For four weekends every spring and four weekends every fall, Keeneland becomes the official capital of horse racing, bourbon, beautiful women, gambling, beautiful women, 21-year-olds passed out before lunch, beautiful women, horses, bourbon, Brooks Brothers swag, tanlines from sunglasses, and beautiful women. It brings out the college kids who can’t drink; the ones who can; the guys who think they look fly but don’t know how to tie a tie; people who think they know everything about betting and try to tell anyone who will listen; old men with fanny-packs; old women with old men with fanny packs; and, of course, the beautiful women.
If all or any of these things entice you, you should know that Friday is Keeneland’s opening day. It’s also College Scholarship day so all students receive free general admission, free Qdoba nachos in the College Zone, and the chance to win one of ten $1,000 scholarships after each race. And who doesn’t like nachos???
I could write about Keeneland for hours but I’ll spare you my rambling and just remind you that it’s here. Keeneland season is the undisputed, most wonderful time of the year so make it out before the spring meet ends on April 27.
Be sure to wear sunglasses, too. We don’t want your eyes to get caught wandering towards any of those beautiful women. Only amateurs get caught staring. Don’t be that guy.
While you were doing whatever it is you do on Thursday nights, John Calipari was in the great northeast visiting Alex Oriakhi and his family. According to the soon-to-be former UConn big man, the meeting was his first conversation with Coach Cal, although he has previously spoken to assistant coach Orlando Antigua about coming to Kentucky next season.
Oriakhi has made it clear he wants to go to a contender with a need for a big man, so selling him on coming to UK shouldn’t be a huge challenge for Cal, especially if you throw in the possibility of playing with his good friend, Nerlens Noel. Oriakhi said he and Noel have talked about playing together next season and Kentucky is the only option if the two do decide to team up.
We’ll have more information on the in-home visit on Friday when it becomes available. Oriakhi, who was never really recruited out of high school because he signed so early, still plans to take visits to North Carolina, Duke, Missouri, and Kentucky. This one likely won’t end soon.
UK target Shabazz Muhammad also made some noise on Thursday when he told SNY.tv that Kentucky’s championship helped the school’s chances in his recruitment. Muhammad said the win “boosted their option for me” but he is still undecided. I think he wants to go to UK and knows it’s the best place for his game, but his dad and the people around him are pushing him hard towards UCLA. If he picks the Bruins, I think you can blame Ron Holmes, his father.
Coach Cal is working on flying out to see Shabazz one more time before he announces on ESPN next Wednesday. I’ll be absolutely shocked if Cal isn’t in Portland this weekend for the Nike Hoops Summit. The game will feature Shabazz, Archie Goodwin, Anthony Bennett, Tony Parker, and 2014 star Andrew Wiggins.
Larry Vaught reported on Thursday that UK will add Morehead State to the 2012-2013 basketball schedule. The game will be played on the day before Thanksgiving, Wednesday, November 21. UK fans will also get to see Morehead when the Eagles open up for Kentucky in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Morehead State will face Long Island before Kentucky and Maryland tip off in the second game.
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The Eagles are back on the schedule for the first time since Bledsoe torched them for 24 in the ’09 season opener, but we’re still not so sure the Indiana Hoosiers will be on the schedule next season. The future of the series is still where it was months ago, with Kentucky pushing for a neutral site while Indiana wants to renew the home-home series. I’d hate to lose the rivalry now when Crean has the Hoosiers back to prominence. It could make for a great non-conference game and one that would toughen up Calipari’s young talent before SEC play.
Have you heard the one about Bobby Petrino, a hot blonde half his age, and a motorcycle? Apparently, Petrino was taking a young Arkansas football employee for a ride when he wrecked his motorcycle over the weekend. Petrino, who is married with four children, originally told reporters he was alone on the bike but it has since been discovered that he had a young filly riding on the back.
The wreck? Minor. The injuries? Minor. The blonde chick? Engaged.
Someone is in trouble.
Jimmy Kimmel Live! starts in 30 minutes. #BrowDown
A great stat from the NBA: DeMarcus Cousins is the youngest player in the NBA this season leading his team in both points and rebounds (via @michaeleaves). He’s averaging 25 points and 11 rebounds in his last 10 games and he leads the NBA in charges taken this season. During the first half of Thursday’s game against the Clippers, Bill Walton said, “DeMarcus Cousins is playing more and more like Hakeem Olajuwon all the time.” Our man Boogie has the potential to be great if he keeps his head on straight, and I think he will.
That’ll do it for now. We’ll see you at Keeneland Friday afternoon.
And don’t forget those sunglasses, gentlemen. I’d hate for you to be that guy.