November 2, 2015

Breeders' Cup 2015 and American Pharoah

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!
About a 200m walk from our tent, they had food trucks, souvenir shops, really nice restroom trailers, and a betting tent, as well as a jumbotron for the races, and multiple live bands that played up until each race's horses entered the paddock.

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 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.


  1. What an awesome experience! I totally cried when he won:)

  2. I can't believe it's never been at Keeneland before! It looks like it was a fabulous tailgate even with the cold weather. So cool that you got to be there. A great end to such an historic racing career!

  3. Sounds like an awesome weekend!

  4. I'm not a huge TB racing fan, but that video gave me chills. That one horse is going to boost the sport for years and years and years.

  5. First I was screaming so loud at the television that my neighbors could hear, and then I burst into tears. The great ones really make it look easy.

  6. what a race - and what a horse!! looks like you guys had an awesome set up too :) (also, i love that purple jacket!)

  7. What an amazing experience! I got to watch the race live on TV and it was amazing. Even my totally-non-horsey mom was screaming for him.

    And I just got a little teary-eyed typing that. What a horse.

  8. So happy you all got to go! Great place to watch it from too! Husband and I watched it on TV...I was jumping up and down in our family room the entire race...and then I cried when he won :)

  9. God I don't even like racing all that much but watching the replay of the breeders cup I started crying - what an incredible horse.

  10. I saw your pics on Insta, looks like so much fun!
    Jodi (Racing to Ride) was there too!

  11. I am so jealous. Not only because you had that awesome experience, but also because you scored a sweet purple soft shell jacket.

  12. That goes down in the experiences of a lifetime category, how cool!! And I love that jacket.