A Day at the Races

A day at the races.  Ellen and Luke's wedding week.  Ellen is from Kentucky, Luke is from London.  We flew into Bluegrass airport in beautiful Lexington Kentucky where Ellen is from.  
as you know at the races you gotta look your best.  I just learned how to tie a bowtie and I think it is the true test of a man, the sign of a good man.  It takes guile and grit.  It takes patience.  It takes really strong arms because you're gonna be trying to tie that thing for like 20 minutes.  You're gonna be late and you're gonna get stressed and sweaty.  But if you persevere in the end you will look dapper and have passed one of life's manhood tests

the Keeneland racetrack.  We had some kind of clubhouse deal going on so we didn't have to sit with the peons in the normal area
for some reason a helper horse and person walk the race horses and jockeys around the track.  There are many races in a day

the track dirt

they also run a few races on turf, which changes odds, outcomes, and things to consider for the serious betters who know what they're doing.  To really know what you're doing you need to know horse family lineages, their age, the jockeys, the stats, race histories, a ton of other minute things about the horses, etc....  I can see how you could really get into horse racing because there are a ton of factors involved besides the odds the track gives each horse.

as if there could be a shorter guy.  I'm guessing old dude is an ex jockey turned trainer.  I am so smart.  or he is just a super short guy

female jockey who is probably famous.  Jockeys are famous here.  Ellen said they used to see them around Kentucky and people would know them.  I asked if jockeys get the ladies despite being so small in stature and she said yea some of them do.

moving the gates down the line

just before a race

the sound and the fury

at this point towards the end of the day Jen and I decided to place some bets.  We knew nothing.  We went out to that little circle in the back where they parade around the horses just before the race for the press, tv, photographers, and serious betters who want to look over the horse before they run in to place their bets.  I can see how you might change your bet if your horse looks shaken or something.  We decided to pick the 3 most energetic looking horses with decent payout odds.  Bad idea

these animals.  I can't even describe.  so much raw power yet so delicate when ridden hard with breaking legs and such.  the impact on the animals is not lost on me

female rider again.  Ok so i researched it and her name is Rosie Napravnik.  last year she became the first female to win the keeneland riding title with 17 wins.

we decided to slum it with the peons over here for a race.

we placed three $6 bets.  We picked decent odds.  The sure fire winners don't pay out that much so we went somewhere in the middle.  We lost everything.  My guess is that energetic chomping at the bit horses burn out when it comes down to the home stretch which is what happened to all 3 of our horses that we chose because the looked rearing to go.  $18 gone.  I made 2 more bets for the next race and lost.  A few people in the party made money like Lukes dad who made $300 by dumb luck.

London meets Lexington

camera is messed up so the colors it puts out are horrible as you can see from most of the photos

cigarettes and broken dreams

luke the groom