Rushville Republican

Columns

April 29, 2014

May's dazed Derby days

(Continued)

The purchasers of this beverage may not simply be people whose brains have been over-dazed by spectacularly gaudy headwear. The proceeds from the julep sales go to an organization that cares for retired racehorses. So it’s money well-spent. Plus it comes with a coupon for 10% off the dry-cleaning of alarmingly multi-colored sport coats upon which the drinks will be spilt.

If you go back far enough in the mists of time, you’ll discover who the heck drove you home after you enjoyed a Derby Day mint julep (because you are of course much too smart to drink and drive). You will also discover that the Kentucky Derby could have been known by a completely different name.

The story goes that the Kentucky race was named after a British competition called The Epsom Derby. This was called a “Derby” because the Earl of Derby, who co-created it, won a coin flip for naming rights with his co-creator – both wished to name it for themselves. This gent was named Sir Charles Bunbury. That coin lands opposite side up, and I’m sitting here in my alarmingly multi-colored sport coat writing about The Kentucky Bunbury.

Speaking of names, did you know that horse-racing regulations require that no race horse can have a name containing more than eighteen letters? This is because names any longer would be cumbersome on racing sheets (also known as tip sheets, racing forms, and, my personal favorite, dope sheets). These publications, as everyone knows, are seen clutched in the hands of racetrack-goers the world over, and make every horse-racing experience more delightful because they contain the complete lyrics and script to “Guys and Dolls.” (“I got the horse right here/His name is Paul Revere. . .”)

When you peruse the names of all the horses that have run The Kentucky Derby, there are some real winners. Including, incidentally, “The Winner.” Which, unfortunately, it wasn’t – it placed 7th in 1896.

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Columns
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  • Word of advice So, what’s the word? Really, what is the word? With over 250,000 words in the English language, you’d think there would be a word for just about everything. Not so. Therefore, I am on a crusade to find a term for some everyday occurrences for which t

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    July 15, 2014

  • Please go away My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven’t caught up. I don’t have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m

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  • Soothing '60's Surf Sounds I’m sitting in my home office enjoying a serenade of rhythmic pulsations emanating from the outside wall. It’s coming from our water spigot. No. 5 son (age 13) and his buddies are using it to fill water balloons. 1,500 water balloons to be exact. 1,5

    July 15, 2014

  • Soccer-stopping Storm a Lousy Treat What a great way to spend a Saturday morning in July: I’m sitting in my car with rain cascading on the roof, lightning skittering all over the sky, and thunder sockin’ it to the atmosphere with such force that I feel a rumbling in my bum.I’m staring

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  • Only in America - Top 10 As we move into the glorious months of summer, I thought you might be amused by reading the Top Ten List of what Canadians supposedly think of how things are going in this country. It’s a lot like David Letterman’s “top ten list.”Number 10: Only in A

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