And now, a different kind of horse race - the real thing. A favorite took the fame, Run for the Roses, today. Street Sense pulled up from the back of the pack to win in the stretch at the Kentucky Derby. Our own Adam Hochberg is at Churchill Downs in Louisville, not only to watch the Derby, but to watch its most famous spectator, Queen Elizabeth.

She's in the U.S. to mark the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown settlement but as an avid horsewoman, the queen managed to time her trip perfectly so she could catch the first of the U.S. Triple Crown races.

Adam, an exciting finish for Street Sense today. What can you tell us about this horse?

ADAM HOCHBERG: I can tell you that Street Sense was favored going into the Kentucky Derby with five-to-one odds. But in the early going today that appeared to be in some jeopardy. At one point at an early stage in the race, Street Sense was running 19th out of 20 horses in the field. But jockey Calvin Borrel kept him on the rail and past one horse and past another. As the horses reached the finished line, Street Sense won rather decisively by more than two lanes over the second-place finisher - a horse named, Hardspun.

ELLIOTT: And the queen, did she appear to enjoy the competition there today?

HOCHBERG: Well that's a difficult question to answer because this was a private event for the queen. Buckingham Palace went out of its way to say that even though the queen is here in the United States on an official state visit, this part of her trip - the visit to the Kentucky Derby - was what the palace was considering a weekend holiday. In other words, not a public event.

We did see, courtesy of an official photographer, some videotape of her as she arrived and looked over the trophy that the Kentucky Derby champion would win. But then the queen retired up to her private suite and that was the only view that we had of her.

She enjoyed the race rather discreetly and then left rather discreetly.

ELLIOTT: Adam, I know you don't gamble, but tell me you did, at least, try a mint julep while you were there?

HOCHBERG: You know, I haven't gotten around to doing that yet, Debbie. But I can tell you that we were back in one of the staging areas outside Churchill Downs and they make mint juleps by the gallon here. There was a stack of crushed ice in bags that was taller than I was. And there were bins and bins of the little mint leaves, fresh mint leaves that they put in them. So they made a lot of them here but I haven't had one yet.

ELLIOTT: Well, I'll let you go so you can go and find yourself a cocktail.


ELLIOTT: NPR's Adam Hochberg at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Thank you so much.

HOCHBERG: You're welcome.

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