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A Mordant Look at the Kentucky Derby With Martin Parr

The Magnum member photographed the race for TIME

Martin Parr has photographed the most famous horse races in the world. He’s shot races in England and France, in India and Sri Lanka, in Australia and South Africa and Zimbabwe. And yet he had never made it to one of the most celebrated races in the U.S., the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Ky.

“The Queen went in 2007,” Parr tells TIME. “She’s a racing nut as well, and she beat me to it by eight furlongs. So I finally decided to get around to it. I finally put it on my list and I’m very glad I did because it’s quite an event.”

With more than 170,000 people attending last weekend’s “most exciting two minutes in sports,” as the Kentucky Derby is known, Parr was in his own version of paradise. “I was delighted,” he says, matter-of-factly. “It’s very American: there’s no place where the prices are so huge. It’s American Capitalism at its best and worst. Everything out there was crazy.”

Parr is famous for his satirical approach and in an arena known for extravagance being on full display, it was easy pickings for the English photographer. “You just walk around and you take pictures,” he says. “You get a little bit tired with people with hats, so it’s your job to find something a bit different. That’s the aspiration. Otherwise all these races pictures would look the same. But, of course, the hat is irresistible. It’s a photographer’s dream.”

The secret, he adds, is to find the places that will keep on giving: “You locate different hotspots and different places that you keep coming back to. It’s a massive space. I probably didn’t get to every grandstand, every corner. So you go back to the same places where you know things reveal themselves. And then, you watch the actual race. You’re waiting for the person to erupt when their horse looks like it might be winning, and they’re screaming and shouting.”

Martin Parr is a member of the Magnum Photos agency.

Paul Moakley, who edited this photo essay, is TIME’s deputy director of photography.

Olivier Laurent is the Editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

TIME Sports

See the Best Hats From the Kentucky Derby

People turned out in style to watch the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Ky.

TIME Food & Drink

7 Race Day Cocktails for the Kentucky Derby

Try these signature Southern drinks for the race

The Derby isn’t the only leg of the Triple Crown with a signature drink. Watch the horses run with a cocktail tailored for each event. You’ll have an instant party as synonymous with Derby Day as distinctive hats.

  • Classic Mint Julep

    Southern Living

    Mint juleps are the quintessential Southern cocktail. All you need for this classic version is fresh mint, mint simple syrup, and bourbon. Leftover simple syrup keeps refrigerated about one week and perfectly sweetens iced tea. See our tips and techniques for stirring up a mint julep.

    Recipe: Classic Mint Julep

    Step-by-Step Video: Make a Classic Mint Julep

  • Bourbon Smash

    Laurey W. Glenn

    Add flair to your cocktail party with the Bourbon Smash: crushed ice and bourbon combined with the sweetness of raspberries and the fresh flavor of mint.

    Recipe: Bourbon Smash

  • Black-eyed Susan

    Laurey W. Glenn

    This cocktail’s name is taken from the flowers used to make the blanket that drapes the winning horse at the Preakness in Baltimore, Maryland. Made with orange and pineapple juice, vodka, light rum, and orange liqueur, it’s a Plimlico winner in our book too.

    Recipe: Black-eyed Susan Cocktail

  • Bourbon Cider Sour

    Laurey W. Glenn

    Looking for something impressive yet easy to mix up for your party? Simply stir together four ingredients: bourbon, apple cider, orange juice and sugar, then serve over ice. Garnish with thin apple slices for an elegant finish.

    Recipe: Bourbon Cider Sour

  • Long Island Iced Tea

    Laurey W. Glenn

    At the Belmont Stakes it’s Long Island Iced Tea. Serve this stiff drink in a martini glass to encourage sipping and get in the New York racing mood.

    Recipe: Long Island Iced Tea

  • Slushy Whiskey Sours

    Laurey W. Glenn

    Try a refreshing spin on a classic mixed drink featuring frozen orange juice, limeade and lemonade.

    Recipe: Slushy Whiskey Sours

  • Moonshine-Cherry Blush

    Brown Cannon III

    Basil-Lemon Moonshine is great by itself on the rocks, but our Moonshine-Cherry Blush recipe will certainly be difficult to pass up.

    Recipe: Moonshine-Cherry Blush

    Base Recipe: Basil-Lemon Moonshine

    This article originally appeared on Southern Living.

TIME Food & Drink

How to Make a Classic Mint Julep

Just in time for the Kentucky Derby


Mint juleps are the quintessential Southern cocktail. All you need for this classic version is fresh mint, mint simple syrup, and bourbon.

This article originally appeared on Southern Living.

More from Southern Living:

TIME Diet/Nutrition

Here’s Your Health Excuse to Have a Mint Julep

Getty Images

Mint is one healthy herb

The Kentucky Derby is this Saturday, and that means mint juleps will be on the menu. While there’s really no great health benefit imparted by bourbon, mint certainly has its qualities. If nutrition is what your after, mint soaked in booze may not be the best source, but if you need an excuse for a second mint julep, we’ve got a few.

“Without a doubt, the mojito is my favorite way to enjoy the fresh flavor of mint, but it’s mint in its natural state that I truly love,” says registered dietitian Tina Ruggiero. “Mint is available as a tea; you can buy peppermint oil and, of course, there’s the mint leaf itself.”

Ruggiero says that used in all these forms, mint has the ability to calm an upset stomach, relieve nasal symptoms from cold or allergies, and it’s a good source of Vitamins C and A. Some studies have even found that peppermint oil can be an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.

“While mint has trace amounts of potassium, magnesium and calcium, you’d have to eat quite a bit of it to garner any particular benefit,” says Ruggiero. “Instead, use it liberally as an ingredient where appropriate, since it doesn’t add fat, calories or sodium to your meals.” (That probably means mint crushed in your Derby drink isn’t doing you much good).

Besides mint juleps or mojitos, mint can add an extra kick in the kitchen. Try adding some chopped mint to salads or smoothies, or as Ruggiero suggests, infuse cold water with mint for a refreshing and healthy drink.

Gardening enthusiasts also take note: mint is also a great addition to an herb garden.

TIME Food & Drink

7 Minty Non-Julep Cocktails for the Kentucky Derby

Lucas Allen Flight of Fancy

Mint goes well with a number of spring drinks

Place your bets—Derby weekend is upon us! During the two-day event at Churchill Downs, fans drink more than 120,000 mint juleps. It’s a great cocktail, but there are so many other ways to incorporate mint into bracing spring drinks. Here, 7 minty non-juleps to drink at your Kentucky Derby celebration.

1. Rosemary-Mint Highball
Tequila is the base for this fragrant drink.

2. Pomelo-Mint Mojito
This refreshing take on the classic mojito is made with pomelo, an Asian citrus fruit that resembles a thick-skinned grapefruit.

3. Cucumber Mint Creole
The classic Creole cocktail—gin, lemon juice and sherry—is the basis for this drink.

4. Flight of Fancy
This cocktail calls for homemade mint soda—use it right away to impart a grassy freshness.

5. Lemony Fresh Herb Coolers
The unusual combination of fresh basil, cilantro, mint and tarragon makes for a delightfully refreshing beverage.

6. Pepper Delicious
The herby flavors of the gin combined with the mint and pepper in this cocktail will be a revelation for the non-gin drinker.

7. Old Faithful Punch
Grapefruit adds a sweet-tart flavor to this citrusy large-batch drink.

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

More from Food & Wine:

TIME Sports

How To Throw a 1930s-Inspired Mint Julep Party for the Kentucky Derby

It begins and ends with the bourbon

The race known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports” has long been an occasion for vices of all kinds, most notably gambling and drinking. And those planning a bash to ring in this weekend’s Kentucky Derby would do well to take a hint from classy affairs of derbies past.

In May 1937, LIFE dedicated its “LIFE Goes to a Party” feature to a mint julep fête held at the Louisville residence of Julian P. Van Winkle and his wife. Van Winkle, president of the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, served up the traditional derby drink, made exclusively with bourbon from his own label. Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captured guests who were partaking in the mint julep experience in the only acceptable way: by imbibing vast quantities.

Proper mint julep etiquette includes the use of frosty silver mugs in place of tall glasses, and appreciating the aroma of fresh herbs before sipping the drink itself. But the most important preparation for a Van Winkle-inspired party of your own? The recipe, of course:

The Van Winkle mint julep formula is to use only 17-year-old stock—either “Old Fitzgerald” or “Old Mammoth Cave”—put sugar and bruised mint at the bottom of the silver cup, pack in finely-cracked ice to induce proper frosting, stick mint sprigs in after two ounces of Bourbon have been poured.

War Admiral Wins the 1937 Kentucky Derby
AP PhotoWar Admiral wins the Kentucky Derby two lengths ahead of his challenger, Pompoon, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on May 9, 1937.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby Odds: American Pharoah the Betting Favorite

American Pharoah is a 5/2 favorite as the 2015 Kentucky Derby approaches, according to Bovada’s latest odds.

The 141st Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Post positions will be announced on Wednesday. With all prep races finished, the Kentucky Derby 20-horse field is set, barring anyone backing out.

Last year’s winner, California Chrome, entered the race as the favorite at 5/2. Last week, American Pharoah was given 2/1 odds to win the race.

Here are the complete odds, as of Monday, from Bovada:

American Pharoah 5/2
Dortmund 4/1
Carpe Diem 15/2
Mubtaahij 10/1
Materiality 12/1
Firing Line 16/1
Frosted 16/1
International Star 18/1
Upstart 20/1
El Kabeir 33/1
Far Right 33/1
Bolo 40/1
Danzig Moon 40/1
Itsaknockout 40/1
Keen Ice 40/1
Mr Z 40/1
Ocho Ocho Ocho 40/1
War Story 40/1
Tencendur 66/1

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby Bans Drones and Selfie Sticks

Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on May 2, 2014.
Logan Riely—AP Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY on May 2, 2014.

Re-entry on the day of race will not be allowed, either

In a loss for annoying people everywhere, Churchill Downs has banned selfie sticks from the Kentucky Derby and Oaks races.

The triple crown venue will not allow the picture-taking accessories as well as photo drones inside for the 2015 running of the Kentucky Derby, according to The Courier Journal of Louisville.

For the first time ever, fans will also not be permitted re-entry on the day of the race, with track general manager Ryan Jordan telling The Courier-Journal the policy made it too east for counterfeiters to prosper.

“Our previous re-entry policy made it a fairly simple task for ticketed patrons to exit the track and quickly generate copies of their tickets and wristbands for sale outside of our grounds.”

This article originally appeared on SI.com.


TIME Horse Racing

California Chrome Set to Race at Belmont for Triple Crown After All

139th Preakness Stakes
Molly Riley—Getty Images California Chrome #3, ridden by Victor Espinoza, head to the finish line enroute to winning the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2014 in Baltimore.

Successful colt California Chrome's bid to be the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 is reportedly back on track after New York state officials are said to have informed trainers that the thoroughbred could wear a nasal strip for the Belmont Stakes

Updated 11:30 am ET, May 19

Prize racehorse California Chrome’s bid to win the Triple Crown is apparently back on, after state officials reportedly agreed to let the the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner wear a nasal strip at the Belmont Stakes.

ESPN, citing unnamed sources within the California Chrome camp, reports the colt has been given the go-ahead to wear a nasal strip in the third and final race for the crown by New York Racing Association steward Steve Lewandowski.

California Chrome has worn a nasal strip, which help horses breathe, throughout his recent six-race winning streak. However, New York officials have a history of banning the strips: Back in 2012, horse I’ll Have Another wore nasal strips during its Kentucky and Preakness wins, but was going to be barred from doing so at Belmont. (The point became moot when Another was scratched after a leg injury.)

If California Chrome wins at Belmont, it would make him the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.


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