April 15, 2014

Happy Day at Derby Day

One of my favorite events during the year is Derby Day at Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs. We're lucky that we usually are able to sneak away a couple of weekends to checkout the horse races, but there is something special about Derby Day. 

So Friday night we ventured to Hot Springs to my IL's beautiful lakehouse. The weather in Arkansas this past weekend was amazing. The night was all cocktails and take-out pizza and even an impromptu hat fashion show and it was a lot of fun. Almost a little too much!

The next morning was a blur of people eating breakfast, donning their hats and bow ties and pouring a mimosa or Bloody Mary for the road. I love the excitement of Derby Day mornings - guys on their laptops or phones trying to get hot tips, the women swapping hats and pouring champagne and pictures, lot of pictures!

I went for a beige sheath dress from Maude here in Little Rock. Hat is from Dillard's and shoes not pictured were navy peep-toe pumps from Jessica Simpson. I felt very Kate Middleton. Or like Kate Middleton's second cousin twice removed, hah.

After all of the pre-race excitement we were in the car and zooming towards the track!

Little blurry but I still love it!

The races, especially when the weather is pleasant, always seem to be packed. It's the ultimate people watching event - I would wager equal to airport people watching. No matter if you are hanging out on the benches inside, venturing out into the infield (which when the weather is perfect is one of my favorite places to be!) or entering the crammed elevators for the Jockey Club, the excitement in the air is contagious. 

The food is always delicious - I was craving a half dozen raw oysters from the Oyster Bar or maybe a piled up Rueben but we ventured to the Jockey Club buffet instead. Never a disappointment! I didn't snag a picture of that, but I couldn't resist taking a quick snap of the cutest little desserts I ever did see.

Aren't they precious? I don't quite remember the flavors but the yellow/green slice of heaven in the middle was my favorite. They're like tiny works of art. 

The remainder of the afternoon was spent pouring over our programs and the multiple cheat sheets, lots of beer and wine and trips up for snacks and of course, trips to the ticket machine to place our bets!

Unfortunately, as per usual, Engineer Husband and I were not too successful at betting on the ponies. We had a few victories but I suppose betting on "Oh, I love that name!" or "There's a gray horse, let's pick that one!" aren't always the best reasons to go off of. Ah well.

We had the greatest time and I'm sad that we have to wait a whole other year to experience it again.

If you are in the area, I hope you get a chance to check it out next year! Maybe we'll bump into eachother!

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