Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It has taken me a while to blog about our weekend in Louisville for my first cousin's wedding. May is an incredibly busy month for me, my mom's birthday, Mother's Day, Chloe's birthday, this wedding and a family reunion Memorial Day weekend in Oklahoma City. But here is the first of several in the fabulous town of Louisville.

What a rainy day! We checked out of the wonderful Brown Hotel and ventured around downtown before arriving at Churchill Downs just after noon. The track is located just a few miles from downtown and sits right next door to the University of Louisville's new Papa John's Stadium. Amazing that such a historical track is in a neighborhood and college campus in the middle of the city. We parked for just $10 and were offered club passes for $10 each, children 12 and under are free, so Chloe grabed her umbrella and her monkey, Mo Mo, and we were off. Yes, on this trip, she had that stuffed animal with her. I'm not sure what was up with that, she doesn't sleep with animals, just Biscuit. Maybe she missed him on our trip, she did politic for Biscuit to travel with us, but we quickly stopped that from the start.

So across the parking lot, a double seated gas golf cart with sides pulled up and offered us a dry ride over through the parking lot to the door and Chloe loved it! Jackie kept remarking about how the track had changed since he had been there during his undergraduate years. Later in the day, he took us for a tour in the older, original parts of the track. It was nice, nice. We are used to Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, that is original with lots of smoking areas, old bathrooms watched over by ladies, toiletries galore and a tip cup. Oaklawn also has lots of space along the trackside to watch the race at the finish line, here at Churchill, the space was filled with bleacher seats and other outside "boxes". We kinda made our way through the seats and tiny crowd to see a race finish outside in the rain and it was neat. I could image what it was like on Kentucky Derby Saturday when a crowd of over 150,000 fills this legendary place. Just two weeks earlier, on my birthday May 1, Super Saver won the derby and finished eighth in yesterday's Preakness, dashing another Triple Crown hopeful. Jackie said there was no way he'd take me here in that crowd and after I've seen the track, I think he was right.

Our box was located in section 315, near the Trackside Cafe, which boasted ice cream, deli sandwiches and quick grab food lined up like salads, chips, gatoraide etc. Chloe, of course, wanted nachos first so she could hit up that ice cream stand. She shared the nachos with us and we loved them because the chips weren't those thick yellow round ones but more like Tostitos. She topped that off with a waffle cone and sprinkles. Jackie and I split a corned beef sandwich. I was actually in search of the Hot Brown sandwich made famous in Louisville but the ladies said the stand for the Hot Brown wasn't open on Sundays, dang it.

We toured around to see the older parts of the track and the Kentucky Derby Museum. We went in but weren't sure about the $22 per adult price and $12 for children. So we toured the gift shop and when we headed back to our box we came across Jockey Parking. I thought it was interesting, a few trucks, SUV's, Honda and one brand new Jaguar. We figured it belonged to Calvin Borrel, who won the derby the last couple of years, and had ridden in the Preakness the day before.

Nevertheless, we had a wonderful time at the track. Chloe wouldn't stay out of the wonderful gift shop. She had her dad buying her keychains, a hat and I came away with another coffee cup I don't need and two Derby Glasses from this year's race. It was a great but rainy day to be at the track. We enjoyed seeing Churchill without a huge crowd. Check out this great website!

No comments:

Post a Comment