Friday, June 4, 2010

Fun At Churchill Downs!

Someone I work with is retiring this month and for her retirement "party" she wanted to go see the horses race at Churchill Downs.
For those of you who don't know, this is where the famous Derby takes place every year.
Honesty, I did not think I would enjoy myself.
Before going, I figured I would leave after the first race.
I ended up staying for 3 races though. I would have stayed longer, but Wyatt had already been home alone since 5:30 this morning and it was already a little after 4 when I left. I don't like making him hold his pee and longer then necessary.

I did manage to take some good pictures for you to view to get a feel of what it is like.
I wish I had allowed Cynthia to take a picture of me with the track in the background.
Oh well.

Here it is!
Churchill Downs in all its glory! 
It is WAY to big to get the whole building in one picture!
Work paid for all of our tickets except $2 each which was nice.
Parking was $10.

Here is what it looks like in the courtyard.
Looking to the right...
And then looking to the left.
Once inside the building, you could tell how nice it was.
I have been to the dog tracks in Florida before (years and years ago when I used to visit my dad) - Churchill Down puts it to shame.
I was genuinely surprised at how nice it was.
So clean and bright and open...
They had a whole area of restaurants to get food and drinks.
Several bars were around as well.

We got there at 1:30PM thinking that was when the races started - they didn't start till 2:45PM.

Here is where you wager.
Obviously this was before they were opened.
The walls had beautiful artwork.
Here are a few pictures I took. I wish I had taken more. Whoever painted them did such a good job and was so precise with the features. I was impressed!
Below the artwork were names of who everyone is in the artwork. I didn't recognize any names since I have never watched the horse races.
Maybe I should now that I live in DERBY country!
Beautiful isn't it?
I imagine they must spend a ton of money maintaining the areas.
Don't be fooled by the lack of people in the audience. Remember, we got there early. It filled up really fast - not a full house, but definitely a good crown for a Friday afternoon. I assume more people will show as work days end for people.

In the very first race I decided to make some bets.
I looked over my program and choose "Beach Bottom" based on the name.
I thought it sounded cute.
No one else in my group picked her.
So I went and bought 2 $2.00 tickets.
One for "Peach Bottom" to win it all and one for another horse to place.
Here's "Peach Bottom" - #7!
She won first place!
Whoo hoo!
For each $2.00 you bid, you won $2.80 since so many people thought she would win.
I was a little disappointed with how much I won so I didn't bet the next race.
I should have. Gloria won $64.00 on $10.00 by bidding on the same horse I was planning on picking.
Of course, I would have only played $2.00 So know I now the goal is to pick a winning horse less people choose.
Not hard at all! (I'm being sarcastic if you didn't already guess!)
More decorations around Churchill Downs.
What a big drink, huh?
I liked this light fixture.
Can you spot the horses? You should be able to see at least one of them very clearly.
As I was leaving it started to rain.
I had planned on walking around the outside of the building to get a few more pictures, but I did not have an umbrella with me.
The view from my car window as I was driving by.
Maybe next time.

My official program.
This came free with my ticket. All I had to do was give them one portion of my ticket to get it. Had I came to Churchill Down alone or with others who had never been I wouldn't have known where to get this. Not sure if all tickets allow you to get it free.
I'll be sure to ask next time.
All in all, I had a wonderful time. I would love to go again on a cooler day. I will have to plan it one of these days.
Glad I got to go!
Like I said, I am not sure if I would have picked this activity out for myself to do since I did not think I would enjoy it. If you are ever in Louisville, I think it is worth visiting.

Once I live here a year I should write a top 10 must sees in Louisville list.
And a top 10 places to eat list.
I'll get started on that soon.
I just might add tomorrow's site to the list if we have fun.
Curious where we are going?
Stay tuned...

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