And they’re off…
Kentucky Dominicans Catch Derby Fever as Dominican Runs
for the Roses
LOUISVILLE, KY – May 23, 2007---There was a Kentucky Dominican
taking part in the “most exciting two minutes in sports” on
May 5 during the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby.
No, one of our sisters was not running on the track at Churchill
Downs, but a horse named Dominican, owned by Tommy and Bonnie Hamilton
in nearby Springfield, Ky. and named for the Dominican Sisters
of St. Catharine, KY, was among the field of 20 horses in the Run
for the Roses. But Springfield is not a one horse town, the
Hamilton’s horse, Sedgefield, was also in the running.
The horses’ run in the Kentucky Derby brought Derby fever
to the town of nearby Springfield and the St. Catharine Motherhouse.
Some of the sisters were guests at a pre-Derby party hosted by
the Hamilton’s at their Silverton Hill Farm on April 28.
They showed their support all week by wearing the Silverton Hill
Farm colors of hot pink, silver and black along with buttons and
hats. Many of the sisters even sported buttons proclaiming, I
was Dominican first, which were a gift to the sisters from
the Hamiltons. On May 4, the sisters joined many Springfield residents
at Silverton Hill Day in downtown Springfield. The day included
food, fun and games with local elementary schools participating
in stick horse racing, sidewalk coloring and a coloring contest.
A birthday party for Dominican, whose birthday was in fact May
4, was also held that afternoon.
St. Catharine’s Dominicans may have been around for 185 years,
but it was Dominican the 2-year-old horse that helped give the
sisters their 15 minutes of fame that we are all entitled to according
to famed American artist Andy Warhol.
Television stations and newspapers from Lexington and Louisville
descended on St. Catharine when word of the unique story of Dominican
and its ties to the sisters spread. The national audience even
got a glimpse of Springfield and the Dominican Sisters when NBC
Sports came and spent several hours over a two-day period interviewing
sisters and residents and filming portions of the downtown party.
The segment, approximately two minutes in length, aired shortly
before post time. Probably the first time our sisters have ever
shared television time with Queen Elizabeth II, the queen of England,
who attended this year’s Derby.
Proud and honored were two words the sisters kept repeating to
the news reporters when they asked them how they felt about having
a horse named after them running in the Derby.
It was a “Divine Ride,” a popular saying that was used
in association with Dominican leading up to the Derby, but neither
horse received the blanket of roses in the end. Sedgefield placed
fifth and Dominican finished 11th. It was Street Sense who
came from 19th place to win the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby.
Dominican finished first in a photo finish in the Blue Grass Stakes
on April 14 beating Street Sense by a nose.
Derby Fever has subsided around the Motherhouse and things are
back to normal, but the sisters will long remember the horse that
gained them national attention.
Dana Lear, Community Relations Coordinator