Wait…this is where Churchill Downs is?
That was the first thought in my head as I pulled up to the majestic looking white structure that hosts the Kentucky Derby. To my surprise, Churchill Downs is right in the middle of a very transitional area of Louisville, or in other words the hood. As I entered the gates I could tell by the tons of alcohol tents, that this event is just as much about the partying as it is about the nation’s best thoroughbreds. I was just there to pick up my media credentials, so I wasn’t able to check out too much of the scenery. But I expect today’s Kentucky Oaks and Saturday’s Kentucky Derby will be unlike any sporting event I’ve been to.
The most interestingly fun experience from yesterday was the party I attended last night at Prime Lounge in Downtown Louisville. I walked in and was immediately approached by an inebriated woman who paid me a nice compliment (which was greatly appreciated) and then proceeded to ask to take a picture with my butt because “it’s so big and my butt is so flat.” I knew right then I was in the place to be.
After a quick stop at the bar, I was led to the back of the lounge where the real party was. Although it was a much smaller area, that didn’t stop folks from packing into the rectangular space that housed the VIP tables. It was there that I saw the first familiar face. It was none other than Warren Moon, surrounded by Tiger style ladies of the cougar variety trying to sing along to Rack City. (I give him an A for effort…he was hype and although he did not know most of the words, he came on strong in the chorus.) I found myself staring at Moon; mesmerized by his go-to dance move. It was some type of stationary one-step bankhead bounce dance. After I snapped out of the Warren Moon Rack City daze, I headed to the bar located in the back of the room to post up and observe. About 20 minutes the inevitable happened. The entire Louisville Cardinal basketball team walked in the building, including Kevin Ware…crutches and all. This was clearly the hot spot, and as I observed from the rear I noticed that the crowd was perfectly mixed (black/white, old/young, southern/yankee, jock/joe, rhythmic and rhythmically challenged) and if this was any indication of what to expect this weekend I’m in for a great time.
Follow me on twitter @dahurtlocktress for pictures and live updates from Churchill Downs.