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Curbed enthusiasm: Does Kentucky Derby fanfare fall on deaf ears?

The 2015 Kentucky Derby is now in the history books. A new champion was crowned, in this case American Pharoah, but the real star of the event wasn't so much the horse itself but the pomp and circumstance that surrounds the event on a yearly basis.
If you are a steadfast lover of the Kentucky Derby, congrats for your patience, that is if you're into the actual race more so than the build up, fashion and celebrity sightings that truly define the Derby as being an iconic, history race in sports.
Yes, the Kentucky Derby is the Super Bowl of horse racing and the epitome of competition within its own sport. The stands are filled with dignitaries, and the general public clamors to attend the event every year.
The real question about the Derby for sports fans is much different from how this race is viewed by the general population. For sports nuts, the Derby is fast paced tradition at its finest. The purity of the horse racing is underscored by competitors vying for the top price in horse racing.
Beyond that demographic, however, it is difficult to really gauge the importance of the Derby as it relates to onlookers who view it for what it is: a fashion show, absurd, albeit culturally accepted, hats and lots of quick, wide angled television shots of important people eating Hot Brown sandwiches and flashing their jewels and riches for the entire viewing audience to see.

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Think of it from this perspective: Ask the average person what they think of when you say the words "Kentucky Derby?" Furthermore, take the argument to Google (because the search engine never lies) and start typing in that search bar Kentucky Derby, and the answer to the first question and dilemma is clear.
The Derby is flashy, hat wielding patrons determining an importance pecking order. Sure, you'll see Tom Brady chilling out at the Derby next to Rob Gronkowski, but the talk isn't so much these two Super Bowl champions rubbing elbows at a sporting event but instead the fact that the Patriots' All Pro tight end had a ridiculous suit on at the Derby.
Still think the Kentucky Derby doesn't have a little bit of a challenge as it relates to widespread credibility as nothing more than a glorified fashion show that just so happens to feature horse racing?
This isn't to downplay the role the Derby plays in sports, but rather a specific look at an event that tries really hard to focus on winners and losers that don't have the words" hat," "style," or "fashion" associated with them.
So as much credit as 2015 Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah and his team deserve for an outstanding achievement, the real celebration started in the stands and in front of the cameras and photographers well before the race did.

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