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Run For The Roses: Kentucky Derby

If dreams were horses I will ride! Vera Sharon tour of the Churchill Downs. The history, fashion and rich tradition of this yearly event. I simply love horses!


Run For The Roses: Kentucky Derby

If wishes were horses I will ride!

Vera Sharon’s tour of the Churchill Downs. The history, fashion and rich tradition of this yearly event. I simply love horses!

LOUISVILLE, KY –Learning to ride a horse is a goal I have set for myself and I am looking forward to achieve this goal pretty soon. I take pleasure in attending any events or visiting places associated with horses – so you see why visiting the Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky was a MUST.

I was visiting friends and family in Louisville, Kentucky and had a tour of the Churchill Downs on my “to go & to do list” Yes! but of course my love for horses. I had the privilege to go on this tour with one of the most admirable couple I have ever met. The weather was bright and sunny – such a lovely day, with my seat belts strapped on, I excitedly looked forward to my visit as we drove to Churchill Downs, Louisville Kentucky.

The tracks view from the sitting area



Kentucky Derby is a horse race sporting event held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United states of America. The race takes place on the 1st Saturday of May, capping the two-week long Kentucky derby festival.  Inaugurated in 1875, the Kentucky Derby is one of the most popular event in the United states of America. It has been described by Forbes as one of the “Greatest Bucket-list Sporting Events” in America.  This event is also known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports” or “the fastest two minutes in sport” for its approximate duration. The Kentucky Derby is 143 years old as at 2017.

Qualification for the race is a Grade 1 stakes race for 3 years old thoroughbreds at a distance of one and a quarter miles(1 1/4 miles/2km). The weight of the colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (55 kilograms). Tracks are left handed and surface is dirt.

The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the America triple crown followed by Preakness stakes and the Belmont stakes. A horse must win all three races to the triple crown.



A number of traditions are associated with the Derby and you can smell it in the air. An iced drink called the mint julep consists of bourbon, mint and sugar syrup is the traditional beverage of the race. A thick stew of beef, chicken, pork and vegetable called the burgoo, is a popular Kentucky dish served at the Derby.



The derby carries so much fashion, style and class. Women are dressed in expensive glamorous  outfits, jewelries, accessories with elaborate hats. A sort of female dress code for the race – men are tastefully and expensively dressed as well.  Another observation for comfort is attendees in flip-flops as they walk to locations to place belts and a refill of mint julep.

The seating is offered in a variety of outdoor location and quiet distinctive. Seating styles varies from individual Grandstand bleacher-style, individual Grandstand stadium-style to box seats. There is also the “millionaire row” where the  rich, famous and well-connected sits, and of course the general admits more but little chance of seeing more of the race.

The University of Louisville march band plays Stephen Foster’s “my old Kentucky home” as the horses are paraded before the grande-stand.  Pop vocalist Dan Fogelberg compose the song “Run for the Roses” which was released in 1980, another name for the race. The winner is draped over with a blanket of 55 beautiful roses.


Women at the derby tastefully dressed- those hats



The Kentucky Derby event attracts thousands of attendees and spectators all over the globe, flying into Louisville International Airports with commercial airlines and private jet/aircraft. The race is sponsored by well-known brands with high media publicity.

For subscribers/readers from Nigeria and Africa, the most cost effective and convenient way to get to Louisville is routing through any European carrier from Africa such as Lufthansa, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, British Airways with 2 stops to Louisville International (SDF).


So, you think you love horse racing? It is time to start planning and saving to attend Kentucky Derby 2018.

Simply, send an email to for up-to-date information on travel packages and consultation. And for the ladies, see more elaborated hats next year!

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Vera Sharon Ohioma is a Travelpreneur & Professional Make-up Artist. She is the Founder, TravellerAfrica & ColorsandPalettes. TravellerAfrica is a community that promotes travel in & out of Africa with the right information and experience at the best price. ColorsandPalettes offers professional make-up services and training for the everyday woman. She writes and consults on travel, hospitality and beauty care. She loves cheese and red wine. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram @travellerafrica & @colorsandpalettes.

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