Bring Out the Derby Glasses

Since 1940, Mint Juleps, the traditional beverage of the Kentucky Derby have been served in colorful glasses featuring unique designs as well as a list of previous Derby winners.

We’ve collected dozens of these glasses over the years. Many with images of horses.

And others with red roses, the traditional flower of the race.

The list of previous winners provide a great opportunity for a little Derby Day trivia.

However, the 1969 glass is missing the list of winners since it was pending the appeal of the disqualification of the 1968 winner, Dancer’s Image.

And the oldest glass in our collection? Ones from 1959.


Watch the Derby & Eat Pie


Tomorrow is “The Run for the Roses” at Churchill Downs.

If you can’t go to Louisville for the race, you might want to try one of these Derby inspired ideas:

Place a bet on the race.

Wear a derby hat.

Drink a mint julep.

Watch the race on television. (Televised on NBC with post time at 6:24.)

Eat a piece of Derby Pie.

If you’ve never eaten Derby Pie, this is a good time to give it a try and this recipe couldn’t be easier. (Adapted from Faithful Provisions.)


  • 9″ pie crust (I used Pillsbury® Refrigerated Pie Crust.)
  • 5 teaspoons butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c chopped pecans


  1. Line a 9″ pie plate with refrigerated pie crust.
  2. Melt butter in microwave and then set in refrigerator to cool while assembling remaining ingredients.
  3. In large bowl combine sugar and flour.
  4. Then add melted butter, beaten eggs, vanilla, chocolate chips, and pecans.
  5. Pour mixture in pie shell and bake at 350° for 35 minutes.


Most recipes for Derby Pie call for bourbon to be added, from 1 teaspoon to as much as 1/4 cup, but I don’t think this recipe can be beat for ease or taste.

Pie and horse racing – a good combination!



  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (semi sweet)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 nine-inch unbaked pie shell


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (semi sweet)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 nine-inch unbaked pie shell





In the Winner's Circle at Tampa Downs with Sturgis on April 13, 2013.
In the Winner’s Circle at Tampa Downs with Sturgis on April 13, 2013.

I won’t be standing in the Winner’s Circle like I did at Tampa Downs when Sturgis won the eleventh race on April 13th, but I plan to bet on this year’s winner of the Kentucky Derby. My choice? Revolutionary. How can a history teacher pass on a horse with that name? (Of course, Normandy Invasion caught my attention as well.) But with Calvin Borel, my favorite jockey, aboard to guide him around the track how could I bet on any other?

Check out the field and choose your favorite.

PP Horse Jockey Trainer ML
1 Black Onyx Joe Bravo Carl Domino 50/1
2 Oxbow Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas 30/1
3 Revolutionary Calvin Borel Todd Pletcher 10/1
4 Golden Soul Robby Albarado Dallas Stewart 50/1
5 Normandy Invasion Javier Castellano Chad Brown 12/1
6 Mylute Rosie Napravnik Tom Amoss 15/1
7 Giant Finish Jose Espinosa Tony Dutrow 50/1
8 Goldencents Kevin Krigger Doug O’Neill 5/1
9 Overanalyze Rafael Bejarano Todd Pletcher 15/1
10 Palace Malice Mike Smith Todd Pletcher 20/1
11 Lines of Battle Ryan Moore Aidan O’Brien 30/1
12 Itsmyluckyday Elvis Trujillo Edward Plesa, Jr. 15/1
13 Falling Sky Luis Saez John Terranova 50/1
14 Verrazano John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 4/1
15 Charming Kitten Edgar Prado Todd Pletcher 20/1
16 Orb Joel Rosario Shug McGaughey 7/2
17 Will Take Charge Jon Court D. Wayne Lukas 20/1
18 Frac Daddy Victor Lebron Ken McPeek 50/1
19 Java’s War Julian Leparoux Ken McPeek 15/1
20 Vyjack Garrett Gomez Rudy Rodriguez 15/1
21AE Fear the Kitten Alan Garcia Michael Maker

Watch for Revolutionary, the Louisiana Derby winner, to ride the rail to victory over a crowded field to take the first leg of the Triple Crown.


It’s Mint Julep Time

It’s time to purchase the ingredients for Mint Julep’s, the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. With the race only a day away, you’ll need to prepare for the big day, especially since the recipe needs to be refrigerated overnight. You can find numerous recipes for this race day cocktail but since Early Times is “The Official Mint Julep of the Kentucky Derby”, it’s only fitting to include their simple to make recipe.

The Early Times Mint Julep Recipe

  •  2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Early Times Kentucky Whisky

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Of course, we’ll serve the drinks in Kentucky Derby glasses since we have dozens of them, but a tall glass with a straw will suffice.


Did you know that over 120,000 of these drinks will be served at Churchill Downs today and tomorrow? It’s hard to believe considering how terrible they taste!

Off to the Races

On the first Saturday in May, 1977, John and I attended the Kentucky Derby and watched Seattle Slew win the first leg of the Triple Crown on a beautiful spring day in Louisville. We sipped on mint juleps and placed $2 bets on every race. We came away winners – less than $20 – but as teenagers, we were excited to have a few extra dollars in our pockets after a fun day at the track.

Souvenir from our trip to the 1977 Derby.


kdglassbackDespite our good luck, we’ve only spent a couple days at the track. A couple of trips to Churchill Downs when visiting family in Indiana and a day at Gulfstream Park when my Dad introduced John’s Mom to the world of horse racing. We’re too cheap to bet and risk losing any money, but today we’re off to the races. We’ve been invited to join a friend in the Owner’s box at Tampa Downs…another beautiful spring day at the track. Maybe we’ll repeat our good luck from our first trip and come home winners.