(Soup and Sandwich on full display Saturday at Churchill Downs / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

Editor’s Note:

It is just a couple of weeks away now, and the action is stirring and the emotions are arising. It’s nearly “Derby Fever” time.

Just as the grass begins to grow, and the flowers begin to burst, it happens here nearly every year. We, too, begin to bud and bloom. We, too, stop and smell the roses — that are soon to be placed over the neck of the next winner of the Kentucky Derby. We, too, begin to get excited for the greatest sporting even ever created — the Kentucky Derby.

As my lovely wife likes to say, early and often. The Kentucky Derby is our month-long celebration. It is not one day. It is simply not one week. We take the entire month to celebrate. Because that is what we do. Here in Kentucky. Here in Horse Country. Here in the greatest place to race Thoroughbreds. We take the whole darn month.

Here’s a few looks at this year’s hopefuls, through the eyes and lens of our very own Holly M. Smith. They are beautiful. As always.

Churchill Downs’ beautiful backside:

Midnight Bourbon:

Soup and Sandwich:

Super Stock:

Caddo River:

Churchill Downs in black & white:

Adventuring: KY Oaks Prospect

O Besos:

Crazy Beautiful:

King Fury: