party!
How sweet is this fascinator? I love the European feel of these headpieces.
This cheerful yellow makes me happy just looking at it.
I loved this lady’s zebra stripes! The hat was very festive for a day at the races.
And with that, I’ll leave you until tomorrow when I’ll have all the action out of Churchill Downs including details from the Kentucky Derby draw. Thanks for joining me, and let me know who your horse is in the comments!