A Rose for Big Red

Today Hats and Horses showcases the second in our series of three one-of-a kind Derby hats. These hats were specifically created by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® during the years 2009 to 2011 to celebrate the lives of three outstanding Thoroughbred athletes who ran in the Oaks and Derby races. All three hats were accepted by the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville, Kentucky for their annual Kentucky Derby Museum Hat Exhibit Contest and each was separately displayed in their museum for a year from 2009-2012.  These hats will never be sold.

The first hat I shared with you was the “A Dozen Roses for Rachel” created to honor the great race mare, Rachel Alexandra. The second hat I would like to present to you is the “A Rose for Big Red” chapeau, created in May, 2010 to celebrate the life of Kentucky Derby and eventual Triple Crown winner, Secretariat.


“A Rose for Big Red” is a one-of-a-kind couture Derby hat created to honor the great Secretariat and to celebrate his amazing 1973 Kentucky Derby victory. Who could forget this amazing athlete’s breathtaking burst of speed on the far turn as he surged past the field to win the blanket of red roses and all of our hearts as well? And what American that first Saturday in May wasn’t thinking that maybe, just maybe, they were finally going to witness a champion who had the heart to win the coveted Triple Crown of horse racing?


A single large red Kentucky Derby rose adorns the front of the hat and is the centerpiece of the design. Set slightly off-center, this stunning multi-layered, multi-textured rose curl was created in a blend of red dupioni silk, satin and chiffon. A bed of “variegated” fabric leaves created in blue satin, white silk organza and blue organza gently cradles the rose and pays tribute to Meadow Stable’s racing silk colors of blue and white.


The bed of leaves is set against a blue satin sash lined with white silk organza which surrounds the crown and serves to join the trim elements in the front and the back of the hat.

In the back of the hat, a lavish asymmetrical blue satin triple bow lined with white silk organza symbolizes the three legs of the l973 Triple Crown that Secretariat won, beginning with his amazing win at the Kentucky Derby. A large blue satin covered button creates the innovative bow knot.


Like all hats created at MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®, this one-of-a-kind Secretariat hat design features our unique adjustable sizing feature that makes this hat as wearable as it is stylish. A red satin lining adds the final touch to the inside of the hat and reflects once again the “Run for the Roses” theme of the Kentucky Derby.

This lovely one-of-a-kind millinery design, “A Rose for Big Red”, was created especially to celebrate the great Secretariat and was on display at the Museum Kentucky Derby Museum for the 2010 Hat Exhibit Contest from June 2010 through June 2011.

Please enjoy the following slideshow of this amazing Derby chapeau created to honor one of the truly great racehorses of all time!

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You’ll find more information about the “A Rose for Big Red” chapeau when you visit the A Rose for Big Red webpage at MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®. For more Derby hat designs please visit the Kentucky Derby Hat Collection at MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® that offers three hat salons.

Please visit us again soon when the third and final hat in our series one-of-a-kind Derby hats celebrating amazing Thoroughbred racehorses will be featured at Hats and Horses!



6 Replies to “A Rose for Big Red”

  1. Loved the horse, love the hat! Ok Sally here are my 3 favorites for the Derby in no particular order. “Goldencents” because his trainer is good friends with my vet. “Normandy Invasion” because I love his name. “Black Onyx” because I love his color..how about those picks for having no real logical reason..so much for studying the racing forms! LOL


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