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Derby week as begun and so have the Derby parties
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We were driving down a quiet Baxter Avenue, usually this area is full of hustle and bustle with all of its restaurants, shops, pubs. Mondays are usually quiet in this area, that was until we approached Molly Malone’s. Once we got in the area of this establishment things changed, cars were everywhere and Molly Malone’s was overflowing with people outside and inside.

In one of four areas available for the Second Stride Derby Party at Molly Malone's guests could browse through silent and live auction items and watch a video.

Molly Malone’s is usually quiet on Mondays also according to one of the bartenders, but this Monday was not an ordinary day. You see it is Derby week and this was a Derby party.

Patrons hang out in the outdoor patio area of Molly Malone's.

Second Stride’s Kentucky Derby Party fundraising event was in full swing when we arrived at Molly Malone‘s. This organization takes donated retired thoroughbred racehorses, rehabilitates them where necessary, then retrains them to new careers and adopts them out to new owners which gives them a new life after the track.

Molly Malone's was the place to be on Monday for the Second Stride Derby Party.

This Kentucky Derby Party is supported by those in the horse racing industry. Owners of farms and racehorses, trainers, jockeys, grooms, exercise riders, people who adopted Second Stride racehorses, were among those in attendance. We spotted one such notable person, 3 time Kentucky Derby winning and Hall of Fame Jockey Gary Stevens. He has come out of retirement to ride again and will be aboard D. Wayne Lukas’s Oxbow in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Did I mention he co-starred in the movie Seabiscuit?

Hall of Fame and 3 time Kentucky Derby winning Jockey Gary Stevens was a popular guy to get his photo taken with.

You could tell the support Second Stride was getting from those in the thoroughbred horse racing industry by the items in their live and silent auctions. A row of gleaming leather halters with polished brass nameplates engraved with such famous Thoroughbred’s names as Fusaichi Pegasus and Super Saver were in the live auction. An area of UofL Cards items included a basketball signed by UofL Card’s basketball Coach Rick Pitino, who is a co-owner of Derby horse Goldencents. A one night stay at Rosecrest Farm’s Bed & Breakfast, which is the birthplace of Rick Pitino’s Kentucky Derby Horse Goldencents, was in the live auction. A framed photograph of Goldencents as a young foal was included in this live auction item. Goldencent’s horseshoes mounted on an engraved plaque that he wore in his 2013 Santa Anita Derby win were also in the auction. There were gift baskets, vacation opportunities, and some really cute jockey bobbleheads in the silent auction, as well as some beautiful artwork. The list goes on as the items were numerous and the bids were coming in.

Gleaming halters of famous Thoroughbreds await the live auction.

Items in the live auction include some UofL Card's autographed items, including a signed basketball by Rick Pitino.

A one night stay at Rosecrest Farm's Bed & Breakfast, the farm where Derby horse Goldencents was born, included a framed portrait of him as a foal, was  in the live auction.

The set of horseshoes that Derby horse Goldencents wore when he won the 2013 Santa Anita Derby was auctioned off.

Guests look over the silent auction items.

More silent auction items.

A bobblehead of Kentucky Derby long shot winner Mine That Bird's trainer, Chip Woolley, awaits his high bidder.

It was great to attend a Kentucky Derby Party that actually was benefiting the Thoroughbreds and supported by those in the horseracing industry. Anyone could go to this fundraiser as it did not require a hefty ticket price to get in. A suggested $10 donation to Second Stride was asked and if you had the funds to bid on one of the auction items it all went to support a great cause. It was a great way to get into the Kentucky Derby mood.

Photos: Courtesy of Sandy Dolan and Second Stride

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About Sandy Dolan

Owner of Cedar Ridge Farm which operates a children's horseback riding lesson program in Greenville, IN. I have been involved with equine welfare and rescue activities. We have successfully rehomed at risk horses and retrained off the track thoroughbred racehorses in new careers in hunter/jumper, eventing, dressage, and barrel racing disciplines.

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