On Saturday afternoon, a few L.A. friends and I will congregate at my media-room telly with fried chicken and a bottle of wine. As a kid I started out listening to the Kentucky Derby on the radio with my dad every year...am not about to miss this race EVER. Some other horse-loving homos I know will be having their own Derby parties across the country.
I like Dunkirk, the co-second favorite, going off at 4-1 -- he had a struggle winning enough money to qualify, but a lot of people have been watching him. He's starting in #15 spot, where he won't get a lot of dirt kicked in his face. I also like the #12 horse, General Quarters. This colt is not getting much action by bettors, but he came on hard and fast in qualifying, the kind of horse who could pull off an upset.
No popular monster like Big Brown is running. So it's anyone's race. The jockey to watch is 19-year-old hot-shot Joe Talamo, on board the favorite, I Want Revenge. Joe is a flamboyant character, and will be shooting for his first Derby win.
On Sunday morning early, a friend and I are off to see Chip McKenney of the Gay Polo League play -- live! --in a big match at 9:30 a.m. at Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades. Chip wrote me: "The park is a beautiful setting for polo...and the polo field has rich Hollywood history. It is a great place to bring kids, be a kid, or just kid around. After you watch the game, you may be inspired to hike the beautiful trails above the Pacific Ocean. Cost to enter the park is minimum - I think it is $6 per car. Grab a cooler and come see for yourself if I have overstated my polo skills. (I have...but see if you can tell)."
The Gay Polo League is starting to make its mark in the mainstream world, with invitations like this to play in important California matches. A full report on Chip's performance afterwards (hopefully I haven't overestimated my polo commentator skills).