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Homeracing

Jennie Rees enjoys "day off" on Kentucky Derby backside

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TwinSpires Staff

May 7th, 2016

by JENNIE REES

Now this feels weird, but in a good way: like a combination of being on vacation and playing hooky.

After 34 years of writing for The Courier-Journal, including 32 covering horse racing, this will be the first Kentucky Derby pretty much of my entire adult life that I have not been working, or at least not working in a concentrated fashion.

By choice, I wanted just one Derby off. Just the afternoon off after working for WAVE-3 5-8 this morning. I want to spend the day on the backside, enjoying the barbecues, cookouts and, in the case of my husband’s barn, crawfish boil. 

Instead, the assignment I have accepted is blogging about the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the Churchill Downs backside on Derby Day.

Hard to believe they’re already calling Race 4 over to the paddock. It’s only 11:27.

What I don’t know - what will be a game-time decision, as they say — will be whether I can or can’t resist the lure of walking over with the Kentucky Derby field and watching the race from the frontside.

Meanwhile, while you’re watching the races, betting on TwinSpires.com, take a minute to check out #KyDerbyKids on Twitter @KyHBPA, the Twitter handle of the Kentucky division of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. That’s where the kids of the Derby trainers - and also jockey Gary Stevens’ daughter Maddie - are tweeting out their experiences. 

These are really bright teens and young adults. With super-passionate racing fans such as Bailey Romans, Chance Moquett, Ashley and Hayley Amoss, Keith Asmussen and Erin McLaughlin, the sport has a bright future. 

Meanwhile, my friends went on a walk around the backside and reported hearing about a woman dressed in all feathers. I’m on the hunt!

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