Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Keeneland Spring 2010 Meet

On our way to the track...via trolley!

H loved it and is looking forward to using this mode again this fall.

Hello from Keeneland Spring 2010 meet. (Can you believe he has on his street clothes. This was the only time he didn't wear his jockey gear.)

We met lots of jockeys this meet...Corrie Lanerie.

Garrett Gomez.

Brandon Meyer. Not a really famous jockey, but was on the show to H he is huge...and he did win his race this day.

Brandon Meyer and Julien Leperoux on the right. We love Julien, he recognizes Henry and calls him his Little Buddy.

Corey Nakatani, or as Henry likes to say "The Bad Boy of Horse Racing". Seemed nice enough to me. Nice smile.

And most importantly, our friend Matty. He works in the jocks locker room and took a liking to Henry. Matty gave us all the inside secrets, gave Henry some new goggles, slipped him some chocolate and took him into the jocks room to hang out with the jockeys. We're looking forward to seeing him again in the fall.

I hope people don't think we choose to dress him like this, we merely help him put it on. He absolutely thinks this is his uniform during Keeneland and it is just second nature for him wear it most days during the meet. Needless to say he gets SO much attention, mainly getting asked what race he is riding in.

These are the goggles Matty gave him...the initials on the vents are S and M, Shaun Bridgemahon. He was really friendly as well.

Riders Up! Garret Gomez.

Robby Albarado.

And...THE JOE TALAMO. This was definitely one of the highlights for Henry.

Waiting between races for Joe to return.

And here he goes again...Joe and Todd Pletcher.

Good luck Joe.

Garrett waiting for his horse.

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Super meet...see you in the Fall!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Morning Workouts

We finally made it out to the morning workouts. I can't believe we haven't done this before...but it is awfully hard getting all these non-morning people out the door before lunch sometimes

It was a little dark at first, but so fun to see all those horses out there.

Keeneland has a great thing for kids on Saturday mornings called "Breakfast With the Works". They serve a buffet breakfast and have all sorts of activities, games, face painting and prizes for kids. It is really a great time.

Some people weren't as happy about getting up and watching horses as others.

Fisher said he was going back to bed.

This year the Jockey Guild introduce jockey cards. These were popular in the past and this is the first year they brought the tradition back. We collected tons of these and it was fun getting them signed.

This morning at Breakfast with the Works, the Guild got some of the jockeys together give out some free cards and sign them. From right to left, Hall of Famer, Secretariat's Jockey, Ron Turcott, Hall of Famer, multiple Derby winner, Bobby Usery, Julien Leperoux, Dean Merna, Tony Ferina and Javier Castellano.

A real jockey helmet!

The night before there had been a fundraiser for the Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund. A lady from California had the winning bid for a bridle that had belonged to Zenyatta. She paid $2000 and the giddiness from winning was still going strong and seemed to be worth every penny. I have to say, just seeing that huge bridle made us giddy too. I asked it it was ok for Henry to hold it, at about the same time she asked if she could take a picture of it was a win/win for both of us. Henry was beyond thrilled, as you can tell.

After watching the workouts we partook in another Keeneland institution, breakfast at the Track Kitchen. The kitchen feeds jockeys, grooms, owners, trainers, ferriers and fans. There is a lot about horse racing that can be seen as elitist, but there is a lot of it that is very egalitarian, when you have to get up that early in the morning, everyday and work hard all day, everyday, there is a definite appreciation for the roll everyone plays, and that is evident at the Track Kitchen.

The walls are lined with horse photos and it is fun to pick out the ones you know.

And breakfast is pretty good too.

Keeneland is great anytime,

but especially worth getting up for in the mornings.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Horsing Around

We love jockeys around here.

During the October and April meets especially, we are all jockeys all the time.

Morning workouts at the horse farm.

Yep, aiming at his brother...

...he doesn't seem to mind.

Demonstrating some jockey with whip moves.

Not letting go of his jockey.

It's a tough life these jockeys lead.