Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Breeder's Cup Weekend~Part 2

We couldn't have asked for a better Breeder's Cup weekend weather wise. The sun was shining. the sky was blue and it was pretty darn warm for the first weekend in November. We arrived at Churchill Downs before the crowds and had an opportunity to find our perfect seats in section 115 and do a little exploring.

These are pictures of the paddock area where the horses are brought to show off and saddle up before each race.

People watching is one of my favorite things to do and this was the place to do it. Check out this guys hat. One of many unique outfits.

Here we are soaking up the environment and planning our betting strategies.

Uncle Elliot with Fred Grieves our host. Fred and his wife Mary Helen are originally from Louisville, but live out in California now. If it were not for them this weekend would not have been possible.

During the singing of the National Anthem, some very talented Army parachuters dropped in and landed directly on a target in the middle of the track. It was breath taking and perfectly timed with the music.

First drinks of the day, you can also see how the crowd has filled in.

Probably the biggest highlight of the day for me was getting the chance to be escorted into the paddock area while the horses for the 7th race were being readied. Hanging out with people in the know really does have it's advantages. The man that took Jacqueline and I on our tour has attended every Kentucky Derby since 1967. He told us that His wife has only missed two of those years because she had babies. He didn't think that that was a good enough excuse.

It was pretty incredible to be standing there as the horses paraded around us. Seriously we were close enough to reach out and touch them. Don't worry, we kept our hands to ourselves.

By the 10th or 11th race the moon was beginning to shine and the lights were turned on.
The 11th race was the BIG ONE worth $5,000,000. We placed bets on three of the horses running, Uncle Mo, Game On Dude and Havre De Grace. It was close, but none of our picks won. Alan did pick a winner in an earlier race and made $78 dollars which bought us all breakfast the next morning.

It really isn't about the money, while winning is nice. It's totally about the experience and just being there in the thick of things.

The Breeder's Cup will be out in California next year, so I guess our fun times are over for a while. There is the Derby to look forward to in May. I'm going to start saving my pennies and dust off my hat.


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