08 March 2007

Shine on, Bright One

WV Derby glasses
Here at the Castle, we use our Derby glasses a lot. I'm rather fond of using them for gin and tonics, while the King prefers one for his whiskey, neat. Sometimes, I'll fill one up with diet Dr. Pepper; it tastes better encased in the names of some winning three-year-olds. Heck, I even use 'em for low-fat vanilla soymilk now and then.

Oh, be still, hearts of julep glass collectors. I'm talking about momentos from the big race in these parts, the West Virginia Derby. Though my glasses aren't worth a hill of beans on ebay, for me, they are valuable reminders of a fine summer day's racing. Holding one, scanning through the names of the 28 colts, 7 geldings, and 3 fillies whose names grace my little souvenir, I'm suddenly at a picnic table near the finish line, winning ticket in my hand. Little matter that there's no Triple Crown winner listed here; these horses came to this small market track -- and ran for us. The least I can do is read their names now and then, and wonder what they're doing now. Sir Shackleton, the 2004 winner is at stud after earning more than a million on the track. Real Dandy, the 2005 winner, recently won the $50,000 Curribot at Sunland.

And last year's winner, Bright One? Over the weekend, he ran in the $225,000 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Sprint Championship Handicap:

Breaking well for regular rider John Velazquez, Half Ours led for most of the opening quarter mile before settling into second on the outside of Bright One, who set a fast pace under pressure of :21 3/5 and :43 3/5. Half Ours took over at the head of the lane and opened a clear advantage inside the eighth pole as his pace rivals Bright One, Mach Ride and Diabolical gave way....

Bright One, who finished fourth, broke down and was vanned off following the race. According to the Daily Racing Form, Bright One broke the sesamoid bone in his left foreleg and had to be euthanized. --bloodhorse.com
Bright One winning the WV Derby Oh.

So, now, as I sit here sipping watered down Jameson's in my Derby glass, I'm remembering how fine Bright One looked in the paddock last August.(See for yourself at The $2 Window.) I'm remembering how lively and festive our little old West Virginny track felt that day. I'm remembering how sweet it was to watch him lead wire-to-wire.

And I'm finding it terribly sad that he died before his name was engraved on a glass.

Here's to you, Bright One. Thanks for the memories.


Handride said...

I hadn't heard about this at all. Great post

Tote Board Brad said...

Gin & tonic, and whiskey....my two favorite drinks.

I've bought a few KY derby glasses off of Ebay, but never paid much for them, and I've broken several of them. When they're <$2 each, I can't fret too much, and I too like sipping on my old fashioned wrapped in legendary classic winners.

Now, when your better half drinks whiskey, is that Irish whiskey, bourbon, sour mash or something else? or god forbid, rye, but I s'pose I had my day in that vat as well....

And brands, lets talk brands. I've never found a super premium gin worth the price, but I'm always willing to experiment. Whodayalike?

Rising Rainbow said...

OK, to show you where my mind is, I read derby glasses and immediately thought you were talking about custom field glasses with the derby logo, year whatever. Some magic glasses that helped you read the horses better. Then I find out you're talking about drinking glasses. Oh well we know where my head is but where's yours? ;-)

Superfecta said...

I had not heard the news either, that's really too bad.

As far as gin, the Dutch make the best. Boomsma or BOLS are both tasty! Leyden Dry is good too.

Tote Board Brad said...

I had the Boomsma a few times when I lived in Amsterdam, but it was an old style gin (that I had never heard of at the time) and it was dark, not clear. I don't remember exactly what I thought of it, other than it was not gin as I knew it.

Now that I thumb around the innerweb, it seems they make a "regular" gin, as well. I should give it go.

I've never had the BOLS. I'll have to add a bottle of that to the cabinet, as well.

Have you ever had Anchor Steam's gin? What did you think?

Nellie said...

That's sad news ... it's really a shame that they feel it appropriate to bury news like that in an article about another horse's win.

Every now and then I wind up at a bar with an absurd selection of gin - I'll have to do a 'taste test' on my next sojourn. Although since most of the time I'm broke, I usually just go with whatever someone else chooses to buy me...

QQ said...

It appears that hibernation is over, and spring is just around the corner: the talk has turned to spirits!

We're fairly unsophisticated here at the castle, there's been no sampling of Boomsa, BOLS, or Anchor Steam. We generally have Boodles and limes on hand for our gin & tonics. The current whiskey of choice is Powers, though the King is rather fond of Tyrconnell; sadly, we have to special order it here in PA.

Tote Board Brad said...

@qq, so when "whiskey" is spoken in the castle, you mean irish whiskey exclusively?

I honestly didn't realize that irish whiskey and scotch were types of whiskey until i lived with some English and Irish in college. Growing up in Missouri, whiskey only meant corn whiskey, Tennesee style whiskeys like Evan Williams (Kentucky) or Jack Daniels (Tennesee), bourbon, and rye.

I must admit, I'm still partial to the American whiskeys, particularly Marker's Mark, Elijah Craig, and I've recently discovered some of the premium Wild Turkey labels that I'm quite fond of.

Then, for Scotch, there's the Talisker. mmmm mmmm.

I don't really have an Irish label of choice, but drink more Powers than anything else irsih, b/c it's available most everywhere in the city. I'll order a tullamore dew when I can get it though, b/c it's actually still (nominally) irish intead of french like jameson, bushmills, & powers.

am i required to mention horse racing in here at all?