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We were invited to the Kentucky Derby was because of Robin's ongoing efforts to keep the Sgt Reckless story alive. Robin arranged a meeting with Churchill Downs, and they loved the story of Reckless so much that they donated $5000 toward the Camp Pendleton monument and rolled out the red carpet for our arrival with complimentary tickets to all of the festivities. Churchill Downs designated the eigth race on Kentucky Oaks day to be presented by Sgt Reckless and played her video before the race. - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Wednesday, somebody gave us free passes to their box, races were going on every day that week. - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Ryan Jordan, Churchill Downs track manager, with Robin on the Taste of the Derby VIP level (band and others below) - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Live band, those below could not come up to the VIP level where we were (hehehe!) - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Stakes Room on Kentucky Oaks day with Major Scott Stephans and his wife Jennifer (Scott was invited to present the trophy to the winner/owner of the Eight Belles Race on behalf of Sgt Reckless and the Marines) - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Stakes Room overlooking the track - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


The Paddock, where they brought the horses in just before the race and the jockeys mounted up - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Walking the paddock just before the race - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Following the horses out of the paddock to the track minutes before the race - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Balcony off the Stakes Room on Oaks Day - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


View from the Stakes Room balcony, where the professional cameras are stationed for the race. - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Derby Day... our first Mint Julep! - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Derby day... box seats - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Derby Day, our box seats were just above the starting gate for the 1 1/16th mile race - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Thats not me...I would never wear a red dress to the Derby. - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


The mint juleps were cold. Really cold. We learned that there was over 3500 pounds of fresh mint served that day, all grown locally. - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Our new best friend, who suddenly started buying trays of mint juleps for the fans. Each tray had (we think) 24 glasses @ &11 each. He bought at least 4 trays. Do the math. - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


He bought this 'hat' off of a girl outside for $100. It's all about the hat. - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


The best thing, when someone spilled their drink, they could just yank off a few squares of paper... the roll was fully functional. - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Robin got at least one of the juleps! - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


The Winner's Circle Party. We were a little late, but appreciated the red carpet invitation. Too tired to celebrate the Winner's Circle? Priceless! - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Ironically, Michael took this photo in front of Churchill Downs Corporate just as a Fed Ex truck was making a delivery (I found the photo the next day). Fred Smith, who owns Fed Ex, was a contributor to the first Reckless monument at Quantico and he also comp'd the shipping of the monument to the National Museum of the Marine Corps! Thank You, Fred! - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Corporate at the Downs, including the countdown clock behind us (to the left)! - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Behind the locked doors.... waiting to meet the CEO, Bob Evans. The original Neiman painting behind us (of Secretariat) is insured for $1.7 million. - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Bob Evans, Robin and me. - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


At the race track. - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


- The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Fresians in tandem at the Kentucky Horse Park - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Derby week race (Wednesday) We found out we were not allowed to take a real camera in on Oaks and Derby day...bummer. We packed the 'big gun' cameras for the races for nothing. Luckily, we got at least a few close shots on Wednesday. - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Derby week race (Wednesday) We found out we were not allowed to take a real camera in on Oaks and Derby day...bummer. We packed the 'big gun' cameras for the races for nothing. Luckily, we got at least a few close shots on Wednesday. - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


The Taste of the Derby party Thursday night... Thanks Bob! - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -


Taste of the Derby, with Bob and his wife Stacy. - The Kentucky Derby 2014! -