There’s something exciting about being at a horse track early in the morning. The stadium is completely empty, a light fog covers the ground while the horses practice on the dirt track. In a matter of hours, the stadium will be packed and the sound of thundering hooves and cheering will fill the area. But in the morning, the quiet stillness lends an air of anticipation. Some jockeys are practicing while others bathe their horses in the cold morning air.
Keeneland might not be the Kentucky Derby, but horse racing is certainly one of the biggest attractions of Kentucky, aside from the Bourbon. Parking may have been easy to find at the beginning of the day, but once the races start, the area is packed. Some people spend all day at the tracks dressed in suits and dresses and, of course, drinking. By the time that we arrived for the last race of the day, the majority of track goers had been drinking the entire day. I had never been to a race before so the entire betting process was foreign to me. There were odds next to each of the jockeys and horses and I was able to bet on if they would come first, second or third. Rather than worry about the logistics, I figured it’s best to just have fun. I chose my horse, placed my bet and waited with anticipation. I was lucky enough to be in the front row so I was able to see the action up close. I had placed my bet that my horse would come in second place. I’m not much of a gambler, but I was still quite excited. The setup took a couple minutes and then…they were off! My horse was in the lead! ”No, no! get back to second place! You can’t win!” It’s something that you don’t hear most people saying. I didn’t have to worry about anything though. My horse lost steam midway through and dropped to 9th place. The whole race was over in a blink of an eye.
It might not have been the best $10 spent, but it was certainly thrilling.