Woo hoo, let it rain! Surprisingly, we slept pretty good in our little tent last night. However, the dash to the showers this morning was a good soaking as was the dash back to the car. We sat there for a couple of hours to dry out and waited for the breakfast pavilion to open at 8:00 where we were first in line for all-you-can-eat-breakfast and then spent the next four hours (dry) watching live TV coverage of the Kentucky Oaks preliminary show on the sports network.
Today (the Oaks) is all about the fillies. Tomorrow (the Derby) will be for the colts. Monica spent the morning studying the horses and how to place the bets. What a complex system it is; win, place, show, trifecta, boxed-trifeca, superfecta… Oy-Vay! I left all that to her and was just happy to take the photos.
At 1:30 we caught the shuttle over to Churchill Downs (5 minutes from our campground) to watch the afternoon races and prepare for the main event at 6:15. That’s when the three-year old females run. Monica placed her bets early for the main event and then we strolled around the grounds enjoying the immense and colorful crowd. Lots of beautiful and bizarre costumes and hats. It rained all day and the temp never got above 10 degrees. Some poor girls were so scantily dressed it was obvious they were freezing and very uncomfortable. However, despite the weather, the mood was light and the air filled with excitement. One distasteful note is the many cigars that were being sold and smoked all around us… gag and gross!
There were several races throughout the afternoon. We watched in the paddock area where the horses and jockeys come parading in for the cameras. As a lark during one of the preliminary races, Monica placed a bet on a silver-bay fillie that caught her eye, Dream Dancing, and won $11… woo-hoo! However, she lost her shirt on the main event… sad face. The irony of it was that the three horses she chosen for a trifecta were all in the lead coming around the last turn… Mon was so excited… then they fell back and we’re passed in the home stretch. All in all, a fun and thrilling experience which gave us a better idea on how to go about it tomorrow at the Derby.
Back at the campground we met our tenting neighbours, nice fellows from Mississauga, had hot dogs and nachos for supper (only because we were starving and the other option was dried out pizza) and popped in for a minute to see the girl fights at the campground pavilion. That’s right, girl fights! The most disturbing thing about that was just how “into it” some of the crowd was. I share this with you just to illustrate how red-neck central this place is. After 10 minutes of that we went to bed (10:00 pm) but the music and hootin’ and hollerin’ went on until well after midnight.
It’s 4am now as I finish this, the sky has cleared (finally) but the temp has fallen to 7 degrees and Mon and I have come to the car to get warm. That’s it for the tent! It was a good idea at the time but just got too wet in all the rain. Tomorrow night after the Derby, we will pull out of here early and find something more comfortable.
Here are the photo highlights of day 21 – Friday at the Oaks