Retro Post: The Derby Running Diary

The most exciting two-minutes in Sports.

Back in the days when Jai-Alai was still on ESPN, The Derby had this amazing mystique associated with it. Nothing could top it, and ask anyone who has ever gone to a Derby, no matter if they were in the infield or the grandstand they will tell you that it was the greatest sporting event they have ever been to. Allow me to speak some wiggle, the Super Bowl can’t hold The Derby’s jock. Unfortunately the Sport of Kings has slipped in the past decade largely due to the lack of a Triple Crown Horse, culminating with last year. In the last five years the sport of horse racing has been blessed to have numerous Triple Crown hopefuls that generated a buzz in the sport. War Emblem, Funny Cide, Smarty (Piccinich) Jones. But last year, that was the year things were supposed to change. Barbaro was supposed to save the sport. The crazy part with Barbaro was that all he had to do was win The Derby. With the previous horses, they became household names after the Preakness. Once Barbaro won The Derby he became America’s Horse. So what does he go and do? He shatters his leg on the front stretch along with the hopes of a Nation. But I digress, this post is not about Barbaro, it is about the most amazing trip ever.

We started going to Triple Crown races in 2002 and we determined that 2004 would be the year we hit all three legs of the Triple Crown. It was a simpler time. A time when all three races were on the same network, and a time where we didn’t need to take sick days, all we had to do was tell Steve Kladis that we couldn’t work the weekend. This is the Running Diary from that amazing weekend: [Note: This was one of the first running diarys, that’s why it is quite sparse.]

FRIDAY
2:38 pm – Leave College Park
5:00 pm – Pass by Negro Mountain (Seeing this sign may or may not have sparked our desire to keep a running diary. I can’t believe that nothing happened for the first two and a half hours)8:09 pm – Merge onto I-64, only 237.4 miles to go (Another three hour gap. Lackluster)
8:11 pm – Find out Marshall is in West Virginia (We are Marshall)
8:25 pm – Stop of at T.G.I.Fridays to eat (If I remember correctly, this was around the time that Jayson Williams shot his limo driver. The second we walked into the place we got dirty looks, presumably because we are bastard New Yorkers. I’m surprised no one slashed our tires)
9:20 pm – Rick takes a picture with the hot waitress, then being the smooth guy that he is, he turns and crashes into the door on the way out
9:29 pm – Nitro, WV: Where the preferred means of transportation is an atlas-sphere
9:35 pm – Big Sandy Superstore
10:10 pm – Apparently the exit number before 1 is 191 (I now realize this is because we were crossing state lines. What do you expect I was/am retarded)
10:11 pm – Big Sandy River! Reached Kentucky, acquired second wind for a second round pick and a player to be named later.
10:29 pm – Dmo’s flatulence almost causes an accident
10:46 pm – Little Sandy River
11:09 pm – Stopped off at a gas station and won $1 on a scratch off ticket (I still have that scratch ticket because I refused to cash it in for a dollar)
11:19 pm – Amy Lawrence asks Mike Matheney how it feels to know he needs four balls for a walk
SATURDAY
12:35 am – Ole Mel calls and expresses surprise we haven’t arrived; clearly she must have forgotten we are retarded
12:41 am – Amy Lawrence is still retarded
12:43 am – Shelbyville! We can now have sex with our cousins (For the record, just in case anyone who is trying to hire me for a job is reading this, I do not condone people having sex with their cousins. This is simply a Simpsons reference.
12:51 am – Simpsonville; no more sex with our cousins (As pointed out in the “Behind the Laughter Episode, the Simpsons are in fact from Kentucky. Springfield, Kentucky is about an hour South of Shelbyville and Simpsonville)
12:55 am – God spites Rick yet again (I’m not quite sure how I was spited, or even when the first time I was spited on this trip)
1:18 am – Encountered pink light, did not know how to respond
1:25 am – Drove over curb to reach Papa John Cardinal Stadium parking lot
1:36 am – Rick pees in dumpster
1:50 am – Crappy band still playing across the street (They really did suck)
2:11 am – “Sleep” begins
2:12 am – Ostrowe kicks open trunk
2:13 am – Ostrowe Flatuates
3:45 am – No cars left in Papa John’s Stadium Parking Lot
5:15 am – Wake up to find everything soaking wet, Rain wins round one (Was there any doubt that the rain wouldn’t win. They were the number one seed, we won the play-in game)
5:45 am – Rain wins round two
6:10 am – Rain wins round three (It just won’t stop, It just won’t stop)
6:45 am – We surrender. Ostrowe plans on getting bag from the trunk, on the way his shirt falls in a puddle when he returns he only has a poncho
6:51 am – Ostrowe risks life by making pilgrimage to other car
6:59 am – Rick thinks he’s heady by using the natural resources of a puddle to wash his hands, however he realizes he is retarded since Ostrowe just peed in the puddle
7:49 am – Leave Papa Johns for Churchill Downs
8:15 am – Crotch assaulted by metal detector
9:15 am – After teaching Chubbs how to bet, Rick asks the KFC Girls if they know the Colonel (It became obvious that they have never watched Family Guy. Speaking of Family Guy, have they jumped the Shark, it doesn’t have nearly the amount of buzz they had when they came out of retirement)
9:20 am – Ostrowe wants a 13 year-olds phone number. The woman in front of us complains of being cold so Chubbs tells her to take her shirt off (Chubbs: 5.99/LB)
10:00 am – Met “The Sausage Girls”
10:30 am – Hacksaw Mark Duggan starts HOOOOOOOOO chant
10:44 am – Rain finally stops (I didn’t realize that it had started. Oh, that’s right it hadn’t stopped from the night before)
11:00 am – Maryland Hold-em starts. Chubbs asks Dmo for a dollar, Dmo declines. Rick runs out of dollars, Dmo gladly gives him one
12:00 pm – Two hot chicks show up, everyone turns and watches them
12:12 pm – The aforementioned hot chicks start going at it three feet away
12:30 pm – Chicks still going at it, everyone near turn three stops what they are doing
12:32 pm – NIPPLE!!
12:42 pm – HOOOOOOOOO chant heard faintly in the distance, Mark shows up
12:59 pm – Chicks separated; boo
1:00 pm – Maryland Hold-em, Dmo gives Chubbs a dollar this time
1:02 pm – Hot chick A passes out
1:20 pm – Hot chick B returns, wakes up hot chick A and they start going at it
1:27 pm – Hacksaw Mark Duggan pronounced dead
1:29 pm – BOOBIES!!
1:30 pm – Chicks separated; boo
1:40 pm – Chicks start going at it again
1:59 pm – MONEY SHOT!
2:10 pm – Dmo and Ostrowe go to Portapotty, Dmo returns, Ostrowe pronounced dead
2:30 pm – Chicks still going at it
2:32 pm – African Heat sets in
2:45 pm – Dmo and Beer assaulted in Portapotty by rowdy patron
2:52 pm – Chicks separated permanently; hot chick A taken home (For those who haven’t been counting, that is three hours that no one really did anything else but watch these two girls. Ah the joys of being at The Derby at the age of 20)
3:00 pm – BOOBIES!!
3:15 pm – BOOBIES!!
3:32 pm – BOOBIES!! (I assure other stuff went on at The Derby but since I was 20 and single, I wasn’t really concerned with anything else)
3:50 pm – Ostrowe resurrected with a So Co Hurricane in each hand
4:00 pm – Storm of the Century hits Churchill Downs
4:03 pm – Jurgen proclaims that the storm can’t get any worse
4:04 pm – The storm gets worse
4:08 pm – Jurgen proclaims that the storm can’t get any worse
4:09 pm – The storm gets worse
4:10 pm – Chick with hairy legs hides under Dmo’s poncho
4:12 pm – Jurgen proclaims that the storm can’t get any worse
4:13 pm – The storm gets worse
4:18 pm – Grandstand disappears
4:20 pm – The chick with hairy legs falls over, Rick blinded by hairy chang
4:30 pm – Jurgen proclaims that the storm can’t get any worse
4:32 pm – The storm gets worse
4:45 pm – The Storm of the Century finally ends
4:48 pm – Naked man shows up and slides across tarp
5:00 pm – Rick calf deep in bathroom flood, once again Rick encounters urine cleaning his calfs
5:10 pm – We watch an entertaining game of kill the carrier in the mud
5:15 pm – Fat guy shows up wearing tiny jockey suit and carrying an empty keg. Throws it around to show power but is quickly thrown out of circle. Keg thrown around more, surprisingly no one is killed
5:49 pm – Hacksaw Mark resurrected from dead
6:09 pm – Race Starts
6:11 pm – Race Lost
8:20 pm – Check into Best Western for some much needed comfort
8:25 pm – Independence makes Ostrowe feel like an adult
8:52 pm – Dmo emerges from shower warning about hitting his face on the shower head
9:00 pm – Rick hits face on shower head
9:15 pm – Ostrowe hits face on shower head
9:30 pm – Waffle House for some fine southern cuisine
9:32 pm – Reconfirmed Rick is an idiot (I wonder what I did)
9:45 pm – One-eyed waitress emerges from kitchen (Legend also has it she had a hairnet, an eye patch and was smoking)
10:15 pm – Much needed bedtime, this time in a real bed
SUNDAY
5:00 am – Rick mumbles inaudible sentence in his sleep
8:00 am – Everyone wakes up
8:37 am – Rick baffled by Bob Costas doing his best Ladies Man impression
11:11 am – Leaving Kentucky after exactly 37 hours, to the minute
11:12 am – West Virginia still sucks
11:39 am – Ostrowe makes note to self “I don’t ever wanna go through West Virginia again” (Until we “go” to The Derby this year)
12:04 pm – Stupid West Virginia town names: Big Chimney, Big Otter, Mink Shoals
12:15 pm – Mar pronounced dead
12:30 pm – West Virginia is still a certified business location
12:42 pm – Rick and Dmo are startled by the same truck, Dmo thinks it’s from Alaska, Rick thinks it’s owned by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
1:11 pm – Ostrowe squirts water all over himself
1:15 pm – Rick observes that if a girl’s name is Nona, there’s no way she is cooler than you
1:19 pm – While traveling north on I-79, we passed South Weston 20 minutes after Weston
1:24 pm – Vin calls to find out if Rick is working today (I told him millions of times that I wasn’t)
1:53 pm – West Virginia sucks more wang
2:15 pm – Mar Resurected, he’s on his way to AC before his final starts
2:19 pm – Scan through AM channels, scan never stops
2:28 pm – Hello Maryland, “Fuck you West Virginia” -Dan Ostrowe
2:31 pm – Hello Friendsville, Deep Creek and Swallow Falls
2:41 pm – Negro Mountain, the second encounter
2:46 pm – Ole Mel plots to kills us by trying to get us to play bullets while driving
2:57 pm – Ostrowe holds door open for girl her wants to do…she’s 7
3:00 pm – Disaster at Burger King, Cabin Fever sets in
3:05 pm – THERES MAYO EVERYWHERE!! IT’S IN MY RACOON WOUNDS
3:14 pm – Passed by Noah’s Ark; missed picture
3:26 pm – Storm of the Century vs. Us II: This Means War
3:36 pm – Storm once again gets worse, can’t see anything; sucks for us
3:39 pm – Beat storm of the Century in race to Flintstone, Maryland, Photo Finish; exacta pays $27.65
4:23 pm – Ostrowe tells Rick to show the woman next to us how he feels, half asleep Rick gives everyone in a one mile radius the finger
4:28 pm – Bird impales head on windshield, nearly dies. Will go onto win the Kentucky Derby in two years
4:58 pm – Encountered Moose head ala The Godfather
5:05 pm – Ostrowe spill water on himself, again
5:13 pm – The Beltway sucks
5:16 pm – Dmo accurately predicts that the truck a mile ahead is from Alabama. (I think we saw 48 license plates on the trip to Kentucky)
5:19 pm – AND DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME
5:23 pm – Return to Seven Springs, Ostrowe’s trunk smells, Dmo’s socks eat a hole in the pavement

To this day I am still amazed that we pulled off this trip without a hitch.
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