Sunday, June 21, 2009
Vacation Blog Contest Day 7--Churchill Downs Cont.
Friday found us back at Churchill Downs to finish the tour of the museum that we didn’t get to the day before. There is so much to see and read there that it takes a while to get through it all. If you are a horse lover a visit to the Kentucky Derby museum is a must. You’ll be in heaven! I was. The museum is two levels of exhibits, many of which are interactive where you can watch the actual Kentucky Derby from about every year, test your Kentucky Derby/horseracing knowledge, and see what it’s like to ride a race as a jockey. There are genuine racing silks worn by the jockeys of such greats as Affirmed, Seattle Slew, and Secretariat! I again watched the film “The Greatest Race”, this time from the second floor where you can look down into the theatre. It’s shaped in an oval like a race track! Again, the film moved me to tears. It is an awesome piece of work. I wish they’d put it on DVD so I could watch again and again.
We then enjoyed an awesome lunch at the Kentucky Derby Café, and visited at length with the handler of the resident museum Thoroughbred, Prefect Drift. I shopped the Museum store where I could have made a huge dent in their inventory! But I refrained from going nuts. I purchased only one T-shirt, much to the appreciation of my credit card! We then simply hung around enjoying the atmosphere while we waited for the races to start at 6:00 PM.
And wow! What a crush. Since this was a historic night for Churchill, racing under the lights for the first time in the track’s history, they were going all out. The red carpet was rolled out and they were interviewing people, gave away a chance to win a $1,000 wager, and had live music all over the place. There were a ton of people there and it gave me a good taste of what attending the Kentucky Derby would be like. All I have to say is buy your drinks early, and keep your fingers crossed you never need to go to the restroom! The betting lines even got so long that after about three races I gave up betting and just sat and watched all of the excitement. The races themselves were very exciting. It was cool to watch them run on the turf as well as the dirt. I've seen live racing on the dirt practically all my life, but this was the first time I've seen them run live on the turf. It was fun to watch the track maintenance guys work the turf track after a race fixing all the divots left by those thundering hooves. What a job!
And that was my dream vacation! It was awesome and wonderful! I know I’d love to go back to Nashville and Churchill Downs again. I loved Graceland, wouldn’t mind going there again, too. What about you? What would be your dream vacation?