Thank you to everyone for entering your story!

In March, Kentucky Derby Museum opened its first-ever contest for people around the globe to submit their best Kentucky Derby story – whether it be a wild infield tale, a lucky bet, celebrity encounter, or a blossoming romance. After more than a month of collecting stories with 75 entries total, Kentucky Derby Museum is pleased to announce the winners for its “Best Kentucky Derby Stories” contest.

 

Grand Prize – Michael Huang: "My mother lost her battle against Alzheimer's disease on May 2, 2014. Exactly one year later, I photographed the Derby for the very first time, credentialed for Tops magazine. Not only was I granted a photo location right on the track, I also miraculously lucked into a coveted remote camera spot under the opposite rail. Beneath a picture perfect brilliant blue sky with fluffy white clouds, American Pharaoh galloped into immortality, and I captured two unforgettable images of greatness from opposite sides. I'm certain my mother helped guide that horse right through my focus point, and made sure my remote camera fired despite all sorts of radio interference. After all, she always set me up to succeed, and this day was no different."

Michael Huang and mother
Michael Huang and mother

 

1st Place - Greta Hittle: "Can I get one of the three of you?" Those were the first words I ever heard my husband say. I was standing in the Paddock with my mom and sister on Oaks day, 2014. We were struggling to get a selfie with the twin spires in the background when a perfect stranger from California offered to help. He took the photo, returned the camera, and turned to leave just as my mom said the most embarrassing and perfect thing she has ever: "Wait. Have you met my daughters?" We chatted, exchanged phone numbers, met up again on Derby day, and the rest is history! We now have 2 children and live in Louisville. 2021 marks our 8th Derby together (counting the year we met).”

 

2nd Place - Tom Pinkowski: “We entered a contest when we lived in NY to win Derby tickets with a photo of our off the track thoroughbred, Lucas, and we won! After a week in Kentucky of farm tours, dining, visiting Old Friends and the Kentucky Derby Museum and many other tourist attractions we attended the Derby/Oaks weekend with box seats. We had such a great time in Kentucky, we fell in love with it and decided to move here with our horses in 2014 and have never regretted it. We love eating grits, Hot Browns, and Burgoo and seeing horse trailers and horses in pastures everywhere you go. And then there's Bourbon...need I say more? We love Kentucky and all it as to offer.”

 

3rd Place - Beth Bishop: “My favorite Derby was in 2017, I took my son, Brandon, to the Derby because he loves the horses. He did a book project for school on Barbaro, and we purchased him a set of jockey silks to match what Edgar Prado wore when riding Barbaro in 2006. It just so happened that the Jacksons, (Barbaro’s owners) had a horse running in the Pat Day Mile on Derby Day 2017 - named No Dozing. So I bought us tickets and took my son, dressed in his Lael Stables silks, and he got to meet Jockey Joel Rosario, who was dressed almost identically to him - only difference was the color of the cap! It was the happiest day of Brandon’s life and made people smile!”

 

Viewer's Choice - Tom Carpenter (374 votes): “53 Derbies in a row, but I had to rent a scissor lift to keep my streak going in 2020.”

 

Group dressed in yellow in infield

GRAND PRIZE:

- Private VIP Golf Cart Tour of Churchill Downs for 4 people
- VIP Gift Basket from Kentucky Derby Museum Store
- Set of 4 Derby 147 Derby glasses
- Box at Churchill Downs during the Spring Meet (excluding Derby week)
- One Individual Membership to Kentucky Derby Museum for 1 year

1st, 2nd and 3rd PRIZE:

- Private VIP Golf Cart Tour of Churchill Downs for 4 people
- Set of 4 Derby 147 Derby glasses
- One Individual Membership to Kentucky Derby Museum for 1 year

Viewer's Choice Award:

- Private VIP Golf Cart Tour of Churchill Downs for 4 people
- Set of 4 Derby 147 Derby glasses
- One Individual Membership to Kentucky Derby Museum for 1 year

Prizes are non-transferrable.

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See our gallery of submissions!

#MyDerbyStory   #derbyeveryday