2011 Kentucky Derby Winner: Animal Kingdom w/ jockey John Velazquez (photo credit: timesunion.com)
Yesterday, we wrapped up the Derby Day Sweepstakes at Bourbon Steak in Aventura. It was an awesome time. Ladies came correct wearing some really cool hats! John Riccardo, General Manager, set us up at a few tables in the bar area and Lisa took care of us all night, from Derby pre-race all the way thru the end of the Heat/Celtics game. Behind the bar, Monique was whipping up some fantastic Mint Juleps. Even people that were not there to watch the Kentucky Derby got into the spirit and ordered a Julep and thought it tasted great. Nice and refreshing.
I decided to do the final Restaurant.com $25 gift certificate giveaway at the event so I could get everyone involved in the big race. Numbers 1-20 were handed out (excluding 18 who was scratched from the race) to the group and to total strangers and the Bourbon Steak staff so everyone had a horse in the race. The gates opened and the horses were off! My horse, #17 Soldat, got off to a nice start and was good thru the first 1/2 mile but then faded. In the end, the #16 horse, Animal Kingdom, turned on the jets in the last 1/4 mile and blew by everyone, taking first place by nearly a three horse margin. Monique had the #16 and won the gift certificate and a round of applause! It must've been good karma for serving delicious Mint Juleps to everyone.
An interesting fact about the winner, Animal Kingdom. The horse was bred mixing a turf champion sire from Brazil and a blue-blooded stout mare from Germany. It was the first time the horse had ever run on dirt!! Plus, it was the first time the jockey, John Velazquez, had ever ridden the horse! He got the call two days prior when the regular jockey was injured after being bucked from his horse and kicked in the face, resulting in a broken nose. The breeder remarked that, in Germany, horses are not allowed to be bred from sires and mares that have run on drugs, so you're getting a pure thoroughbred built for stamina. These horses are bigger, faster, and stronger. With Animal Kingdom, it showed.
A big Blind Tastes "thank you" to the entire staff at Bourbon Steak for hosting us on Derby Day. It was a great time and The Chowfather and I are already in discussions for the next race for the Triple Crown - The Preakness. Will Animal Kingdom win and be one step closer to the elusive Triple Crown? We will have to wait two weeks and see!