Saturday, July 25, 2015

Father's Day Weekend, Day 2, Part 1 = Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY

After leaving rainy Cincinnati, we drove 90 minutes downstream (in regards to the Ohio River) to Louisville, Kentucky.  First order of business: the location of the most famous horse race in the country, if not the world.  Churchill Downs has been open since 1875, and 140 years later it is still going strongly.  I happened to notice horse racing on their calendar, so we got there in time to see the first race and a few after that.  We didn't stay for terribly long, but we got a very good taste of the atmosphere of horse racing, which I had actually never seen before.  

We parked close to the entrance.  Notice the very large video board behind the right spire.

My father-in-law had been dying to come here.

One of the entrances.

Inside the gate.

Inside the gate.

One of several statues.

The rain from Cincinnati followed us down to Louisville, but fortunately ended as we arrived.  Nevertheless, the track suffered as a result.

Looking just past the track.

Capacity at Churchill Downs is 120,000.  I'd be surprised if it was more than 2,000 there that day.

Watching the horses go on the other side of the track.

Here they come!

Onward... to victory!

The finish line.

Getting ready for the next race.

The University of Louisville football stadium was across the way from Churchill Downs.

Time for a mint julep, a tradition.


Christopher imbibed on fig bars.

My mother-in-law made an exception to her normal dislike of bourbon to have this.

Race #2 getting closer.

The other side of the track, out of our view.

Here they come!

Christopher was having fun watching the horses.

I didn't place any bets, for the records.

Race #3

Race #3

We decided we had more of Louisville to see, so this was our final race.  Considering our tickets were $5 (and there were cheaper tickets), we got our money's worth.

Time for some ambiance before leaving.

American Pharoah was already honored in the trim.  [I just realized that it's not spelled pharaoh, for what that's worth]

My father-in-law loved his time here.

Barbaro statue out front.

Barbaro won the 2006 Kentucky Derby but shattered his leg at the Preakness Stakes, which ultimately led to his death in early 2007.

Not only is it a statue, but it's also a grave.

Coming up next = the rest of our day in Louisville.

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