I used to only go to Keeneland on Saturdays (usually planned out with a big group of friends) and it would never fail to be freezing cold or get cancelled because of rain or snow. If we did go, we would get there early, par take in the whole tailgating experience and by 2 PM I was over the crowd and standing in heels and would would decide after a race or two to head on home.
This fall, I have been twice, both on Sunday’s, one planned (with seats) and one unplanned, last minute kind of thing (and got seats) and I’ve had the best time! I’ve learned more about betting and picking out horses. Even though I still go with my favorite name, the prettiest horse, or the long shot (mostly in hopes of getting rich), I feel like my Keeneland experience has been on a whole different level. I’m not sure I’ll ever go on a Saturday again (unless I major plan and get seats).
The last trip it was rainy. This trip was a beautiful, crisp fall day spent with my mom and my sister. My mom has not been to Keeneland since I was little (my grandpa used to have a horse farm when I was a wee-little thing). I think she had a blast and will be begging us to go again next meet…she was pretty much schooling my sister and I on how to pick horses once she got the hang of it.
I love this photo of this older gentleman holding the hand of this little girl. When I was pre-school age, I spent many days on the farm with my grandpa as my parents both worked full time. I have a few photos from the different race tracks of me and my grandpa and the winning horse/jockey. This moment between these two really hits a special place in my heart. I wish my grandpa was still around to go to the races with. (insert sad sentimental face here).
I think I will, I think I will…win that is!
And I did!
Which is hilarious because my sister, Caitlin, picked out the long shot horse…who came up out of no where and took first place for all but the last second of the race….
where my horse, soley picked by name, came speeding up at the last minute and stole first! The sad news is her horse would have paid out $88. Mine only paid out $8.80. Meh.
Each race we went out to the paddock to scope out the horses to see who had the longest legs, the leanest body, the prettiest silks and then attempted to make the best educated guess on who would win…I still stuck to name/color/long shot. I was determined to win unexpectedly.
We are so nerdy that we all bought Keeneland hats.
So many colors…how does one decide?
And if it’s hard to pick a hat…you can only imagine the stress for three indecisive women to pick a horse…I’ll bet on three please…
Caitlin finally won! A whopping $20 bucks! Which isn’t too shabby considering that’s what she game to bet with!
Last race of the day (for me…race 8) and I decided on this beautiful grey horse name “Left a Message.” When all else fails you…bet on the grey horse.
This was the last trip to Keeneland for me this fall, but I’m very much looking forward to the spring meet. Hopefully starting a new tradition of family Sunday!
What are your favorite times or memories of Keeneland?