I loved visiting Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum.
First we saw a Circle Vision movie of what goes on at Churchill Downs from the training of the horses up to Derby Day and everything in between. We had small backless stools to sit on and it was like sitting in the infield. You had to keep moving in a circle to watch all that was going on. It was terrific! I loved the Derby Day part with the ladies' hats, the race, the blanket of roses. Such excitement.
Next we were taken on a half hour walk out to:
The Paddock Area
The Winner's Circle
The Twin Spires
Etc., by a young guide
A $3 seat every other day of the year becomes part of a contract group that may sell for $15,000 with a 5-year contract. Then you have to pay maybe $500 for each seat in that group. Of course boxes and suites, etc. can go into the $100,000 range. But it's for Derby Day only.
Next we toured the museum and there were so many hands on things to do. The entrance has this multi screen movie of the horses right out of the starting gate, a perspective most people don't get.
We were able to mount horses and ride in a simulated race. We could go left, right and faster (but with only six crop whips per race). I won twice!
Next we could do pari-mutual betting picking a win, place and show horse. We were given a ticket, then watched the race. Out of 24 picks, I think Ted won once! We can't win gambling even when no real money is involved. But it was fun!
I was able to "call a race" and make a recording. I think they would have told me not to give up my day job if anyone else was listening. It's a lot harder than it sounds. Ted opted not to do it but I think he would have done better than me since he knows the difference between "the back stretch" and "the stretch."
Ted took my picture astride a horse in the starting gate. There's certainly not a lot of room in there.
We ate in the Derby Cafe and then made a stop in the gift shop. What do you think of my chapeau?
"If Jack Nicklaus can win the Masters at 46, I can win the Kentucky Derby at 54.” ~ Willie Shoemaker