Thursday, August 12, 2010
I visited two Thoroughbred farms and passed by dozens on my visit, spent a delightful afternoon trying to pick winners at Keeneland, plus took a fascinating tour of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, the horsey equivalent of the Mayo Clinic.
Tip: Thoroughbreds are valuable, so wherever they walk, the surface will be well-groomed, good news for Levelers.
This is where the last Triple Crown winner Affirmed, bred and owned by Patrice and Lou Wolfson, stood at stud, died and is buried adjacent to the stallion barn. Most thoroughbred race horses of note have their head and hooves buried and memorialized, but Affirmed was buried in tact, standing up and facing visitors.
Tip: Owned by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, Darley at Jonabell is a showplace and one of the best places for Levelers to tour. You walk on paved surfaces that are relatively flat and the interesting tours are compact. Visitors are welcome by appointment and tours are frequent, www.darleyamerica.com. 1-859-255-8537.
Only drawback: The two racing seasons, spring and fall, are short. Tout Lexington makes it a point to attend at least one day of each, however, and so should you if lucky enough to be in the area at the right time. If not, the public is welcome to watch morning workouts year-round and its track kitchen is famous for cheap, filling and good breakfasts. www.keeneland.com.
A very small sample
Tip: Again, flat and smooth for walking but you'll stand a lot.
Good read, great information: Patti Nickell's Horse Lover's Guide to Kentucky.