How about them Longshots, eh?
I've written about my time dealing with Churchill Downs in the past, but not on a Derby Day. The biggest racing event in the world, the Kentucky Derby, takes place the first Saturday of May in Louisville Kentucky. When I was a horse crazy young girl, I always wanted to attend. Mostly because it was this huge horse related event.
Flash forward to present day, I was given the opportunity to go to the event and I took it. There was a catch, however.
I had to work it.
These are the most unflattering pants ever. Remind me when I have to wear a uniform that doesn't involve camouflage, to dress myself up a little next time.
I was detailed out for Security in the Kentucky Derby, which meant I caught the race second hand on TV, but that's ok, a lot of people don't see the race live, and you get a better view of it from the TV anyway.
I woke up at Oh-Dark-Thirty, which isn't really that unusual for me, but actually I did get up earlier then I usually do, which is saying something. Working just the Derby, we had to get there before all the people do, and they want us there by six, so I took into account that I had to wake up, get dressed, drive to the parking lot to get shuttled in, and then get shuttled in and find out where exactly they wanted me to be. I was quite frankly clueless. I just knew it was going to be a long day, though I was expecting to have fun.
I thought I was going to be settled in with doing Gate duty at Gate 10, when I got nabbed to help out over in the Turf Club.
Yes, the Turf Club. That's where all the Celebrities go.
Again, remind me to dress myself up a little more next time I do something like this? I'm so used to dressing down that it has worn off on me to NOT wear make up and preset myself in such a fashion. But when you are dealing with the Turf Club, well, let's just say I stood out as fashionably under dressed in my black shirt and badge and waist high pants. These things are disgusting, there is a reason why I don't wear pants that ride this high.
Anyway, what struck me about the Turf Club was how ritzy it was, and how dressed up everyone was who was there. Now mind you, I'm working security, and though I had a camera on me, I couldn't just go snapping pictures of people at random. I had to be discreet about it, which turned into me getting quite a few crappy pictures actually.
When I first got there, I was hungry, because I conveniently forgot breakfast. It is torture to work in this place and watch the servers serve this amazing looking food and you can't touch it. It was ridiculously high priced food, but I didn't need to worry, being amidst the little people, around noon I finally got to eat my ham and cheese sandwich, which I paid a dollar for.
As for the celebrities, well, there were quite a few I saw. Being security, I didn't go out and get pictures of all of them, that would have been classless on my part.
Who did I see?
Brooke Shields (holy crap this girl is tall!), Terry O'Quinn (proved to be a true nerd when this was the most exciting celebrity I saw), Nick Lachey (meh), Kim Kardasian, Kid Rock, Larry Birkhead (Anna Nicole Smith's Baby Daddy) Serena Williams, Ely Manning, Paris Hilton (famous for being famous???), and. . . Ricky Gervais?
Ok, that is actually kind of a funny story. I haven't seen a current picture of Ricky Gervais for a while, but I love his TV show Extras (so sad he only did two seasons, what's with that anyway?) and I could swear I'm staring at him. I was actually more excited about the prospect of seeing Ricky Gervais then anybody else besides Terry O'Quinn, which proves I'm totally unhip and a complete nerd actually. But being in a security uniform, it wouldn't do for me to go up and ask him for an autograph, so I just watch him, sometimes I swear its him and other times I'm not so sure. It sure LOOKS like him. So I'm watching him from my spot (I was in pretty much the same place all day) and trying to figure out if its him or not.
I pretty much convinced myself it was him (though I didn't think he was that tall) and after the Derby was over, decided to brave a chance that he would allow me to get a photo with him. He was a very nice guy, and also turned out to not be Ricky Gervais, but rather William Mitchell, President of Papa John's Pizza.
I still thought that was pretty cool and asked for a picture with him anyway. Looking back at current pictures of Ricky Gervais, it's not him. But I can pretend :P He was a really nice guy regardless.
Of course, after seeing him a half dozen times, I decided if I was going to get the nerve to go up and get a photo of a celebrity other then NOT Ricky Gervais, I was going to get a picture with John Locke.
Terry O'Quinn was also very accommodating and I didn't want to impede on him so I kept it quick and made sure I wasn't interrupting anything. My favorite part of Lost by far is his Character.
So those are the only real photos I managed to get with celebrities, or quasi celebrities that aren't really celebrities but we can always pretend they are.
As for the race itself, well, for those of you who follow Horse Racing, we'll just call it an upset.
The bizarrely named Mine That Bird was a 50-1 longshot that by some strange fluke managed to win the Roses. I'm guessing this means that we'll most likely NOT be seeing a Triple Crown Winner this year. But who knows? I love rooting for a long shot, especially one as oddly named as Mine That Bird. That could go down in legend with Secretariat, Citation, Affirmed, War Admiral, Omaha, and Seattle Slew.
Got to love those long shots!