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Running After the Roses - Part One
 By No Walkin Farms9   •   16th Jan 2011   •   3,034 views   •   8 comments
Running After the RosesThe alarm went off at exactly 4:30am, just like every day for the last four years. Only today wasn't just like every other day. It was the first Saturday in May, the day the Kentucky Derby was run. And unlike every other first Saturday in May in my 18 years of life, I was riding in the Derby. I tried to tell the butterflies in my stomach to cool it. They didn't obey.

I staggered out of bed and pulled on a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and a sweater. I bounded downstairs after running a brush through my chin length brown hair. Martha Walker, my godmother's sister, already had my customary breakfast of toast and orange juice ready for me. I really didn't feel like eating. The butterflies in my stomach were going strong. I just wanted to get to the track.

"Honey, just treat it like any other race," Martha advised, seeing the face I made at the toast and correctly interpreting the cause. The look I gave her plainly conveyed my thoughts. It was easy for her to say that, she wasn't the one piloting a horse in the most famous race in the US and possibly the world. Martha and the rest of the Walkers, her husband Greg, Greg's nephew Matt, and Matt's son Sean, along with my godmother Mary Dunham, would be watching the race from No Walkin Farms box in the grandstands. Yeah, real easy for her to say that.

45 minutes later Greg, Matt and I were pulling up the backside of Churchill Downs. I had spent the ride listening to my iPod and trying to not dwell on the up coming race. The more I thought about it, the more nervous I became.

After flashing our IDs and passes at him, the guard waved us through the gate but not before leaning in and telling me, "Good luck, Miss Grant. I'm rooting for the two of you." I managed a small, nervous smile, the best I could muster.

At the barn it was surprising quiet. I breathed a quick prayer of thanks and headed down the aisle, looking for the one being that could possibly calm me in the face of the coming craziness that was the Kentucky Derby. I stopped in front of the door. The big brown colt stood in the far corner of the box stall, dozing. A smile, a real one this time, played at my lips.

"Are you still sleeping, old man?" I said.

The Thoroughbred woke up instantly at the sound of my voice. Greg teased that only I could talk to the big colt and he would listen. Sometimes I almost believed him. The horse ambled over and thrust his nose at me, demanding attention. I obliged.

"You know what today is, boy?" I talked to him, letting his presence settle the butterflies and replace them with confidence. Confidence that we were as prepared as we could be, that we had a chance against more experienced jockeys, that we had a real shot at winning. "Today is the Kentucky Derby. It's a pretty important race. Today everyone's making predictions on who's gonna win. You know what I think they're going to be saying tomorrow? That The Mischievous Sultan and Ashley Grant took the Run for the Roses!"
NOT USED  
Awesome. I hope you end up publishing this into an actual book )
  Jan 16, 2011  •  1,953 views
 
Seven Sins  
love it! :D
  Jan 31, 2011  •  1,931 views
 
Wanderin Boy Memorial  
I love it !
I'm a big fan of horse racing
  Feb 2, 2011  •  1,976 views
 
Milly  
This is great :D
Took some searching to find the first part but it was worth it
  Feb 5, 2011  •  1,973 views
 
Balla Eclectic  MOD 
Great start. Got me wanting to read more.
  Feb 5, 2011  •  1,965 views
 
Heaven Sent Creatures  MOD 
very nice, off to find part 2
  Feb 11, 2011  •  1,961 views
 
lovehorse  
very good! (:
  Apr 3, 2011  •  1,930 views
 
Little Bitty Farm  
Loved it!! :)
  May 9, 2011  •  1,972 views
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