Churchhill Downs, the home of the "Greatest 2 minutes in Sports", is ready to host the 136th Run for the Roses. The Kentucky Derby is steeped in traditional food and drink from the Kentucky bourbon and Burgoo to the crowd pleasing favorite "Derby Pie"
The Kentucky Derby has been everyone's race - from the dapper men and beautiful women, all wearing lovely hats, elegant dresses and sipping on frosty mint juleps, to the laid-back infield crowd who picnic on fried chicken and toss around Frisbees.
They're all there to witness the world's premier horse-racing event. "Riders up" booms the paddock judge. The trainers give a leg up to the riders and send them out through the tunnel and onto the world's most famous track as the University of Louisville band strikes up Stephen Foster's "My Old Kentucky Home"says 2010 Kentucky Derby.
The Run for the Roses at Churchhill Downs
With rain threatening to dampen the derby the weather forecast is being closely monitored by the horse racing officials. The Kentucky Derby could be run under the lights for the first time on Saturday says Daily Racing News Mike Farrell. Heavy rain is expected and if visibility is poor, Churchill Downs will turn on its newly installed lights for the first time on Derby Day.
While the jockeys prepare for impending heavy rain the crowds, expected to reach 1.5 million have still turned out for festival week in Louisville, Kentucky waiting for the race to begin. The action is picking up at the Kentucky Derby Betting with the odds constantly changing for those who are interested in wagering a bet on the great horse race.
Some returning horse fans come back to the Derby for the social aspects and the fine bourbon made in the state of Kentucky. Woodford Reserve®, the Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby this year and is being offered up at $1000 a glass.
One thing that is not a secret at the Derby is that a good bourbon is essential to mixing the best mint juleps and with Kentucky making 95% of the bourbons there is steady supply to choose from when selecting your favorite blend.
Churchhill Downs at night
The biggest secret at the Derby this year and every year isn't about the odds, the traditions, or which horse will be the big winner and which bourbon is best, it has to do with a sweet, chocolate nut pie called " Derby Pie" and it is a registered trademark belonging to the fine folks at Kern's Kitchen in Louisville.
The Kern family have been baking their Derby Pie for over 50 years and this year Alan Rupp of Kern's Kitchen said that "over 25,000 pieces of Derby Pie will be served on race day at Churchhill Downs."
Rupp said "they are working non-stop to complete the baking to fill all the orders they have for the 2010 Derby. Rupp's Grandfather created this recipe and there is no getting the recipe out of the Kern family or any of the employee's who sign an agreement prior to beginning work to not giveaway any secrets learned in the Kern family kitchen."
I have been fortunate to have been to the Kentucky Derby and eaten Kern's authentic Derby Pie a few times and once you do there are no substitutes. The Kern family is proud of their pie making and the fact that they continue to make this Derby favorite pie's with the same original, secret recipe George Kern created said Rupp.
It's to late now to order the real "Derby Pie" and have it delivered in time for the race. So if you aren't in the Louisville area and you just have to have a piece of pie to eat while handicapping tomorrow's running of the roses then give this imitation pie a try.
You can watch the first leg of the Triple Crown at home on Saturday with television coverage beginning at 4pm est and you enjoy a kentucky nutty chocolate pie at home using one of the hundreds of recipes available online or you can try my favorite recipe below. But if you want a real "Derby Pie" you'll have to go to Churchhill Downs or Kern's Kitchen in Louisville to get a slice and don't even try asking for the recipe. because that is the Best Kept Secret of the Kentucky Derby.
A cheap imitation for Kentucky Derby Pie
1 pie crust
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup light corn syrup
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup bourbon (and a sip for you)
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, shelled and chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll crust out.
In a large mixing bowl, on medium speed with whisk attachment, whip butter, sugars, corn syrup, eggs, vanilla and bourbon together until frothy.
Remove bowl from mixer, and fold in chocolate chips, pecans and walnuts. Mix well.
Pour into pie crust and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until set.
Serve warm or cool completely before serving with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Drizzle some chocolate syrup, caramel or both, on top before serving