Welcome to the 4th Annual CJS Kentucky Derby Awards. We reconvened for the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs this past Saturday with a fistful of unhealthy snacks, a brand new cocktail, and a mindset for the day: Needs more horse.

So while we may not write with the vigor we used to (afterall, you’re looking at this 6 days after the Derby has concluded), that has not diminished our appetite for cracking jokes at the expense of NBC’s (admittedly) excellent coverage of the Kentucky Derby. So strap in, because we’ve got adultery jokes, The Big Brown Upside Down Sexual Innuendo Award, fat buglers, horse sex, and the undeniable brilliance of Animal Kingdom.

Summer Drink We’re Going to Gush Over All Summer Award

Winner: County Sanctioned Iced Tea

Remember when we made Gin Rickeys and then wouldn’t shut the fuck up about them? Yeah, well, now we’re ready to do the same thing with a new concoction. Inspired by Senor Limon pouring Crown into a Minute Maid at a wedding, we wanted something simple yet elegant, but refreshing. So we grabbed a jug of Turkey Hill Iced Tea, threw in some Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select bourbon and added a slice of lemon. Voila! Brown deliciousness.

For those scoring at home, that’s two ounces of bourbon, 3 ounces iced tea and a slice of lemon (slice size may vary, because seriously who measures lemon slices?).

The name comes from bourbon county rules surrounding the distilling process for bourbon. However, we were partially inspired by Andy from “Parks and Recreation” to call it “CJS Mouth Surprise,” but alas, we don’t want to tread on Andy’s delightful Skittles/Starburst union of scrumptious tanginess.

“I Hope That Pussy Was Worth It” Award

Winner: Resident Smiling Goon Tiki Barber

After getting a few County Sanctioned Iced Teas deep, we lamented not having either Billy Bush or Resident Smiling Goon Tiki Barber to kick around anymore. We missed his tone deaf interview segments, a persistent smiling visage that made us wonder if he had a central nervous system or not, and his generally oblivious buffoonery. Lady E asked us where he was, and we told her the story of how Tiki left his pregnant wife of 11 years to do the rumpy pumpy with a 23 year-old NBC intern and got fired from his cush Today Show and Football Night in America gigs.

Lady E’s response: “Wow. I hope that pussy was worth it.” Lady E, everyone!

The “Really?!?” With Seth and Amy Award

Winner: The Kentucky Derby roses

Apparently the roses used in that big thing they put over the horse’s neck (what the hell is that thing called anyway?) are clipped fresh, and get a fucking police escort to Churchill Downs the day of the race.

Really?!?

We live in a country with a $14 trillion debt, states that are bankrupt and cutting services like they’re carving up Thanksgiving dinner, more than 10% unemployment, and we’re using our police to drive flowers to a horse race. Really?!?

According to KentuckyDerby.com, 400 red roses are sewn into a green satin backing with a “crown” of a single rose pointing upward in the center of the garland, symbolizing the struggle and heart necessary to reach the Derby Winner’s Circle. Really? I love the Derby as much as anyone, and think these horses are great “athletes,” but “struggle and heart”? That’d be like giving your dog a clock radio for persevering through that race around the backyard against the low-flying sparrow. The horse is running is fast it can because it’s being whipped not because of its determination. Really!

But back to the money for a minute. We’re using police to deliver flowers to a horse. That sounds like something Tracy Jordan would invent. That’s like a set-up to a Shecky Greene one-liner. It’s an Onion headline that was rejected because it actually happens. We spend money on the goofiest shit in this country, Ron Popeil thinks proposition is ludicrous.

Really?!?

(This has been a poor man’s Really?!? with Seth and Amy. And all of the above is moot if the Derby actually pays the local police to drive its stupid flowers over to the race, in which case, we’ll just go fuck ourselves.)

Unexpectedly Brilliant Idea Award

Winner: TGIFriday’s Make-at-Home Boneless Chicken Wings

We started our coverage with some delicious Bagel Bites which we could not stop thinking about due to an internet comic. Oh, Married To The Sea how you bring us so much daily joy in a brief one panel comic. After indulging in these pizza-y morsels of awesomeness, and not being sated by an obscene amount of pretzel crisps, we decided to move to our last menu item: TGIFriday’s Make-at-Home Boneless Chicken Wings. These were picked up on a whim by Dagger and to our surprise they were incredible! Unfortunately, there were only 14 of these nugget sized “wings” that we had to split amongst four of us. Damn TGIFriday’s and their successful marketing practices. We suppose thankfully there were only 14 of them, considering the next award.

Bellweather of the Country’s Fitness Award

Winner: The Kentucky Derby Bugler

Somehow this guy gets fatter every year, which I’m sure as he starts his day everyday by Googling “Kentucky Derby bugler”, he’s now reading this and crying into a big plate of homemade ice cream sandwiches that use Chocolate Blasted Pop Tarts as the bread. 

Two years ago they greased Al Roker’s fat ass into one of those little equestrian jackets and we laughed and laughed singing “Fat guy in a little coat…” Now it’s the bugler who looks like a big bloated bag of soup while Al continues to look like Mr. Potato Head with his giant freakish melon and increasingly shrinking body.

Unless it’s a different guy (all white people look the same to us), in which case, he’s probably always been fat, so after he blows the bugle, he should do the Truffle Shuffle. Of course, the fact we even noticed the bugler’s expanding waistline, leads us here…

Sign We Watch Too Much Derby Coverage Award

Winner: Todd Fletcher

Who is Todd Fletcher, you ask? We have no idea. But we know who Todd Pletcher is because when one of the announcers mentioned Todd Pletcher but mistakenly called him Todd “Fletcher,” we immediately corrected her. We didn’t even have to think about it. It was like a reflex.

When names like Bob Baffert, Calvin Borel, D.Wayne Lukas, and Todd Pletcher not only sound immediately familiar to you, but get you excited and put the smell of bourbon in your nostrils, you may be too excited about the Kentucky Derby. Hell, the Derby just ended a few days ago and we’re already wondering what drink we’ll do next year. Thankfully we don’t have a gambling addiction, or this event would REALLY be trouble. But, too much coverage does lead to awesome things. Such as…

The New Derby Tradition Award

Winner: The Joey Fatone Social!

This marks the fourth year in a row we’ve spotted Joey Fatone at the Derby, and since we didn’t spot Nick Lachey at any point, that means Joey Fatone wins! Wins what? The new CJS Kentucky Derby meme!

Next year, any time you spot Joey Fatone at the Kentucky Derby, call a social and everyone drink! This year we saw him in a private box (as per usual), but he was with Christopher Meloni from Law & Order: SVU, and they both looked drunk as hell singing “My Old Kentucky Home.”

Social!

And now for our favorite tradition…

“Big Brown Upside Down” Sexual Innuendo of the Year

Winner: Pants on Fire’s redhead jockey Rosie Napravnik

The only female jockey in the entire field is a redhead. This redhead is riding a horse called Pants on Fire. Are you kidding us, Kentucky Derby? You make this too easy. The firecrotch jokes write themselves. And when you combine that with all the hilarious connotations associated with a girl’s relationship with her horse, the “Big Brown Upside Down” award was over without a fight less than an hour into coverage. This gave us fantastic amusement for the better part of a half hour that Lady E only saw about 5% of, all of which is pretty much unfit to print here. The jokes got even more hilarious when she left for the bathroom or talked on the phone mid-coverage. As Drew Magary of Deadspin likes to say, “The mind of any man is a sewer.”

And the Kentucky Derby never fails to give us at least one great running gag each year. God bless this stupid event!

Getting Too Familiar With the Horse Award

Winner: Rachel Alexandra

It’s not unusual to take a closer look at the stables and frolic grounds where the race horses spend their off days. Not even that odd to get a look the diet these majestic brutes eat. It seems, though, that these things have become passé and the Kentucky Derby coverage team has felt it is time to punch up the segment. And that’s how we ended up with the horse dating segment which over romanticized the whole equine living situation.

As with any proper date night, the nag has to do her part to look good, and for Rachel Alexandra (a Derby horse from last year) that meant a trip to the horse salon. Apparently this is an actual thing, except instead of a comically gigantic beauty shop where Queen Latifah and other sassy black chicks talk gossip with horses (now in development at Paramount!), it’s basically someone in a barn doing salon type things to a horse; getting brushed, having hoofs filed, that sort of shit. But it worked, when Rachel Alexandra trotted out all the other mares were like, “Oooh, girl, you gotchyo mane did!”

She’s then led to a stud and “Let’s Get It On” scores the segment, trying to trick us all into believing this is an act of love. The reality here is Curlin (another Derby horse from last year), the stud, is going to show off his giant horse cock as he saunters over, mounts Rachel Alexandra, gives the old double pump, then it’s off to a fat stack of hay while he waits for the next nag to receive the Curlin treatment.

Yet the segment played better than the episode of “Mr. Ed” when he joined a dating website.

We Couldn’t Get the Rights When Naming Our Horse Award

Winner: Archarcharch

What we heard (or what we possibly made up), is this horse was originally supposed to be named after Tim Allen’s signature grunts, “Arh, arh, arh.” Owner Bob Yagos was apparently a huge “Home Improvement” fan, and wanted the manliest horse possible, so who better to emulate than Tim “The Toolman” Taylor? Sadly, Tim Allen would only allow Yagos’s horse to be named this if he stopped being a horse and turned into a turbocharged lawnmower allowed to race against a bunch of other turbocharged lawnmowers. Seeing as that’s totally impossible, ome quick thinking from Yagos and well placed “C’s” allowed them to avoid this looming catastrophe and run as Archarcharch.

Ok, so this is all bullshit, but it’s all I could think about as this damn horse lost and forcing me into the role of beer bitch amongst CJS’s sad little party of four. I’m changing this award to the Horse Deserves His Glue Factory Fate After I Had to Reach Less Than Two Feet to Fetch Everyone’s Beers For the Rest of the Day Award. But I’m not bitter.

I jest. I do not condone equestricide.

The “Quaid, Start the Reactor” Award

Winner: Whatever that thing was growing out of Maria Menounos’ head

This wasn’t so much a hat as it was a sentient lifeform borne out of the crushed dreams of 3rd world orphans manifesting themselves into a cooky half sideways domepiece and designed to take over the entire horse racing world. That, or it’s a being growing out of the side of her head in order to encourage an amnesiac Austrian beefcake to create a breathable atmosphere on Mars. Whatever.

Aaron Rodgers looked positively befuddled talking to this thing for five minutes while pretending not to look at it. I’ll bet he never thought one of the perks of winning the Super Bowl would be awkward interaction on the red carpet at a Kentucky Derby to a conscious piece of headgear, did he? It didn’t help his awkwardness that he didn’t know the names of any of the horses either. Which reminds us…

The Lollipop Guild Award

Winner: Every jockey ever

We’ve commented at length about the uselessness of all athlete interviews, but one thing we never noticed was the bizarre tonal sameness of all jockey interviews. Sure, all these guys are roughly 4’ 9” (or so it seems) and go on crazy diets to keep their weight at a very specific level, but why does that make all their voices sound like after they’re done racing they’re going to present a lollipop to Dorothy and welcome her to Munchkinland? That’s just strange.

Although Dagger’s head will explode if one of these guys starts sing-talking like the coroner and unfurls a scroll presenting a certificate of death for the Wicked Witch. That’d be Derby + Wizard of Oz + (almost certainly) Drunkenness. Three ultimates like that result in head exploding. It’s in the CJS User Agreement. Look it up.

Social Oomph Abuse Is a Serious (and Fucking Annoying) Problem Award

Winner: @MusicDenver’s Twitter Feed

For those of you who don’t have social media as part of your job description, and therefore have no idea what Social Oomph is, it’s a service that allows you to schedule Tweets to run when you don’t feel like live uploading them yourself. It’s a great tool that allows you stay engaged with your customers (or whoever) at all times in this crazy connected world. (Oh yeah, why doesn’t Cru Jones Society use this considering you jerks only update once a week now? Fuck you! Leave us alone! Life is hard! We’re cooking a turkey! We left the iron on! We have warranty cards to fill out! Shut up…)

That is, unless you use it like a crack-addled lab rat churning out meaningless tweets every two fucking minutes and annoying those of us trying to live tweet the Derby. Seriously, all day MusicDenver shat out links to YouTube videos of random Eminem songs and shit that clogged up Tweetdeck (another Twitter service – don’t ask) and made responding to people even more difficult as we consumed even more liquor. We finally got so frustrated with this shit, we Tweeted to no one (since no one from MusicDenver was actually monitoring the thing): “Yes, these are all songs. So the fuck what?”

We realize there’s a temptation by organizations to flood Twitter with shit all day to stay top of mind, but when you Tweet nothing but pointless links ALL THE LIVELONG DAY, you’ll turn off your followers and get your ass unfollowed.

Embarrassed on National TV By a High School Picture Award

Winner: Mike Repole

Mike Repole is some sort of millionaire water tycoon, who owns Uncle Mo, a late scratch from the Derby who later entered Stay Thristy. While profiling him, we get to see his childhood home. Like any good childhood home, his mother has kept Mike’s senior year portrait proudly hanging above the mantle. And what a portrait!

Mike sported quite the rat tail, the curls of the things luxuriously trickling down his nape and glistening over his shoulder. Why did the rat tail ever go out of style? It’s magnificent! Repole ought to bring it back! The rat tail’s excellence is matched only by the gross teenage mustache living above his upper lip. When you see the picture you can’t help but remember seeing the same kid in your high school, and never would you believe this guy would one day be a millionaire, and no way would you believe he made that money from Vitamin Water.

Why the Hell Are We Giving Another Award to the Winning Horse Award?

Winner: Animal Kingdom (doi)

This horse just won the only horse race that most of the population cares about, got an impressive, though excessive, collar of roses, so why do we think it deserves another award? Because holy shit did you see the speed of that horse and how it found the perfect hole? Animal Kingdom was in the back middle of the pack, then turned on the burners as if the jockey had installed NOS boosters in its ass. We’d make a Fast Five reference here, but we refuse to acknowledge that that is a thing. Also, we would say that in the debate of who would win in a race between Superman and The Flash, Animal Kingdom should also be considered, except that would be a stupid thing to say. A race between superheroes and horses, preposterous, pull your head out of your ass.

Super heroes aside, this horse was impressive, and we should know, we have four years of half assed horse race watching experience.  

Also, Animal Kingdom wins if they run on dirt, The Flash takes it if it’s run on turf, and Superman wins if flying is allowed. Animal Kingdom can’t fly. As far as we know.

***

Congratulations to Animal Kingdom on his great victory. Just so we can say we’ve seen it, we’re pulling for you at the Preakness and the Belmont. We want a Triple Crown in our lifetimes, dammit!

But assuming that won’t happen (Ed. Note: It won’t.), we’ll see you back here next year for CJS’s 5th Annual Kentucky Derby Awards. In the meantime, enjoy a County Sanctioned Iced Tea, or enjoy hearing about it all summer.

Hart & Dagger