In Kentucky it's called the Derby; in London, the Darby; in "Joisey," the Doiby. In reality it is only one of 27 derbies run in North America, only one of 39 races with a value of $100,000, only one of 33,000 races run each year. But somehow the Kentucky Derby is the one horse race that Americans who do not normally care about horse racing talk about, think about and care about. It has been run since 1875 at a ramshackle track named Churchill Downs, and it appeals to Hollywood dolls, political would-bes and society's butterflies. Without plastic facades or Instant Hurry-Up it has kept up with the times without being crushed by commercialism's march. It has maintained grace and charm, those very elements which Artist Morton Roberts reflects with his brush and in his own words on the next four pages.
IN THE PADDOCK
It was a hot day; the paddock was sheltered, cool and dark. Its colors were deep and rich in contrast to the silkiness of the horses, nervous as they went by
DOWN TO THE FINISH LINE
In the golden glow of the afternoon—a beautiful day, hot and still—the stands at Churchill Downs pulsated with color and intense excitement. To me the scene had a theatrical quality
WOMAN IN YELLOW
I saw ladies with elegance of taste and style. I was impressed with the color of the sky—and the clear contrast of the lightness of the silk against it