The Kentucky Derby was held at Churchill Downs over the weekend, and as usual, many of Hollywood’s best and brightest made the trip to Louisville.
For most of the celebrity attendees, the Derby was just one of many high-profile red carpet events on their calendar for 2018, but for one famous name, this is the social highlight of the year:
The family of Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter, Dannielynn Birkhead, generally tries to keep the 11-year-old out of the spotlight as much as possible.
But on the first Saturday of every May, equestrian enthusiast Dannielynn dresses to the nines and steps out with her father, Larry Birkhead.
Larry tweeted the above photo on Saturday along with the following caption:
“Celebrating the Kentucky Derby with Dannielynn,” he wrote.
“Rain won’t spoil our awesome Derby day! #halfwaycooldad.”
Birkhead also shared the above photo from a Derby after-party, noting that there’s a special poignancy to the event:
“Dannielynn before she raided the dessert room at the Barnstable-Brown Party where I met her Mom in 2003,” Larry captioned the pic, adding the hashtags:
Though her mother died of a drug overdose when Dannielynn was just 5 months, she and her father often pay tribute to Anna Nicole, so as to ensure that the young girl always feels a connection to the late model.
In February of 2016, Larry memorably shared a letter that Dannielynn had written him during a candid 20/20 interview:
“Ever since my mother’s death, a friend of hers said she would send me pretty butterflies,” Dannielynn wrote.
“So, butterflies chase me everywhere and I let the butterfly come out of my pencil and fly on my paper with its wings of love.”
In the past, Larry has been accused of exploiting Anna Nicole’s death to boost his public profile, but these days, it seems he’s devoting most of his time and attention to his daughter.
Despite her often tumultuous upbringing, Dannielynn seems remarkable well-adjusted, and those who know the girl say she shares her mother’s ability to light up a room.
Here’s hoping Larry continues to mostly keep Dannielynn from the spotlight, for her sake.