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If It’s Seersucker Suits, Sun Dresses And Hats, It’s Got To Be The Daytime Derby in the Boogie Down Bronx


Nothing stopped the hottest tri-state party from having the comeback of the year where culture, sophistication and splendor rule the day. On the evening of September 4th there was a triumphant return! “This is Black Heaven, Black People” you hear from the DJ platform. Fashion joined hands as one with style and a load of love. Learning to cope with stress during the heights of Covid in a healthy way was difficult but Derby Day cured many.

2021 Daytime Derby Day was held at Mosholu Golf Course, founded 1914 and known as the 23rd Best Public Golf in New York State. The history of Derby Day is interesting. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Derby Day was an opportunity to be seen in the latest of fashions. A journalist from a 1901 Courier Journal stated, “The seats in the grandstand were filled with gaily dressed women and men. The mass of green, pink, red, yellow, blue, all the colors of the rainbow, blending into one harmonious whole was as beautiful a sight as His Eminence in the lead.”

Fashion and Derby Day
Fashion has always been an important part of the Kentucky Derby. The dress code required in 1875 was “full morning dress” with hats signifying a certain societal status. Bright patterns, prints and hemlines and let’s not forget the snug-fitting frock. Well-dressed women. Well-dipped men in chic suits, that were either fitted to the body or billowed outward with the assistance of a petticoat. Hats and gloves with dresses covering the ankles. Seer sucker modern suit, complete with a jacket. The Bronx was lit on Derby Day.

Flowers and Derby Day
In 1896 the rose garland first appeared with the winner of the Kentucky Derby. It was given a floral arrangement of pink and white roses, and in 1904 the red rose became the official flower of the race.

As well-dressed Black folks took the opportunity to capture the moment at the Mosholu Golf Course. A floral arch runway and multiple photo flower walls were strategically placed around the golf course. A caddy was a famous back drop dripping with a cadre of beautiful flowers.

Cigars and Derby Day
Derby Season Is Cigar Season. We had no idea about the connection with cigars and derby season. Many local tobacco shops experience a serious uptick in cigar sales as it draws closer to the first Saturday in May. Cigars are meant to be an enjoyable experience- something to be savored. It was understood that those who hung out at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky enjoyed a “stoggie”. There’s a lot of down time between races, so smoking a cigar can be a great way to pass the time while waiting for the next call to post. Opulent Cigars were available during Derby Day.

2021 Daytime Derby Day was the one place where fashion met style with a load of enjoyment that has earned the tag for “the tri-state’s most anticipated event” from the decor, to the music, to the vibes. This was a guaranteed memorable experience. A particular day, one enjoyed in the warm summer sun into the night of the silvery moon with brisk conversation, music, flowers filling the air with a hint of a favorite cigar. To the promoters of Derby Day, Black Westchester Magazine bids you adieu until next year. Wonderful, this is more than we expected.


About Cynthia Turnquest-Jones (50 Articles)
Cynthia Turnquest-Jones a co-host of People Before Politics Radio is an avid philanthropist. In October 2012 she launched Tha B.U.M.P. “Brown Urban Mother Partnership”, hosting an informational breast cancer session “Save the Women not the Boobies” inviting mothers from the community to sit and enjoy healthy foods while engaging in dialogue about breast cancer. In addition to Tha B.U.M.P, Cynthia is a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated, Mocha Moms, Incorporated, MAMAiAM, the Episcopal Church Women, secretary for Mount Saint Michael Academy PTA in the Bronx, and a member of Graham Elementary School PTA.
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