- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 6, 2007

Seen and heard from the Kentucky Derby.

10:42 a.m.: Arrive at the sixth-floor press box. Traffic necessitates an early arrival. Only seven hours, 22 minutes until the 10th race at Churchill, aka the Kentucky Derby.

12:04 p.m.: The first updated odds are released. Sir Scribble’s pick — Great Hunter — is 23-1, the ninth favorite.

12:19 p.m.: They finally get around to the national anthem … before the fourth race. At the same time, Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed are being interviewed on another television monitor.

12:40 p.m.: Standing behind me in the feed bag line is that “Ross The Intern” guy from Jay Leno’s show. He’s wearing a bow tie — my dad always said to never trust a man in a bow tie.

1:30 p.m.: Venture downstairs to the main level for the first time. We encounter a guy wearing a shirt, tie, sport coat … and Bermuda shorts.

2:35 p.m.: The first real “celebrity” sighting — former NBA player Allan Houston. Moments later, I spot the Giants’ Michael Strahan. After getting fleeced in his divorce, he needs to get some quick revenue.

3:02 p.m.: Sir Scribble places his only bet of the day — $10 across the board on my upset special, Great Hunter.

3:38 p.m.: A helicopter from one of the local television stations spots a motorcade arriving at Churchill Downs and several old women leaving an SUV. No word on whether it was the real Queen Elizabeth II or the fake Queen who wandered the barn area on Thursday.

4:30 p.m.: NBC’s coverage starts with horse racing. Uh, not exactly. They talk to several B-, C- and D-listers.

5:04 p.m.: The infield action picks up with two guys running on top of a series of Port-a-Potties.

5:28 p.m.: The horses are being prepared to walk from the backstretch to the paddock. Time to actually do some work.

— Ryan O’Halloran

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