My mom is a lifelong horse lover and a lifelong Thoroughbred racing fan. I mean, if your first formative horse experience was watching Secretariat win the Triple Crown, you'd probably fall in love with it too.
She of course passed that on to me, and when the Breeders' Cup (and American Pharoah) came to Keeneland for the first time ever this year, she couldn't not go. My dad found out they were having this "ultimate tailgating experience" on The Hill behind Keeneland, (technically on Calumet Farm's property) for $50/vehicle, we signed up.
|Mom, Dad, me and my husband Nick|
It was an amazing experience. We took my truck, and set up a tent behind it to deal with the intermittent showers. We had a table, food, and of course alcohol.
|My truck and our tent - sides up, because it was chilly!|
Although the event was put on by Keeneland, we weren't at the track itself, right behind it actually, but it was almost better. Definitely more comfortable, cheaper, and we still got to yell for AP with thousands of other people. Even the undercard races were fun to watch with a crowd:
|I think I took this during the Turf.|
I need another softshell jacket like I need a hole in my head, but there was a purple (favorite color) Ariat button-neck softshell jacket that had the Breeders' Cup/Keeneland/2015 logo on it...in a moment of total and utter lack of self-control, I bought it. To commemorate the occasion. It's even fluffy on the inside, so it's like a late fall/early winter softshell jacket and I don't have one of those...that's justifiable, right?
And of course...the big hoss won. I don't even care if you hate Thoroughbred racing, you need to watch the replay of that race. He went wire to wire, pulling away, ears up. That horse loves his job, and is just a complete once-in-a-generation freak of nature. I was thrilled to be there jumping up and down with the crowd and sharing the moment with my mom.
Congratulations, American Pharoah, and thanks for the wild ride! It's something I'll never forget.
|My mom and I with the backside of Keeneland in the background.|