Wednesday, June 24, 2015

And....They're Off!

We missed the Kentucky Derby by a few weeks, but we did get the chance to attend Twilight Thursday at Churchill Downs, that famous racetrack that we all watch the first weekend of May every year.  An event that is new to the track this year, a full slate of races begin at 5 pm on Thursdays.

Churchill Downs grandstand with it's nearly empty parking lot

We bought tickets on line and, as you can see in the picture, got there way early!   Luckily, it wasn't too hot and, with a breeze blowing, we waited with other early birds near the gate for the opening.

Gate 10

The entry that we used was decorated with hanging baskets of flowers, jockeys and a painted pony.  And the paddock area was beautiful.

Jockeys holding the names of Kentucky farms that have produced a Derby winner

Painted pony photo op
Interior courtyard

Another view of the courtyard
I just had to imagine it with all the ladies and their outrageous hats on Derby Day!

Food trucks were in one side of the courtyard, as well as a stage for the live band

We were able to watch the horses here before each race

We had purchased the cheapest tickets on line, so were surprised when we were directed to Interior Premium Boxes for our seats.  The air-conditioned boxes had TVs, waitresses and betting counters.  And the view wasn't bad, either!

View from our seats

It was fun to see the areas that I had only previously seen on television.

Odds boards

The call to the gate bugler

Close up of the track

We did end up leaving our seats and going down to stand by the track for the last couple of races.  Fancy seats are nice, but you don't really feel like you're at a horse race until you can hear the pounding of the hooves and see the sweat on the horses!

The finish line!

Sid, as with slot machines, was fairly successful, at least coming home with more than he went with.  I, on the other hand...well, let's just say if I had to support myself by betting on horses, I'd be pretty hungry!  But we had a great time and it was an experience we'll remember forever.

The blog will be going dark for awhile as we leave Kentucky and head directly to New York and family visits.  But I'll be back on line in a week or so when we kick it into high gear on the east coast!

Until next time...

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