I watched my first Kentucky Derby in 1978. My friend, Amy and I cheered as California-based Affirmed raced to victory, and from that point on, the first Saturday in May has become a day of sitting in front of the tv and watching horse racing.
Of course, that's not to say that I've seen every single Derby since then. In 1982, I was forced to forego live Derby coverage to attend a Dodger game. I liked baseball, but that was a hard pill to swallow. Fortunately, they did show the stretch run on Diamond Vision.
Between 1992 and 1997, I had jobs that required me to work on Saturdays, so I wasn't able to watch any of those Derbies. I also missed the 2011 running when my brother-in-law chose that day to get married (rude!).
Today is the first Saturday In May, but instead of watching a real horse race, I'm gearing up to watch a pretend Kentucky Derby, with a field consisting of mostly dead horses. It's completely ridiculous and also kind of awesome.
I'll be rooting for Affirmed!