Lifestyle & Belief

Kentucky Derby 2013: Rain, races, and of course, $1,000 mint juleps (PHOTOS)


Race fans in festive hats wrapped in plastic stand in the paddock while it rains prior to the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby.


Andy Lyons

The 139th annual Kentucky Derby didn't kick off until 3:24 p.m. on Saturday, but the festivities in Louisville had been in full swing since Friday, as race-goers braved the rain for "the greatest two minutes in sports." 

"For the real troopers, Derby fans, you got to stick it out. It ain’t nothing but another day," Lanny Westfall, who has been attending the horse race for "30-something years," told the Associated Press

Nineteen horses raced this year, after Black Onyx — a long shot — was scratched from the race due to a chip in his ankle found after a training session Friday. 

"He's back in the barn. He's not feeling that bad because he just tried to bite me," said his trainer Kelly Breen. "It couldn't have been worse timing."

Race favorite Orb took the lead midway through the stretch to win the 139th running of the Derby, giving veteran trainer Shug McGaughey his first Derby win.

This year's race horses were chosen via a tiered points system of 36 races over the year, with some holding greater importance than others. In the past, the final 20 horses were picked based on winning the most earnings in graded-stakes races, according to USA Today.

For some, however, the Derby is about more than just the races: it's about the mint juleps. The $1,000 mint juleps, sold in limited edition sterling silver cups, to be exact. 

"It's fantastic," said Aaron Schneider, whose wife bought him one of the drinks for their anniversary. "Absolutely, it's the only way to drink it." 

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