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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Kentucky Derby Museum

Time to check out the museum itself!

First thing you see as you come inside are the starting gates.  

Only two?  Guess these are for match races!  JK!

Behind the gate is a life size film of a race start.  It's really fun to watch at the horses come straight at you.

Circling left is the display honoring the most recent Derby winner.

Always Dreaming was the 2017 winner.

He hasn't won a race since...

Make sure you don't miss the movie!  

It's in a 360* theater and you sit on swivel stools so you can turn to follow the film.  It is very interesting.

The bugle that calls the horses to the track.


Every year there is a contest to see what Derby hats will be displayed.

Upstairs is a display on how the horses are shod.  It's more interesting than you'd think.

(Winning Colors trained by D. Wayne Lukas)

One hall is dedicated to the fillies.

In the history of the Kentucky Derby (144 runnings) there have only been 40 fillies to compete.  Of that 40, only 3 have won the Kentucky Derby:  1915 Regret, 1980 Genuine Risk, 1988 Winning Colors.

There are a lot of hands on exhibits too.

This one lets you ride your 'horse' in a race... either against the screen or other people.

There is so much to see and do at this museum that I highly recommend it for the whole family.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Track at Churchill Downs

Races are won or lost by the condition of the track.

On 9 May, the track looked great.

The horses were running well that morning.

But there were wee bits to remind you what it looked like the afternoon of the 5th... "sloppy" is the word used.

Yeah... like that...

The track looking great.

The harrows used to keep the track in condition.

Multiple times a day exercising and racing is paused for the team to come out and work.

If the conditions are hot and/or dry, water is added to keep it springy.

Bet you didn't know there was so much to having a perfect racing surface!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Churchill Downs: Home of the Kentucky Derby

The next morning after our meeting, instead of heading straight home we decided to have a bit of fun.

We were at the front gate of Churchill Downs at 6:45am for a tour ~ which I'll tell you about later.  But first I want to show you the incredible grounds of Churchill Downs.

The burial place of the great Barbaro.

What a beautiful statue.

There they are... the famous 'twin spires'.   Only 5 days earlier those stands (and the infield) were packed with over 157,000 spectators for the Kentucky Derby!

Part of the admission to the Kentucky Derby Museum is a guided walking tour along the front of the stands.  Definitely make time to do this!

Someday I want to be sitting up in those stands!

With a few trips down here too...

See that top area with the gold rail (as opposed to the green on the other levels)?

That is known as "Millionaires Row".  For a mere $4500.00 per person, you can have one the most perfect seats in the house.  With that you also get a VIP pass to get in quicker, a Derby swag bag, all the drinks you want (soft or hard), several buffets, private betting stations, and big screen TVs to see it better.

Here's the view.  The white pole is the finish line and the two story tower is where the winner gets his blanket of roses.

All around the lower stands are the names of the winners of previous Derbys.

Himself's birth year.

And my birth year.

As I said, just 5 days earlier Justify
 came running (or perhaps swimming) down the track to win the Kentucky Derby.  They still weren't done cleaning up and Himself picked of these losing tickets from the other race of the day.

Behind the stands is the paddock where the horses are saddled.

And the famous clock that tells when it is time for rider's up!

Back over to the track... on the outside rail and looking towards the finish line.

Mud from Derby Day!

The winner's circle: 2018 Justify stood here.

Also found this... I wonder what all his notes were about...

Friday, May 18, 2018

Vietnam Kitchen in Louisville, KY

One of the fun things about staying at The Hawk's Eyrie was the culturally diverse neighborhood it is located near.  What makes it fun is the grocery stores and restaurants.  There were at least 5 Vietnamese restaurants within a mile and a half.

We decided to try Vietnamese Kitchen, only a half mile away.

It was a great choice!

Other than pho, I've never had the opportunity to try Vietnamese cuisine.  These two waiters were asked a lot of questions on how to eat this and that.

So much fun!

The restaurant does a brisk business.

This kind of tickled me... I've never seen a chop sticks dispenser.  And they were the GOOD chop sticks too.

Here's our meal:

(Our favorite appetizer) 


Again, when we go back to Louisville this will be one of our meal stops.