I’m sure you can tell by the amount of time I dedicate to talking Derby that I truly love it. If you’ve never been or aren’t from Kentucky, you probably think that the Kentucky Derby can be boiled down to a day to wear a hat and watch some horses race around. And while those certainly play a big part, the real love of Derby comes from the whole atmosphere – the anticipation and preparations, all the Kentucky Derby Festival events, the week leading up to the big race, the parties, Oaks and of course, the big day. It’s hard to explain or describe all those little details that make up the whole picture to an outsider, at least it was, until now.
After spending some time flipping through The Kentucky Derby: Derby Fever, Derby Day, and the Run for the Roses by Bill Doolittle, it was clear that they captured the spirit of Derby in this gorgeous coffee table book. A lot of the Derby coverage is just mash-ups of hat pictures and horses with little of the other essentials that make the first Saturday in May so special. This book – chock full of pictures of more than just hats and horses although there are lots of great ones of those too – hits on all the details that can get looked over. From the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon to the Chow Wagon, from chilly mornings on the backside (one of my favorite things to do Derby week – I always try to get a client on a morning show so I have an excuse to go out there) to the late night scene at some of the biggest parties – the book covers it all.
Obviously one of my favorite sections was the Derby Week chapter with tips of getting ready for the races with some of my local favorites – Britni Knable of Headcandi, Kenzie Kapp and Clodhoppers. There’s also lots of fun anecdotes, history and pictures of stuff you might miss in the national coverage or not get a chance to see if you’re actually there (the aerial shots are some of my favorites – I snapped some if you’re following me on Snapchat). Plus you can get looks into areas of the track you may never get to see in real life.
The coolest part of the book is its usage of Digimarc technology which means that there’s a ton of interactive content built into the book that you can access with your phone. With the free app, you can view more than 25 videos throughout the book and get links to additional content that will bring the images and stories to life.
If you’re hosting guests this year (or renting out your house – you go Glen Coco!), this would be a great welcome gift – along with a bottle of bourbon and a Derby Pie (make sure to tell them to warm it up). For Derby enthusiasts like me, this book is a must-have and will have you counting down the days to Derby every time you pick it up (18 days and counting).
Better yet, when you purchase it online you can support local nonprofits by picking your charity of choice, which will receive $10 for each book sold. There’s a variety – including Boys & Girls Club of Kentuckiana, Gilda’s Club of Louisville, Fund for the Arts and the Backside Learning Center – so head over here and select a charity to support.
The Kentucky Derby: Derby Fever, Derby Day, and the Run for the Roses is available online and at the following Louisville and Lexington retailers for $50: Carmicheal’s, The Kentucky Derby Museum, Dolfinger’s, Party Mart, A Taste of Kentucky, Urban Farmhouse Market, Destination Booksellers, Frames on Main, Kroger, Dee’s Crafts and Louisville Stoneware.
Disclosure: Thanks to The Kentucky Derby by Bill Doolittle and Shircliff Publishing for sponsoring this post.