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The Inaugural KSR Derby: The Ideal Race Day According to You


This is a grand time of year in the Bluegrass State as we shift our attention away from one Kentucky tradition, basketball, to another, thoroughbred racing. Kentuckians flock to our state’s storied race tracks, dressed to the nines, to watch some of the best horse racing the world has to offer. I decided to have some fun and create a unique Kentucky horse racing tradition with a new race, created by you, the great readers of KSR.

Welcome to the first ever KSR Derby! This is a race where everything was left up to you, the readers. I tweeted out a link to a survey several days ago where you guys left responses to how you wanted to spend your day at the KSR Derby. For those confused, here’s a brief rundown of how all of this goes.

I created a survey on Google forms that started with four options on who you would like to be at the KSR Derby. The options included:

  • A spectator
  • A horse
  • A trumpeter
  • A vendor

You were then asked follow up questions based on the response you gave. If you wanted to be a spectator, you were then asked:

  • what you would yell to cheer on the horse you bet on
  • how much money you wagered on the race
  • to pick a number between 1-500

If you chose the horse option, you were asked:

  • what your race horse name was
  • to pick a number between 1-500

If “trumpet player” was chosen, you were asked

  • pick your favorite song

And if you wanted to be a vendor, you were asked:

  • what you wanted to sell at the race

After everyone shared their input, I compiled the responses to play out everyone’s ideal day at the KSR Derby. I appreciate everyone who took time to fill out the survey and your answers were great. So without further ado, let’s see how the inaugural KSR Derby played out!

The Inaugural KSR Derby

Let’s start by taking a look at the thoroughbreds competing in the race. The KSR Derby had a strong field of 15 horses from all over the world. I randomly placed odds for each of the horses by randomly ordering the names in Excel. I started at the top of the list with 2-1 odds then with each name increased the odds by a factor of 1.5 and rounded off when necessary. The field consisted of:

  1. I’m a Big Boy (2-1)
  2. Big Horse (3-1)
  3. Shut Up James (5-1)
  5. Dave Ramsey (12-1)
  6. Mehunglo (18-1)
  7. Horse shoe we (27-1)
  8. Boogie on the wall (32-1)
  9. Lightning (48-1)
  10. BigKat (72-1)
  11. The gritty, good instinct, hard nosed horse (108-1)
  12. Unfortunate Name (162-1)
  13. Captain Wimpet (243-1)
  14. White Lightning (365-1)
  15. Fasty McFast Fast (548-1)

So, there’s the field, based on the responses given. Some of these names made me burst out in laughter. Dave Ramsey and Big Horse were two of my personal favorites. Now that we had a field, the only thing left was to race them. You’re probably wondering, “how in the heck are you supposed run a race with a bunch of made up horses?” Well, I had to get creative. In addition to asking what your horse name would be, I also asked you to choose a number between 1-500. I then used Google’s random number generator to pick a random number between 1-500.

The number that was generated was, 75. Based on the numbers you guys provided I chose the closest guesses to 75 to determine the winner, then the next closest guesses would fill in the remaining spots. This means, the furthest guess from 75 would come in last place. However, before we run the race, there has to be a call to the post, right?

Keeneland and Churchill Downs didn’t become what they are just based on the races alone. They provide great fan experiences and traditions which make them the world class horse racing venues they are today. One of the most famous traditions is the “call to the post” which signals the start of race for the spectators and competitors. I added the option of  “trumpeter” to the survey, so the KSR Derby could have its own call to the post.

A traditional trumpet player probably isn’t capable of playing most of the “call to the post” tunes you all provided by listing your favorite song, so let’s just assume they were played over loud speaker and you were the DJ. Your suggestions for the call to the post were:

  • Ignition Remix by R. Kelly
  • Kiss by Prince
  • Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne
  • Corner Pocket by Count Baise
  • My Old Kentucky Home
  • Bad and Boujee by Migos
  • On, on, U of K
  • Let Me Clear My Throat by DJ Kool
  • Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon

So, we could only have one tune as our call to the post, and since I’m the grand organizer of this event, I took it upon myself to choose a song. My Old Kentucky Home, a great song, is already played at The Kentucky Derby and other races so I decided against it. I wanted the spectators to have a great time and go wild, so Let Me Clear My Throat seemed like the best choice to really get the crowd jumpin’. Now that we had a call to the post, it was time to line the ponies up. Let’s watch them line up.

The horses were now in the gates and ready to rock n’ roll. The starting shot was fired, and the eager thoroughbreds blasted from their starting marks to run the first ever KSR Derby. The crowd they ran in front of was a small, humble one of 16 people. Hey, not a huge crowd by any means, but it was an enthusiastic one.

Unfortunately, when it came to refreshments and food, the crowd did not have much to choose from at all. Only one person decided to be a vendor at the race, and I’m not sure that person really understood what was going on. Vendor’s were asked what they wanted to sell at the race, the one response I received was:

[email protected]

Now, while you can definitely try to sell an email address at a horse race, my guess is you won’t have much luck. Clearly, this person was actually trying to promote a business, and for that I have to appreciate your hustle, whoever you may be. This year, when it comes to refreshments, our crowd would simply have to do without.

Those of you that chose to be part of the crowd were asked to give what you were yelling at your horses during the race. You guys watched the race with intense focus and enthusiasm. You all were hootin’ and hollerin’ as soon as the horses stormed out of the gates, cheering on your horse with things like



“Go go go”

Some of the horses didn’t perform the way you wanted them to at first so, frustrated, you yelled out:


One of your horses just didn’t get it, so you had to provide some direction…

“Turn around! You’re going the wrong way!”

Some of you found that threatening your horse seemed like the best source of motivation…

“Run faster or they’ll turn you into glue!”

My favorite shout that came from the crowd was a simple, “Let’s go horse!”


Around the stretch the horses came, as the crowd cheered them on to what ended as a photo finish. Our random number generated for the horse race, 75, was actually closest to two guesses because two of you all guessed the same number, which, of course, was 69.

The two horses that guessed the number 69 were, Dave Ramsey and The gritty, good instinct, hard nosed horse. To determine the outright winner, I flipped a coin. Heads was Dave Ramsey and tails, The gritty, good instinct, hard nosed horse. The result…heads. Your champion of the first KSR Derby, to much of Matt Jones’ dismay, was Dave Ramsey. Here is how the rest of the field finished based on how close they were to our random number of 75.

  1. Dave Ramsey (12-1)
  2. The gritty, good instinct, hard nosed horse (108-1)
  3. I’m a Big boy (2-1)
  4. Shut Up James (5-1)
  5. BigKat (72-1)
  6. Lightning (48-1)
  7. Fasty Mcfast Fast (548-1)
  8. Mehunglo (18-1)
  9. Captain Wimpet (243-1)
  10. Unfortunate Name (162-1)
  11. Big Horse (3-1)
  12. Horse shoe we (27-1)
  14. White Lightning (365-1)
  15. Boogie on the wall (32-1)

Of course, a race wouldn’t be a race without a few friendly wagers. Some of you put a modest amount on the race while a few of you went for broke. Wagers ranged from $0 to $1400. Someone had to strike it rich and unfortunately, someone had to surrender their money to the race track. I also asked spectators to choose a number from 1-500 to see who won money. Again, I generated a random number on Google and the closest guess to the generated number was the big winner. The number Google generated was 387.

The closest spectator guess was 369. So the guy in the crowd shouting, “Show em your n**ts, 2!” must’ve done something right because he ended up winning a little cash on the day. He got the winner, Dave Ramsey, at 12-1 odds with a $20 wager, which brings his winnings to a total of $240 for the day. Not a bad day at the track at all.

I’d say the first KSR Derby was a roaring success. This was a blast for me to do and I appreciate all those who took the time to participate. Hopefully, next year we can have a bigger turnout and add on to this great new tradition in Kentucky horse racing. Enjoy the upcoming months of watching the ponies, folks. It certainly is a great time to be a Kentuckian.


Article written by Barrett Lindsey

I drive a Saturn. Here's my twitter handle that you probably won't follow: @BarrySliceKSR

2 Comments for The Inaugural KSR Derby: The Ideal Race Day According to You

  1. henderblue
    5:51 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

    According to Bleacher Report, Wenyan Gabriel leaving and signing with agent. Didn’t see that coming

  2. Lukifer
    6:36 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Barrett, thanks for the laughs, this was hysterical. Good job!