Friday, May 6, 2011

Back at the Track

Yesterday we went back to the track so that Mike could go through the Kentucky Derby Museum & the track tour. One of the first displays was the tribute to last year's Derby Winner Super Saver. If you've been following my blog for at least a year you may remember my post Super (Horse) Saver the story of how my Pick 3 win with Super Saver as the final horse landed me enough cash in hand to go to Enumclaw and buy Bucky B Lucky out of the kill-pen. That continues to be my #1 most popular post getting hits just about every day. I couldn't help but sport a very big smile when I walked in and saw his Derby Saddle Blanket & Calvin Borel's silks. It was a great visit to memory lane.

Remembering the difference Super Saver made in the life of a fellow Thoroughbred.
 The Kentucky Derby Museum is very interactive. They have a display where you can watch any Derby video replay you want. You can also learn to bet on an interactive animated race so we played each other (I won!) and there's a chance to race each other on the back of a Derby horse. I opted out of this one because it requires you to stand in the stirrups for about two minutes. Les & Mike made interesting jockeys but in the end Mike won.

One part of the track tour takes you by the Eight Belles' tribute in the garden of the museum. I was there the day she broke down and had to be euthanized. Seeing her tribute always brings back the memory of how hard I took that and the gratitude for my racing friends back home in Washington who invited me back to the track after almost a year away, showing me that it's not always like that & to get to see a racing barn who really cares about their horses which led me to get to know many more who I consider to be good owners and positive role models in the racing world. While Eight Belles' injuries didn't indicate poor ownership, it did give racing critics more to raise concerns over. I always say that I dance a fine line between race & rescue.  I am a life-long race fan but I am fully committed to equine rescue. I believe there is room for me in both worlds, but I still mourn the loss of this great filly.

Another bonus of going to the museum was that Secretariat's jockey, Ron Turcotte was there for a signing and Mike was thrilled to meet him and get a signed copy of Secretariat's Derby Winner's Circle photo.

After the museum fun we headed to Lynn Paradise Cafe (a food network recommendation) and had a delightful meal in a quirky and fun atmosphere. I highly recommend this one. The guys both had sandwiches with the macaroni & cheese and thankfully I got a bite...YUM!!! I had the Hot Browns and it, too, was a hit!

As you see above, Lynn's Paradise Cafe has a lot of humor in it's decor. I had to laugh at their horse outside...

Thorough Bread

The guys headed to the Pegasus Parade. I didn't think I was up to walking/standing for a few hours so I dropped them off and ran some errands.

Later on we went to the Tilted Kilt for dinner. It's an Irish Pub/Sports bar and I was THRILLED that along side Basketball, Baseball, Golf & ESPN, there were several Tv's tuned into German Eventing! I got to watch Dressage, Cross Country & Arena Jumping highlights while the guys enjoyed their own interests. I LOVE Kentucky!!!
Today we went back to Churchill Downs for the Oaks. As they say here, "Fillies First" as a nod to the running of the girls on the day before the (mostly) boys on Derby Day. We certainly had a good time and we each got to cash in a few winning tickets! The hat is always a big part of the day and this year's hat is a cream colored version of last year's Derby hat (in black) with lillies from Oaks days past plus two new brown lillies to match my floral dress with brown accents.

My pick for the Oaks, Zazu (from Zenyatta owner, Jerry Moss) didn't quite get there for me. The winner was Plum Pretty, who did stand out to me but that's easy to say *after* the fact. She had a great race! Congrats to her and her connections.

Just before entering the starting gate.
 I did have one winner with a Washington connection. Blind Luck is owned by Mark DeDomenico who's Pegasus Thoroughbred Training & Equine Rehabilitation Center is located in Redmond. We had the great fortune of watching her win the Kentucky Oaks last year & her return to the Churchill Downs winner's circle today in the 26th running of the La Troienne. She did stumble coming out of the gate which is always scary but she came back to win it! Here's a couple of photos from today...

Running second here, but she'll overtake the lead by the end!

The weather cooperated with us most of the day. I even had to apply sunscreen a few times but it was also pretty chilly at some points too. I hope tomorrow is at least as kind to us but there is rain in the forecast for later in the afternoon which is right about Derby time! We'll see.

One last photo of us in the sun...having fun!


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