Photos, story by Lou Perri
Fried Polenta. Truffle Risotto, Hot Browns, and Pork Rillette. Nope, not entrees in the Kentucky Derby, but light bites served to guests at the Second Kentucky Derby Day at Virginia Hotel‘s Ebbitt Room in Cape May, N.J., on Saturday, May 7th – the day of thoroughbred racing’s biggest day.
Although the Ebbitt’s Room event didn’t select a chapeau winner, there were enough ladies wearing some unique bonnets to have selected a winner.
Guests purchased tickets for $10 at the door. Tickets allowed each purchaser a chance to select a thoroughbred entered in the race and the time of finish. The price included served hors d’oeuvres (light bites and a $20 dining voucher for the Ebbitt Room, which can be used at any time during the month of May).
“The contest winner was Michael Westhead, who correctly selected Nyquist as the winner and picked the correct winning time at exactly 2 minutes and 1 second. ” Jordan Rowan, the hotel’s general manager later told Explore NJ. Mr. Westhead received a $50 gift card to the Virginia & Ebbitt Room, Rowan noted.
“What a great event, indeed! Turnout was higher than expected and it seemed that people really enjoyed the event,” Rowan added.
Prior to the start of the “Greatest Two Minutes” in sports, guests sang a rousing rendition of “My Old Kentucky Home”, mint julep in hand, accompanied by pianist Paul Sottile, who also entertained guests at the Emmitt bar, which many who stay at the hotel claim it’s like Cheers where everyone knows your name. Cheers to a great racing day at the Virginia Hotel in Cape May, indeed!
Can ExploreNJ readers select a winning chapeau at the affair even though this horse race aficionado didn’t place a bet?