Lucas Horse

Lucas Adams, Big-Time Derby Enthusiast.

The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports: This is it, Louisville — this Saturday is the 141st running of your Kentucky Derby. “The fastest two minutes in sports,” which strictly speaking, isn’t really possible, so they’re going with “the most exciting two minutes in sports.” Still subjective, but a more plausible claim.

Your friends at Forbes give you a run down of “The Field for Kentucky Derby 141: Odds, Post Positions, and Storylines.” It’s a four-pager; they’re thorough.

Forbes also gives you advice on how to bet. They chat up a Derby insider they call The Bluegrass Wiseman, who says:

The faves are the faves for good reason. They have won the tough races. Dortmund won the Santa Anita Derby. American Pharaoh won the Arkansas Derby. That race always seems to matter. Having said the above, luck in this race is big. The horse and rider have to have a great trip and a good path. Dortmund is a big horse, so if he gets stopped, can he regain his momentum. The jockeys in this race are going to be huge. Experience and calm will be crucial.

On the other hand, The Washington Post tells you why “your 2015 Kentucky Derby pick shouldn’t include any of the favorites.” One reason: the favorites are descendants of Storm Cat, whose lineage is 0 and 44 for Derby victories. The Post likes Danzig Moon.

ESPN has some general betting tips. ABC Baltimore offers a rookie’s guide to betting. CBS Miami tells you how they’d bet if they only had $100.

SB Nation goes about the whole thing far more scientifically — they let a cat choose the winner by placing treats on the jockey’s logos.

The Dark Lord.

The Dark Lord.

Even the Dark Lord is skeptical.

But here’s the finish order, predicted by Winifred Burkle, cat prognosticator:

  1. Mr. Z
  2. Tencendur
  3. Mubtaahij
  4. Carpe Diem

Meanwhile, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” predicts the Derby with puppies:

American Pharaoh won that one.

USA Today reports the post positions for the running of the roses. The favorite, American Pharaoh, is now in the No. 17 post, due to yesterday’s scratch of Stanford, says Fox Sports. No horse has ever won from post 17, so he’ll either make history or fall victim to it.

Sporting News breaks down the positions that have produced the most winners and losers. The No. 10 spot is your best bet; it places a horse in the top three 30 percent of the time.

GQ squashes Derby fashion with their article: “The Kentucky Derby Is Not Stylish, and Neither Are You, Neon-Seersucker Guy.” Haters gonna hate. They say:

The Derby’s own website suggests that the race marks “one of the few times that gentlemen can dress up and stand out more than the ladies.” Let us politely say: nope. The Kentucky Derby is not that. The Kentucky Derby may be decadent and depraved — but the style on display is even worse.

So there’s that. But for the rest of you, The Huffington Post profiles their favorite hats. So does NBC. So does the loathed E!.

Always a topic of great interest, The Wall Street Journal tells us how each horse was named.

Whether you’re at the track or party at home or just hiding from it all, stay safe out there this weekend. 

Equal KY

Justice for All: The New York Times and USA Today report the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on marriage equality this week. Bans on same-sex marriage in Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan and Ohio are being contested.

USA Today offers a solid breakdown of Tuesday’s proceedings, everything from what the court is considering, who are the plaintiffs, what the plaintiffs and states are arguing, how the hearing works and what happens when a decision is reached. Live Science does much the same thing, albeit a little more in depth.

The Economist calls it the biggest case of the decade, which may actually be a touch of an understatement.

Reports from the hearing indicate justices are falling about where one might expect based on political leanings. Chief Justice John Roberts is a potential swing vote, but the real wildcard, according to The Hill and Los Angeles Times, is Justice Anthony Kennedy. He gave statements that gave hope to both sides of the argument.

His reportedly conflicting remarks:

“This definition has been with us for a millennia. It’s very difficult for the court to say, ‘Oh well, we know better.’ ”

“Same-sex couples say, ‘Of course, we understand the nobility and the sacredness of the marriage.’ ‘We know we can’t procreate, but we want the other attributes of it in order to show that we, too, have a dignity that can be fulfilled.’ ”

One of the main arguments of upholding the same-sex marriage bans revolves around procreation, which New Scientist rejects.

Proponents of same sex marriage cite the 14th Amendment. The Economist explores the Constitutionality of same-sex marriage:

The 14th amendment prohibits states from depriving “any person” of “life, liberty or property” without “due process of law”. In the nearly 150 years since those words were added to the constitution, the Supreme Court has determined that there are some “fundamental rights” so deeply rooted in the nation’s history that the state cannot strip them away—even with due process—unless it has an exceedingly strong justification for doing so. One of those fundamental rights, the court held in 1978—“a central part of the liberty protected by the due process clause”—is marriage.

Which seems pretty straightforward to me; feels an awful lot like a basic civil rights issue. But my law degree is from the University of Nowhere, so take that for what you will.

I don’t want to be overly simplistic, but I just can’t see more love in the world as a bad thing. I just can’t.

A decision is expected in June.


The badasses of Small Time Napoleon

Top of the Pops: So any time there’s a “Best of” list for food, you know we’re going to be on it if the list is worth its pixels. But lest we forget, Louisville’s also a feast for the ears.

Just take a look at Travel + Leisure’s piece, “These Are America’s Best Music Scenes.” Louisville sits at No. 9, right between Memphis and Houston. Austin, of course, is No. 1. The article first appeared last month, but TIME just ran it this week.

Here’s what they have to say:

The Kentucky city made the musical top 10 for its long bluegrass heritage, but also for its solid hipster culture—cultivated by its good coffee bars, craft beers (like the aptly named Bluegrass Brewing Co.), and indie-pop-oriented music venues. To hear the best local bands, go to The New Vintage in Germantown, Haymarket Whiskey Bar, or Zanzabar, which also features a vintage arcade and a school-cafeteria-style lunch line. To experience more downhome-style music, come in the fall for theKentucky Bluegrass and Bourbon Experience, held by the Louisville Water Tower.

Good to see some Germantown love there. A couple of those places are very near “In Other News…” Headquarters, Central.

Much like our food scene, this is not new to the River City — we’ve had a great music (and arts) scene for most of ever. We’ve been talking about local favorites My Morning Jacket for a bit now with their latest dropping just after Derby. And of course you have your Bonnie Prince Billy and Cheyenne Mize and so many other great national acts Louisville’s birthed.

But we also have so many devotees of badassery still here in town, just on the verge of busting out far and wide: Billy Goat Strut Revue, Small Time Napoleon (new Album coming May 15), Alex Wright, who’s latest release was all kinds of fantastic, Frederick the Younger and on and on.

Keep an ear out. There’s good stuff out there.

Lebowski Festival Bowling Party via

Lebowski Festival Bowling Party via

Keep Louisville Weird: According to Travel + Leisure, that “Keep Louisville Weird” campaign, adopted by our friends at the Louisville Independent Business Alliance, has been a great success: we’ve made the list of the “20 Quirkiest Cities in America.” We’re at No. 19.

Somehow, I thought we’d be higher.

Here’s Travel + Leisure on Louisville yet again:

The Kentucky city may be a newcomer to the list, but it’s giving other weird cities a run for their money. For starters, this is the birthplace of the annual Lebowski Fest, the now-national celebration of the Coen brothers cult-favorite bowling film. To bowl on your own, go to Vernon Lanes, which has been a local hangout for more than a century and (with 300 bourbons on the menu) is a stop on the Urban Bourbon Trail. The city also ranked well for burgers; at Game, you can choose among patties made of kangaroo, antelope, or wild boar. In the case of Louisville, quirky does not equate with cluttered: the city also made the top 10 for feeling clean.

To my mind, that doesn’t even scratch the surface of Louisville’s weird, but I guess they only have a little bit better than 100 words to make their case.

We’ll Never be Royals: Reports from gossipy places say your girl Jennifer Lawrence turned down Prince Harry of Wales. That story comes to us from International Business Times, Latin Post, Celebrity Dirty Laundry and Food World News, which is taking a brief hiatus from talking about the latest in food to bring you nonsense. She’s sticking with Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

“[Harry] made his aide invite her out to dinner and coupled it with an invite for her to see Kensington Palace,” the source said. Unfortunately for the royal, Lawrence was not interested, so she politely declined his offer.

Right next to that quote at International Business Times is this piece from Christine Armstrong: “Kate Middleton childbirth hysteria violates women’s right to privacy.”

That puts us at five minutes until midnight on the Doomsday Clock of unintended irony.

My lovely partner in crime tells me John Patrick Shanley is coming to town to give a talk, courtesy of Spalding University. That’s happening on May 27 at The Brown. It’s free and open to the public.

Shanley wrote — well, he wrote a lot of things. He still writes, I’m sure. But the things you might know him for are likely “Moonstruck”— Kyle’s pick for best romantic comedy, maybe ever, and the best work of Nic Cage’s career — and “Doubt,” starring the likes of Meryl Streep, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams in the film adaptation. And “Joe Versus the Volcano” which doesn’t get the love it so richly deserves, really.

So you want to go see him if you like good writing.

Also, I saw the big “Avengers” smash-em-up, superhero extravaganza last night. It stars Scarlett Johansson.

avengers-age-ultron-scarlett-johansson copy


What were we talking about?

Right. I don’t recall much else. There’s a bunch of explosions and robots with bad attitudes and some hulk-sized leaps in logic to move the story along. Rather a lot of the same stuff from the last movie really. It will gross eleventy-billion dollars. Approximately.

Here’s Scarlett playing “Box of Lies” with jimmy Fallon, making his second appearance in the column today.

Speaking of, should you be so inclined, it’s Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, which is exactly what it sounds like. Go to a comic book store in town and they should have some free stuff to give you.

Have a great—and safe—Oaks and Derby everybody.
See you next week.