Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Beautiful Bluegrass: Day One

My eyelids were heavy this morning when it came time to wake up. Suddenly, something crossed my mind and I jumped out of bed quickly. That thing was Churchill Downs.

We headed to the esteemed Louisville track, my excitement growing the closer we got to the track. Suddenly, the track came into view and into my vision came a striking gray colt in blue blinkers. It was Creative Cause.

My second Breeders' Cup journey had begun. Shortly after seeing the talented two-year-old colt, a brigade of Europeans sauntered onto the track. Among them was the great Goldikova.

I was riveted by the dainty filly and I watched her until she was out of sight. Before long, Stacelita in her crazy eye protection appeared and moved past me, followed by many others.

With one glance at the clock, we realized we had to leave the magical place. We headed toward Midway, enjoying the beautiful Kentucky countryside on the way. Soon, the rolling green pastures lined with wooden fences came into view. We arrived at Three Chimneys Farm and headed up to the stallion barn, where we saw Yes It's True, Flower Alley, Sky Mesa, Point Given, Lewis Michael, Formidable, and Dynaformer. We stayed at the beautiful farm for a while before driving around the gorgeous area.

I was blissful the entire time we drove through the backroads. My eyes lit up when I took into view Lane's End Farm, WinStar Farm, Stonewall Farm, and many others. After driving around for about an hour, we went to WinStar for a stallion tour, where we observed stallions Tiznow, Distorted Humor, Summer Bird, Sharp Humor, Bellamy Road, Colonel John, Hold Me Back, U.S. Ranger, and the teaser pony, Spots.

Then it was time to head to Old Friends. I have been to Three Chimneys and WinStar several times before, but it was my first time at Old Friends. I eagerly walked between the paddocks, petting and feeding carrots to the ex-racehorses, many of which were rescued. I caught my breath as I spotted Commentator and once we visited the paddock, I realized the multiple grade one winner had quite the attitude. According to the tour guide, Commentator's ears were "chronically back." I made new friends there, including Flick - a stakes winner -, Special Ring - a multiple grade one winner, and Sunshine Forever - an Eclipse Award winner.

Our tours for the day were over. We drove around the Midway/Versailles/Lexington area more, including strolling through Keeneland, which was being decorated for its upcoming sale. As we drove around backroads, a beautiful sunset formed, leaving swirling pink, orange, and purple clouds over the bluegrass. It was a beautiful end to a great day.

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