Derby Day a big deal in South Walton

Published: Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 02:51 PM.

"The state of fast horses and beautiful women!" she says. "I have been to the Derby on several occasions and last year I had the quintessential Derby party, with most of the food ordered from Kentucky, ladies in their glorious hats, and mint juleps, of course. There is such a romance with the Derby — the tradition, the singing of 'My Old Kentucky Home,' and feeling that your horse will be the winner!"

Santa Rosa Beach's Mike McCarty said he and wife Sherri usually watch, but where they watch usually depends on Sherri's travel schedule.

"Sherri was a University of Kentucky graduate (as was her father). She worked as a groom's girl with the jockeys while in college. It gets in your blood. We have a few boxes of the old vintage Derby glasses that we pull out each year and use on Derby day," said Mike. "It's a fun tradition!"

Grayton's David Bludworth also likes the Derby and watches wherever he may be. He has attended twice while at Armor School in Fort Knox. He said wife Judi bet on the biggest horse one year and won even though he was a long shot, but she liked his eyes. The Bludworths will watch from home this year. They will put all entries in a cup, bet a dollar, then pick a blind number.  

As a horse owner, Sandestin's Susan Lovelace will watch the Derby from her horse farm while sipping a mint julep.

"We were fortunate enough to be invited to go one year by friends. It was incredible. I got to dress up and wear a beautiful hat. Now that I own three horses I pray that those young horses are strong enough to run and are not injured. They are beautiful race horses but are so young and their bones too. It's an incredible sporting event and just like human competitive events, there are risks," she said.

 South Walton Fire Chief Rick Talbert said he and wife Laura always try to watch it together, and they have a goal of attending in person one day.

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