After 37th ‘Little Kentucky Derby,’ 10 Lexington School Families Have Rooting Interest In Big Race

by | 05.05.2016 | 2:10pm
The Little Kentucky Derby draws a big crowd in school's parking lot

The Lexington School in Lexington, Ky., will host the 37th running of the Little Kentucky Derby Friday morning as preschool students ages 3 through 5 make a “run for the roses” Lexington School style.

This year, half of the real Kentucky Derby horses are connected in some way with Lexington School families – 10 out of 20 horses in the big race. It's no wonder the school celebrates the weekend in such a big, colorful way. The horses with some connection (either owned, bred, sired or raised on the farm of a Lexington School family or destined for stud on one of the farms) are Trojan Nation, Gun Runner, Oscar Nominated, Nyquist, Majesto, Brody's Cause, Creator, Lani, Mohaymen, and Shagaf.

Derby hats are encouraged among the students

Derby hats are encouraged among the students

With a post time of 9 a.m., preschool students, assisted by their middle school “trainers,” will line up in the parking lot of the lower school building at The Lexington School. The races are preceded by the singing of “My Old Kentucky Home.” After that, children ages 3-5 years old will race their big wheels and stick horses in over 20 TLS farm “sponsored” heats  as the entire school community watches and cheers them on to victory. Derby hats are encouraged.

The students have been practicing for the Little Kentucky Derby all week with their “trainers” – older TLS students who help them prepare for the big race. Throughout the Derby festivities, these buddy teams can be seen together as the older students encourage and motivate their young jockeys to do their best and to enjoy the race.

More festival activities include a Derby breakfast for TLS parents, a student-led carnival where big kids host the littles, and a Green/Gray field day competition where all grade levels play relay games for ultimate bragging rights.

Founded in 1959 by Pin Oak Stud owner Josephine Abercrombie (whose trainers include Donnie Von Hemel, conditioner of Kentucky Derby runner Suddenbreakingnews), The Lexington School is an independent day school, enrolling academically promising boys and girls in preschool through eighth grade.

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