Saturday, May 7, 2005


During my first attempt at college I was fortunate enough to attend the most famous Kentucky Derby in modern history. In 1973 I saw the unbeatable and undoubtedly the greatest race horse of the last half of the 20th century Secretariat win the 99th Derby.

It is my favorite Derby not only because of Secretariat, but because my best friend in the whole world went with me. The next day she bordered a plane and I did not see her again for 20 years! Every Derby since we have written each other. This day and age we email on the first Saturday of May. She has a Mint Juliep and remembers the  year she spent at Murray State University that culminated with a Derby and a flight out of Bluegrass field for a rendezvous with her destiny.

Me, I was left behind to attend many more Derby's. Not one of them was ever as exciting or memorable as that Saturday in May in 1973 .

Fast forward to Mothers Day 2003. My sister Omega and I were cleaning up the family room after a recent flood. We were removing the carpet, rearranging the furniture, cleaning and disposing of the spoils of spring. We decided to move the twin bookcases, which are placed side by side so close they look like one bookcase, so we could clean under them.

We removed the books and then moved the first one.

"Look" my sister said as she peeled a tote ticket that had somehow fallen in between the two cases and had been hidden from sight.

"Oh , oh... The Derby, 1973!!!"

We raced upstairs to show Mom what we had found. Not to chastise her housekeeping skills  but because  she and Omega are both in the Thoroughbred Industry and an artifact  like this, an actual tote ticket from the 99th running of the Derby was an exciting find!

The ticket was a WIN ticket for #1.

We got out one of Moms reference books and saw that the #1 horse was Angle Light.

I arrived home and immediately began looking for my old Derby program from that race.

Guess What? Go ahead, guess what?

Angle Light was coupled that day. To Secretariat, who ran as 1-A.

We found a winning ticket for the 99th Kentucky Derby! 30 years later!



sunnyside46 said...


ksquester said...

woo grab your hat and stand to sing My OLE KENTUCKY HOME, with me.  I remember that year also. I was at a Derby party at my sister0-in-laws, pregnant with my youngest son and was socked in the jaw by an excited winner. It was an accident, but OUCH!    Almost time now....good luck!   Anne

yakima127 said...

Way cool!  JAE

my78novata said...

wow way cool been so busy I need to go see who won can you cashe in on a ticket that old????????

suzypwr said...

A great celebration for the current derby!

ryanagi said...

What a cool discovery! Is a ticket like that worth anything?

jmorancoyle said...

    Cash it in? Keep it. My bet is the ticket is worth more now as a piece of history than it could ever bring at the race window. Great find!

jtuwliens said...

What a treasure!

lisaram1955 said...

Sounds like an item for the next Anitques Road Show that runs through Louisville...  Lisa  :-]

njlittlebear said...

Wow !  Will this be on Ebay soon ?  LOL


mrccgoody said...

oh wow...oh wow...
There are so many wonderful things about this I can't even begin to start.
YOU know what they are, anyway.

delela1 said...

Lucky, lucky, lucky you!  As a child I followed the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes for years.  On Saturday's in May I was glued to the tv set.  I lived, breathed, ate, walked, talked, drew, read, slept, played and dreamed...horses.  24/7.

But you definitely got the grand prize of all horsedom!  Very, very cool indeed.

redonionsauce said...

wow, how exciting.  I am also a triple crown fan.