About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Floral Friday - KY Derby Roses, Oaks Lilies

The first Saturday in May is a great time to be a Kentuckian and live in Louisville. A week of celebrating builds to a great climax when late Saturday afternoon around 20 beautiful thoroughbred horses fly out of the starting gate at Churchill Downs for the fastest two miles in racing--the Kentucky Derby Run for the Roses.

The Kentucky Derby became known as the Run for the Roses because of this gorgeous blanket of red roses that adorns the winning horse. The blanket is made from 400 Freedom roses. The centerpiece of the blanket contains one perfect rose for each horse in the race.

Here you see Calvin Borel, one of the hardest-working and all around nice, modest jockeys to race in the Kentucky Derby. He's on Street Sense, winner in 2007. That win earned him a trip to the White House and a chance to meet Queen Elizabeth, a great horse fancier, who attended the Derby that year. Calvin also won last year on a surprise dark horse, Mine that Bird. Pretty good for an ole country boy from Louisiana, right? He's racing Saturday, so watch out!

The winner's blanket is designed at my neighborhood Kroger's
Supermarket floral shop
. On Friday afternoon several florists set up in the store and work into the night designing the blanket. Shoppers can drift by at any time and watch them working. On Saturday morning the blanket is carefully transported to Churchill Downs and displayed with the Derby cup until it's time for winner's circle ceremony.

But, before the Derby with all it's out-of- towners, celebrities, and in-field madness there's another race on Friday that's considered the hometown event--the Kentucky Oaks. This time the girls take center stage since it's limited to three year old fillies.

The Kentucky Oaks has it's own winner's blanket--"Lilies for the Fillies" Garland . Since this is all about girls racing, you probably wouldn't be surprised that there's a lot of pink going on. In addition to the blanket, if you look over the grandstand crowd, it's a sea of pink--hats and fashion for both women and men. This year's race supports the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for breast cancer.

The Lilies for the Fillies Garland is also designed at the Kroger's Floral Shoppe on Thursday night before the Friday afternoon race. A 142 Star Fighter Lilies--white with deep magenta throats are nestled in white tulle in individual water vials. Silk magenta ribbons from Switzerland accent the crown of the garland.

Last year the wonderful filly Rachel Alexandra romped her way to a record breaking win and into our hearts. Ridden by--who else--Calvin Borel! She went on to beat the boys in the Preakness. Got herself a cover of Vogue Magazine and title of Horse of the Year as well. You go girl!

No floral post about horse racing would be complete without some mention of Derby and Oaks hats. They are flowery fantasies where more is always more. Derby costumes are planned around the hat, like this lovely which is probably going to be seen at the Oaks. Now, I won't be at the races, but I'll keep up with all the glamour and sport on TV. If you're betting, hope your horse wins!

10 comments:

Debs said...

That blanket of red roses is incredibly beautiful. I always think of horses whenever anyone mentions Kentucky. Unfortunately I've never been there, but would love to go.

Lane said...

Those garlands are glorious. I can almost smell the lily one from here.

It looks like a marvellous event. All that colour and tradition. And horses. Aaah horses:-)

Faye said...

debs & lane--love of horses is one of the many things we have in common with English friends. In 2007 it was quite the thing to have Queen E stop off at the KY Derby before going to Washington D.C. for dull state business. She stayed on a friend's(hers not mine!)farm in central KY. Reportedly Calvin Borel, the winning jockey that year, was quite impressed with her knowledge of horses when they met.

Faye said...

BTW, lane, makes my day to see your friendly face and comments here. Hope all is well you and your Girlz--both two and four-legged. I ran across a recipe for yogurt cake in a recent book I was reading (Lunch in Paris) and thought of you. Hope Peggy Flobbins still gets to lick the occasional yogurt cup and Teabag is just as grand and wise as ever.

Sad news for Peggy F--she may not have heard that her boyfriend Daddy the Pit Bull passed on recently after 15 good years with the Dog Whisperer. You may need to remind Peggy that she's not Queen Victoria. . .

Janis said...

Wow Faye...thanks for the very interesting tid-bits about the Kentucky Derby. I love the rose blanket..so beautiful. Our big thing here is the Preakness we are just 45 minutes from the Pimlico race track in Maryland. Sadly..there was talk last year of selling the track, if they do...I hope they will preserve the tradtion of having the Preakness there.

KAREN said...

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

THERE IS CURRENTLY NOT A RACE NAMED LILIES FOR THE FILLIES. I OWN THE REGISTERED TRADEMARK LILIES FOR THE FILLIES. HOPEFULLY NEXT YEAR THE NAME OF THE OAKS RACE CAN BE RESTORED TO ITS LILIES FOR THE FILLIES. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS ISSUE, PLEASE EMAIL ME KKDELONEY@GMAIL.COM

KAREN said...

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

MY NAME IS KAREN DELONEY AND I OWN THE REGISTERED TRADEMARK LILIES FOR THE FILLIES. THERE IS NOT A RACE NAMED LILIES FOR THE FILLIES AT THTS TIME. HOPEFULLY NEXT YEAR THEIR WILL BE A LILIES FOR THE FILLIES RACE. FOR ANY QUESTIONS CONCERNING THIS MATTER, KKDELONEY@GMAIL.COM

Faye said...

Karen--no trademark infringement intended. I was merely referring to The Oaks winner's garland which is called Lilies for the Fillies.

Sallymademedoit said...

Dear Ms. Lowe,
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Armed with your timely tip, i.e. He's (Calvin) racing Saturday, so watch out!", I bet the farm on Super Saver and am now the proud owner of a stable full of fillies...at least until the money runs out :)

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