Louisville Magazine

APR 2012

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

Issue link: https://loumag.epubxp.com/i/59337

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Page 12 of 132

138 REASONS WE LOVE DERBY No. 2: Pegasus Pins For a kid growing up in Louisville, Derby is less about the mint juleps and Infield mud wrestling (you'll learn to appreciate those later) and more about the quest for that Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket of Derbytime — a gold Pegasus Pin. Some of my sharpest Derby memories are of my preteen self standing in line at the Kroger checkout with my dad, ogling Pegasus Pins. Every spring, Kroger cleared out space between the tabloids and the Tic Tacs for racks of the tiny plastic treasures. In the '90s, they cost $2 each, sold in paper envelopes with two retail coupons inside. Every grocery trip, I begged Dad to buy me another one. Among the 300,000 or so Pegasus Pins sold annually, ap- proximately one in 30 was a golden instant-win pin. And I was deter- mined to tear through as many as it took to strike gold. Plus, pins came in five different colors, so I could at least complete my collection along the way. A gal needs a Pegasus Pin for every outfit. Dad didn't seem to mind. A Pegasus Pin earned us admission to the Chow Wagon, the BalloonFest, the Bed Races and other Derby Festival events. A gold pin could win us theater tickets, Derby Pie or restaurant certifi- cates, and we'd be eligible for more than a dozen drawings. Final grand prize in those days: a new Cadillac. I never did find a golden pin. Derby 138 marks the 40th edition of Pegasus Pins (they are now $4 in advance, $5 at events), and you can bet I'll be paying a few visits to Kroger. Watch out for that crazy lady in front of you at the checkout line. Tis just might be my year. — Carrie Daut [10] LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 4.12 No.3: There's a Cinderella story waiting to happen. WHEN PEOPLE TALK about Derby upsets, those surprise outcomes usually fall into two categories: long-odds winners besting a field with no preordained superstars and lightly regarded spoilers who ruin the storyline for heavy favorites already subject to media deification. Te former would of course include the $184.90-paying Donerail in 1913, as well as recent 50-1 shots Giacomo and Mine Tat Bird; two top examples of the latter would be Dark Star over the legendary Native Dancer in 1953 and Proud Clarion (along with trivia-question runner-up Barbs Delight) over prohibi- tive favorite Damascus in 1967. But the most table-turning feat in horse racing history fit into neither category. In 1919, an ill-tempered chestnut colt named Sir Barton — winless in his first six races (and just once in the money) — ran off with the Derby by five lengths to, in racing parlance, "break his maiden" in Sir Barton in the 1919 winner's circle. incomparable style. His odds were second-favorite short, but only because he was sent out coupled with stablemate and 1918 two-year-old co-cham- pion Billy Kelly. Serving as a pace-pushing "rabbit" whose express purpose was to wear down Billy Kelly's rival (and fellow two-year-old co-champ), Eternal, Sir Barton instead beat both of them along with nine other horses. Four days later — race schedules were irregular back then — Sir Barton won the Preakness; he captured the Withers Stakes next, followed by the Belmont in record time. Four wins in 32 days! But the sport's first Triple Crown champion was fated to fade quickly in the country's consciousness: A year-younger phenom by the name of Man o' War was hard on his heels, and would beat him in a 1920 match race. Retired to stud soon after, Sir Barton lived the rest of his 21-year life in obscurity, his stud fee diminishing to less than $10 during the Great Depression. Still, the unlikely racing star's prowess earned him the number 49 spot in Blood-Horse magazine's top 100 Toroughbred champions of the 20th century. — Jack Welch No. 4: For this one weekend, Louisville is the city that never sleeps. CHURCHILL DOWNS INC./ KINETIC CORP. PHOTO

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