I could just hear the words of Trevor Denman with his British Accent as he called the races at Del Mar Racetrack, “Where the surf meets the turf.” It was an annual tradition to the go to the races at least once each summer and hear Trevor call them like no other announcer could. He did it with class.
A day at Del Mar was always exciting, especially when we would stand at the rail and feel the wind made by the horses racing by with palm trees as the backdrop. The smell of the ocean air, the warmth of the sun, and the sight of those gorgeous race horses… it was a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon. It was even an inexpensive way to spend the afternoon if we went during the week, brought our own chairs for the “cheap seats,” and spent only the minimum $2 on a bet for each race. Sometimes, we even walked out of there with more money in our pockets than we arrived with, so you couldn’t beat that!
Today brought back those fun memories when Bruce and I took a morning tour with Horse Farm Tours, Inc. Our guide took us in her van past famous horse farms, including the most famous, Calumet. We also toured Ball Farm, Walmac Farm, and Millenium Farm, learning all about the history of the region. Included on the tour were the farms and locations where parts of the movies “Secretariat,” “Sea Biscuit,” and “Dreamer” were filmed.
Our favorite part of the tour, though, was seeing Keeneland Race Course where the race scenes of all three movies were filmed. One look at the property upon arrival, and we could see why. It was drop-dead gorgeous!
It was so quiet and peaceful while we were there. There were no races or other events today, so we were the only people walking the grounds. A maintenance person was kind enough to let us into the high rollers and horse owner’s area to view the track below where we could see several race horses being exercised. What a view!
Later, we went down to the track level and bellied up to the rail to get up close and personal with the horses and their exercisers. That was the highlight of the tour. Everybody was so friendly as they rode by, and one of them smiled and said, “Have your camera ready when I come back by!” Then, one gal brought her beautiful gray mare up to the rail and talked with us for awhile and let us pet the horse. It was a much different experience than being at a track on race day!
Besides Keeneland Race Course, we were most impressed with the beauty of the entire area including Kentucky Horse Park and all of the area farms. Even on a cloudy day, the rolling lush green hills were gorgeous made even more so by the grace and beauty of the grazing horses and their foals.
At the conclusion of the tour, we drove a short distance to the tiny quaint town of Midway, another recommendation my sister gave us. She said it was “adorable,” and she was right!
From there we took her advice to see the Lexington Cemetery, because she said it was “just gorgeous!” Right again! It almost made me sad that all those who are buried there were missing out on the beauty of the place above!
Tomorrow, we’ll be on the road again and head north to Cleveland, Ohio to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the following day.