Monday, June 01, 2009
A Day at the Races and Art at Churchill Downs
Before you think I'm addicted to gambling, let me say I hardly ever go to Churchill Downs, really, only about twice a year but, this year we had tickets to the Derby and were asked to "family day" by friends who work there. So, twice in one month is probably a first time for us.
We had a table on Millionaire's Row on the 4th floor, 5 or 6 betting windows in that room, and access to the balcony outdoors to watch the race as it was run. Sunday was a lovely day in Kentucky, low humidity and sunny with a light breeze. The company was great, too. Some former high school and college teachers, a real estate agent and us. I had met one of the other guests on two other occasions. Jim and I got there 5 minutes before the first race, made our wager, chosen by the horse's name at home, and walked out to watch. We won! That started a streak that had me cashing 8 tickets included an exacta. I've never been so lucky, and it is luck, I assure you. I pick horses my names and jockeys. Yesterday, it was a winner. Calvin Borel-Ky Oaks, Derby and Preakness winning jockey-didn't let me down on Cow Creek Cat (I like "cat" horses). For all my ticket cashing, I came home with only a small profit but since most days at the track I leave with less than I came with, it was a great day!
One of the highlights was taking a guided tour of the racetrack, something I had never done before. Rosie, our tour guide from Germany, was a treat and very informative. We got to go into the paddock area where the horses are saddled and mounted, tattoos checked, and lined up for the post parade.
I was 3 feet from Calvin, that's him on horse number 4, "Goes"! He gave a friendly wave. Jack got a great picture that I hope he emails me. We got a race track history lesson, stopped to wager (I won again), and went out by the winner's circle to watch the race, then over to the circle for the trophy presentation and picture taking of the owners and sponsors of the race. Back inside we saw the murals of caricatures of the Derby winning jockeys and Derby winning trainers by PEB. It is added to by the artist, every two years.
There is a great glass chandelier in a entry way made in Louisville at Glassworks. Too hard to get a good picture with my phone, though.
What a fun day!