Kentucky Derby Cake. For the first time in 75 years, the most exciting 2 minutes in Sports won’t be contested the first Saturday in May. We’re still celebrating! 95% of all Bourbon is produced in Kentucky and we thought we’d celebrate this beautiful state and our love for horses with this moist, buttery, nutty creation pronounced with the popular whiskey. And what says Kentucky Derby more than an adornment of roses? We’re taking you into the winner’s circle! Might we suggest a nice, bright Bourbon cocktail like a Libertine to go with your slice? 🌹🏇
2 3/4 cups flour
1 cup butter, room temperature
3 tbsp Crisco Golden
1 cup whole milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice, let sit 1 hour room temperature
3/4 cup organic raw sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup Bourbon (Woodford Reserve, official Kentucky Derby sponsor)
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
Bourbon Pecan Icing:
2 cups icing sugar
3 tbsps Bourbon
1/4 cup half & half
1/4 cup pecans, toasted
1. Preheat oven at 350°F.
2. In large mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and Crisco.
3. In separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
4. In small bowl, mix milk, Bourbon and vanilla.
5. Combine flour into butter bit by bit, beating with handmixer.
6. Add milk mixture and beat till smooth.
7. Fold-in pecans with spatula.
8. Grease Bundt pan and dust with flour, tapping-out excess flour.
9. Pour batter into pan, levelling with spatula.
10. Place in oven, baking 45 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean.
11. Cool cake 20 minutes, using spatula around edges to loosen it from pan. Flip cake over onto a platter.
12. Cool 1 hour.
13. Prepare icing by mixing icing sugar, Bourbon and cream by hand. Icing shouldn’t be too thick nor too thin.
14. Use a spoon and drape icing over cake. Sprinkle toasted pecans over top of cake evenly.
15. Stand 1 hour before serving. Garnish hollow of cake with roses.
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You’d better bet we’ve got Derby Fever! Although we weren’t lucky enough to see a theatrical release for 50 to 1 north of the Border, Canadians finally will have their chance to see on DVD and Digital HD the True Story of MINE THAT BIRD overcoming great odds to win the world’s most famous horse race in 2009, the Kentucky Derby. Many forget the horse got his start here at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, receiving a Sovereign Award for Champion Two-Year-Old Male in 2008, before being sold to American owners Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Serte Equine. This Film and Story hold a deep, visceral meaning to Canadians.
Directed by Dances with Wolves Producer Jim Wilson, the Drama tells the Story how two rough-and-tumble New Mexico Cowboys played by Skeet Ulrich (Law & Order: LA) and Christian Kane (Angel) got it right when it counted most with a horse few believed in. They embark on a tumultuous journey to Kentucky for the big race.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Calvin Borel who not only rode MINE THAT BIRD to a mindblowing upset in the Derby, but he also stars in 50 to 1 as himself. Because well, as his agent Jerry Hissam puts it, “I don’t know if you can find another Calvin Borel. There’s only one.”.
The day is busy for Borel who at 7:30 AM already has exercised two horses, fitting-in a quick moment to chat in support of the Movie from Kentucky, before heading to exercise another. He is balancing a busy work schedule with home life as his Wife, Lisa Funk, resides on their two-acre Farm in Florida. The 48-year-old jockey has amassed over 5,120 victories recorded to date, getting his start as an eight-year-old at Louisiana Bush Tracks, riding on weekends 15-20 match races early in the day, before heading off to ride yet another 15-20 more in the afternoon. By ninth grade, he was out of school, already finding his true calling in life at an age when most kids are just figuring out what to wear to the school dance. “It’s a shame we don’t have Bush Tracks now. There aren’t too many good riders that come out of Louisiana anymore”, Borel feels.
Money certainly can be good in Horse Racing as a jockey, but Borel credits his older brother Cecil – also formerly in the profession and now a Trainer – for his success. “I had good guidance. My brother was there to take care of me after our parents passed away”, he tells us. “He was there for me win, lose or draw, he saved my money for me because it doesn’t last forever.”. Admitting he still has a few years to go in the game, Borel says, “You’re not gonna ride forever. You might have 30-40 good years. My brother had rode and been there. He wasn’t gonna let it happen to me.”. “All riders should have good guidance. There would be a lot better riders if there were.”.
Borel tells me about his experience playing himself in 50 to 1, after being approached by Wilson via his agent Jerry. “It took about two years to make. The last five days of filming we did everything around the racetrack from 5 in the morning to 10 at night”. “We would shoot four or five days a month and that’s why it took so long. There was a lot of traveling.”. He adds, “Mr. Jim (Wilson) helped me a lot and it was wonderful.”.
Acting didn’t come naturally for Borel. “In the Jocks’ Room and on the horse, I was perfect”, he admits. “The hardest part was filming talking in the grandstand to the Owner and Trainer. I wasn’t in my zone”. “Once I got to the Jocks’ Room, Mr. Jim threw the reins to me and told me ‘Give me whatever you all do!'”. “I was happy I could play myself and just let it come out naturally so it looks real, real, real!”, he laughs, “Driving in the Car Wash and not putting the windows up… anyone who knows me, I’ll do things like that!”.
After the Story of 50 to 1 ends in celebratory fashion with Borel‘s gleaming smile in the Winner’s Circle, he was faced with perhaps one of the toughest decisions of his career. In addition to an unforgettable win aboard Mine That Bird, he also was responsible for piloting the sport’s sweetheart filly Rachel Alexandra, whom just the day prior crushed her opposition by 21 lengths in the Kentucky Oaks (like the Derby, but restricted to female entrants). Horse Racing is not a sport without Drama and with the filly and her connection’s sights set on the second leg of the American Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes – where she eventually would tackle the boys and win – the jockey had to make the difficult decision which horse to ride.
“Those were the longest five days of my life”, says Borel. “Mr. Chip (Trainer of Mine that Bird) was so good to me and everything. It was hard, but at the time I believed Rachel Alexandra was the best horse in the world. And I’ve ridden a lot of great horses, not taking nothing away from Mine That Bird.”. He adds, “I had no choice but to ride my filly because I loved her.”.
We wonder how the two horses were on a personal level. “She was very, very mean”, he tells us about Rachel Alexandra. “If she didn’t know you, she would bite you. She was very temperamental. When she got mad at you, you could not fight her. I rode her mom (Lotta Kim) and she was the exact same way.”. “She’d take one deep breath before stepping into the gate. I’d tell my wife that if she didn’t do that at the gate, I’d fall off”, he says semi-jokingly. Mine that Bird on the other hand had much more composure than the Superfilly, “You could put a bomb under him!”, he recalls. “Totally different horses”.
It was just announced this week that Borel indeed will have a mount the first Saturday in May in El Kabeir at this year’s renewal of the $2-million Kentucky Derby. The blue-blooded Zayat Stables Colt is ranked eighth on the official Leaderboard for the Race currently. “People don’t understand the pressure, but I take pressure very good. I’ve seen a lot of Riders who ride good, good, good but it’s a totally different story in the Derby“, he explains. “You have 20 horses and you have to be so focused, have a plan, hoping that plan works. It’s a different Ball Game, I tell you that.”. And he certainly knows best. He’s won the Kentucky Derby a remarkable three times.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Canada release 50 to 1 on DVD and Digital HD on Tuesday, April 28, 2015.
The 141st renewal of the Kentucky Derby airs Saturday, May 2, 2015 on NBC at 7:00 PM EST. More here.
You still have a chance to win an official 50 to 1 Prize Pack here.
(Photo credit: Sony Pictures)
WE LOVE THE RACES! The Story behind 50 to 1, directed by the Academy Award-winning Producer of Dances with Wolves, holds a dear place in our hearts. Longshot Kentucky Derby Winner MINE THAT BIRD overcame all odds, shocking the World to win North America’s most famous Horse Race in 2009. The Horse began his racing career here at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, providing him a solid foundation to compete against the World’s best. He was purchased for only $9,500, going-on to win a stellar $2.2 million, defying all expectations to place in the Top Three of all three American Triple Crown races – a rare feat.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Canada + Mr. Will want to give Canadian Readers a chance not only to own 50 to 1 on DVD, but also win an official Kentucky Derby Prize Pack!
Prize Packs include:
KD Mint Julep Recipe
KD Cooler Bag
KD Cocktail Napkins
Official Derby Cups
50 to 1 on DVD
A misfit group of New Mexico cowboys find themselves on the journey of a lifetime when their crooked-footed racehorse qualifies for the Kentucky Derby. Based on the inspiring true story of Mine That Bird, the cowboys face a series of mishaps on their way to Churchill Downs, becoming the ultimate underdogs in a final showdown with the world’s racing elite. Skeet Ulrich, Christian Kane and real-life jockey of Mine That Bird, Calvin Borel star.
See the Trailer:
To enter to win, a 50 to 1 Prize Pack, simply click “like” on this Post at Mr. Will on Facebook. You may click “share” on this Post from there for an extra chance or Tweet the below:
http://www.mrwillwong.com/50to1 @MRWILLW wants us to #win a #50to1 #KentuckyDerby Prize Pack! “50 to 1” is in stores 4/28! #HorseRacing
The 141st renewal of the Kentucky Derby airs Saturday, May 2, 2015 on NBC at 7:00 PM EST. More here.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Canada release 50 to 1 on Tuesday, April 28, 2015.
(Photo/video credit: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Canada)
Ice Tea and Cocktails, really. We had a wonderful time enjoying some unique Cocktail pairings courtesy of NESTEA and one of our fave Spots in the City, Fidel Gastro‘s LISA MARIE. Tea Sommelier Linda Gaylard hosted our night, educating us on Tea History as our Tastebuds were delighted!
We experienced a magical six-course food pairing with both NESTEA‘s Black and Green Iced Teas. We experienced the zing of the GingerTEAni with a scrumptious Ginger Snap-crusted Snapper Bao, East Meets West – a refreshing Green Tea Cocktail infused with the essence of Celery paired with a creamy Bulgogi Mac’n’Cheese. How could we forget the Cocoa-Citrus Tea with Mini Mole Chicken Tostada? Marvelous.
See some of the pairings we tried below:
How about trying NESTEA as your new Cocktail base?
Although the Kentucky Derby isn’t till May, how about a Mint Julep?
MINT TEA JULEP COCKTAIL
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
Now in its 140th edition, the First Saturday in May forever holds deep significance in American Culture. This of course is the day that the $2-million Kentucky Derby is raced at Churchill Downs. If you’ve never watched a Horse Race before, this would be your perfect introduction to the Sport. The Celebrities, the Fashion and the Sport all are married together in one glamorous Affair. Celebrities like Jessica Simpson, Elizabeth Banks, Kim Kardashian, Diane Lane, Nicole Richie, Jenny McCarthy and many, many more are among the Exclusive to have partied with the Ponies on Derby Day!
This year, there are 23 Contenders for the Kentucky Derby, headed by West Coast-based Favourite California Chrome, who comes-off a big win in the Santa Anita Derby under the guidance of Jockey Victor Espinoza. Although his Pedigree doesn’t suggest immediately that he’s mile-and-a-quarter (the distance of the Kentucky Derby) material – his Father Lucky Pulpit was at best a Sprinter and his Mom Love the Chase raced among lower-level competition – California Chrome has a devout following and rightfully as earned the Title as the Race Favourite. In a courageous ten-start Career, has seen the Winner’s Circle six times for Owners Steve Coburn and Martin Perry (whom both still work day jobs), with a total $1.13 million in earnings. Expect him to be up-front early.
The Run for the Roses – as the Race affectionately is called with the Winner traditionally adorned in a blanket of roses – sees several other strong Contenders for those looking for a bit more value on their $2 bets. In fact, Favourites more often lose than win the Race and in the last ten years, the Betting Public got it right three times with Smarty Jones, Big Brown and Orb all being victorious. Former Canadian Champion (and Woodbine-raced) Mine that Bird scored a gigantic upset in 2009, paying a monstrous $103.20 on a $2 investment.
Louisiana-based Vicar’s in Trouble comes into the Kentucky Derby as a major Contender with a win in late March’s Louisiana Derby. He is ridden by Rosie Napravnik, who is looking to be the first-ever female Jockey to win this Race and it could well be her year as popular Owners Kenneth & Sarah Ramsey have given her a vote of confidence. In five starts only, he’s won three times and certainly is fresh with $788k in earnings.
Wicked Strong will be representing New York, arriving off a solid win in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack early April. He’s raced six times, winning twice and banking over $700k for Centennial Farms. Indo-Jamaican Jockey Rajiv Maragh piloted him to his last big win and will be returning again in what could be his biggest race.
Fans of ’80s Sitcom Who’s The Boss won’t want to overlook Danza, named after Actor Tony Danza. The Son of Street Boss thundered through the rail to win the Arkansas Derby mid-April at Oaklawn Park, beating a much-buzzed Rideoncurlin. He’s likely to be ridden by Joe Bravo and is trained by four-time-consecutive Eclipse Award-winning Trainer, Todd Pletcher. In only four starts, he’s grossed over $600k in earnings.
Hoppertunity not only has perhaps one of the catchiest names in the Field, but the well-travelled Son of Any Given Saturday appears also to be peaking at the right time, losing narrowly the Race Favourite California Chrome in the Santa Anita Derby. Jockey Mike Smith certainly is no stranger to winning when the glory is on-the-line, notably five American Classic Races (including the Kentucky Derby in 2005), and 20 Breeders’ Cup Races. More famously, he piloted one of the greatest Female Racehorses of all time, Zenyatta to a Breeders’ Cup Classic Win in 2009.
Canada has one hope with We Miss Artie, born in Ontario and eligible for July’s Queen’s Plate at Woodbine Racetrack, entering off a heart-stopping win in the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park late March. Leading Rider Javier Castellano will be handling him for the Kentucky Derby; he is owned too by Kenneth & Sarah Ramsey.
Meet the Contenders here at the official Kentucky Derby Website!
And let’s not forget the Ladies! The 140th edition of the Kentucky Oaks, the Sister Race to the Kentucky Derby, will be raced this Friday with Untapable coming-in off two amazing wins, crushing her Competition by a combined 16-plus lengths. Napravnik will be piloting her in the Race, which also contains California’s Star Filly Fashion Plate who reigned supreme earlier this month in the Santa Anita Oaks under Hall-of-Fame Jockey Gary Stevens. Canada’s reigning Champion 2-year-old Filly, Ria Antonia, also will make her presence felt, seeing the benefits of having Smith aboard. Pop Culture Fanatics will find something to root for too perhaps with the well-travelled Fiftyshadesofgold.
Meet the Kentucky Oaks Contenders here!
Throwing a Kentucky Derby Party at home? It certainly wouldn’t be complete without a refreshing Mint Julep.
Learn how to make one right here!
The Kentucky Derby airs on NBC this Saturday, May 2, 2014 at 7:00 PM EST.
Figure Skaters Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski have been named this year’s Fashion Correspondents!
(Photo credit: Associated Press/Early Times)
Traditionally one of my favourite Race Days of the year, Woodbine Oaks Day showcases Canada’s finest three-year-old Fillies. The $500k Race this year pit together two of the Country’s best in years, Spring in the Air and Nipissing, both Division Leaders as two-year-old Fillies in 2012 – the former recently being crowned last year’s Champion at the Sovereign Awards. Ultimately though, it would be second choice Nipissing who was victorious, winning by 3/4 of a length over Spring in the Air, the post-time Favourite. The Winner won in a timely 1:50.3 for the nine-furlong Fixture, paying $7.10 to win on a $2 investment. Watch the Race here.
Nipissing’s Story however truly is one of legacy and love. She is a homebred Filly who races for Chiefswood Stables, trained by Rachel Halden and ridden by her Partner Steven Bahen. The Filly’s Father Niigon, in 2004 won the Queen’s Plate and there is much buzz surrounding her possibly making an appearance against the Boys in the 154th running of that $1-million Race at Woodbine Racetrack next month.
See her in the Winner’s Circle below:
Not to steal the Ladies’ spotlight, the Plate Trial also was run earlier in the day at Woodbine, with highly-regarded Dynamic Sky winning by a tight nose under the guidance of red-hot Joel Rosario, edging-out the lightly-experienced His Race to Win. Winning in a time of 1:50.5, the Colt was just a click slower than eventual Woodbine Oaks Winner, Nipissing. He rewarded his Supporters with $8.60 to a $2 bet as the second choice. Watch the Race here.
Although falling-off the ultra-tough Kentucky Derby Trail earlier in the year for Tycoon Owner John C. Oxley, Dynamic Sky appears to be peaking again right in time for the Queen’s Plate. He certainly won’t have it easy though as Plate Trial Runner-up His Race to Win is in fighting form and we mustn’t forget that one’s Sam-Son Farms Stablemate, Up With the Birds, who also looks ultra-sharp after a decisive five-length win in May 26th’s Marine Stakes at Woodbine. Watch that Race here.
In all, this is shaping-up to be the most competitive Queen’s Plate in years with the Male and Female Divisions well-represented in talent. Bettors will have their work cut-out for them in terms of sifting through the quality selection.
Earlier in the day, legendary Mickey Walls made a rare appearance to accept the Avelino Gomez Award, honouring Canadian Jockeys who have made significant contributions to the Sport of Thoroughbred Horse Racing. The 39-year-old Toronto Resident retired officially in 2003, but at the age of 17 went on to be crowned North America’s most Outstanding Apprentice Jockey in winning an Eclipse Award. Overcome with emotion, Walls held back his tears as several of his Peers and a new generation of Talent (including Model/Actress/Jockey Chantal Sutherland who recently came out of retirement), stood by his side as he accepted the Award on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
Racing Fans got a huge treat earlier in the day as Rosario made his way north of the Border after a third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes in New York yesterday aboard the outstanding Orb, who won this year’s Kentucky Derby. In addition to a win in the Plate Trial aboard Dynamic Sky and a runner-up finish aboard Spring in the Air in the Woodbine Oaks, Rosario graciously spent time with Fans signing Autographs and taking Photos earlier. He came ever-prepared with array of Sharpies, giving Fans a choice of colour as he placed his coveted Signature upon 8×10s of his recent Derby Victory.
We’ll definitely be at the Queen’s Plate on Sunday July 7, 2013 and look forward to it eagerly!
Mark your Calendars and reserve your seats today right here. Learn all about the Hats & Horseshoes Party also right here which everyone’s invited to!
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong)
The Post Positions are drawn for America’s most popular Horse Race, the $2-million 139th Kentucky Derby (also known as “The Run for the Roses”)! The expected Choice this year is Orb at 7/2 ($9 payouy on a $2 bet) coming in off a sharp win March 30th in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. He certainly looks every bit a Winner with red-hot Rider Joel Rosario aboard, now winning four races in-a-row. Orb has a record of four wins in seven starts for Owners Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable.
Verrazano (pronounced “Vair-a-zon-o”) certainly will not make it easy for Orb, listed as the second choice at 4/1 ($10 payout on a $2 bet). Some may even dispute that he is the deserving Favourite, touting a perfect four-for-four record for the Partnership of Let’s Go Stable (Kevin Scatuorchio & Bryan Sullivan), Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith. Although he barely held-on in his last race to win the important Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct in New York April 6th, Jockey John Velazquez (whom also has ridden Orb prior) has given the hard-fighting Colt his vote of confidence. After all, he has won his first four races by a combined 27 lengths.
Revolutionary certainly isn’t to be discounted. Although he’s faced easier competition than the two top choices, he comes into the Derby with three consecutive wins, including the Louisiana Derby on March 30th, fighting gamely to win. He appears to be peaking at just the right moment and Calvin Borel, who has the distinction of riding one of the most celebrated Fillies of our time, Rachel Alexandra and setting a record winning three out of four consecutive Derbys; he gets the job for Winstar Farm. He is listed at 10/1 ($22 payout on a $2 bet).
Like Hip-Hop Music, the Kentucky Derby often is an East Coast/West Coast Rivalry and California often brings its A-Game and they do so this year with Goldencents, Winner of the Santa Anita Derby on April 6th in Arcadia, California. He happens to be trained by Doug F. O’Neill who won this same race last year with ill-fated Champion I’ll Have Another. Goldencents is listed at 5/1 ($12 payout on a $2 bet) and runs for W.C. Racing, Dave Kenney & RAP Racing.
Although the 10-furlong distance may be a challenge, Itsmyluckyday looks to be a decent price for Bettors at 15/1 ($32 payout on a $2 bet). He stamped himself as one to watch after defeating last year’s two-year-old Champion Male Shanghai Bobby on January 26th in the Holy Bull Stakes with alarming speed. He came back only to lose ever so narrowly to Orb as the Favourite in the Florida Derby.
Rich in history, the Kentucky Derby has several traditions associated with it. The Fashion as always is a blast as Racing Fans come out in an extravagant display of hats. The Mint Julep is the Beverage of Choice and rightfully so. Think a Mojito, but made with Bourbon, less tangy, but just as refreshing.
Some Celebrities expected to partake in the Festivities this year include:
Jo Dee Messina
Mallory Hagan, Miss America 2013
DJ Pauly D
Taboo from Black Eyed Peas
Justin Timberlake, Elizabeth Banks and Jerry O’Connell also are huge Horse Racing Fans and even if not attending surely this is a day they look forward to!
18 Competitors go forward Saturday. Who will be your Pick? See all the Contenders here on the Kentucky Derby‘s Official Website!
NBC airs the Derby Saturday, May 4, 2013 between 4-7 PM EST.
(Photo credit: Kentucky Derby.com)
Perhaps one of the greatest Colts to come out of Canada in years, Uncaptured already has stamped himself a Shoe-in as Canada’s top two-year-old Colt at the forthcoming Sovereign Awards, honouring Canada’s Finest in Thoroughbred Racing. Originally named the Winterbook Favourite to win next year’s Kentucky Derby – a rarity for a Canadian-bred Horse – Uncaptured left many in doubt after a sub-par effort at Woodbine Racetrack in the Grey Stakes back in October, finishing a dismal fifth as the heavy Favourite. Many wondered whether his best was simply behind him after winning his first four races in-a-row, or perhaps he simply was only a Sprinter?
Shipped-off to Kentucky late October, the Colt won the Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs easily and bettered that with a valiant effort today against even tougher company in the 1 1/16 miles Kentucky Jockey Club Cup Stakes, a Grade II Affair. On paper he may have won by just a neck, but it was the persistence he showed never letting second-place Finisher Frac Daddy, pass him which was most impressive to watch.
With today’s win, Uncaptured has banked over $510k in just seven starts, stamping himself a Top Contender for next year’s Kentucky Derby. In the v. least, he’s proven now on Churchill Down‘s Dirt Course, but still the question for many is whether or not he can handle an even longer distance after barely hanging-on today. Of course he will face some stuff competition with undefeated and probable U.S. Champion two-year-old Colt Shanghai Bobby also pointed towards the Run for the Roses that first weekend in May 2013. Bobby comes off a win in the $2-million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile which he won by just a head earlier this month. A lot can happen over the Winter and at any point a new Superstar could emerge as quick as that famous two-minute Derby is run.
Nonetheless, Canadians couldn’t be prouder. It has been 29 years since a Canadian-bred has won the Derby and this is our greatest hope. Is Uncaptured the greatest Canadian Colt since the legendary Northern Dancer?
Watch Uncaptured‘s game effort today in the Kentucky Jockey Club Cup Stakes right here.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
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