Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Illinois Derby and a LONG show

Last Saturday my husband (who, to my delight, is falling ever-further into the two-minute adrenaline rush that is horse racing) and I went to Hawthorne Park for the Illinois Derby.

They say Hawthorne Park is no Arlington Park. They are correct.

Nevertheless, we had a lot of fun. Besides the Illinois Derby, there were a lot of Derby (and Oaks) prep stakes races on the televisions. It was a rare day of losing money for me versus breaking even or winning, but I only lost five bucks so it wasn't a big deal.

Every year I pick a Derby horse a month or two prior to the race. This year my horse is Quality Road. He didn't run in the Illinois Derby but blew away his rivals in the Florida Derby a couple weeks prior.

Musket Man, the eventual winner.

Giant Oak; he was touted as being truly
giant but...he really isn't. Either way,
he's a handsome horse. Placed in the race.

The start of the Illinois Derby. Giant Oak's
insanely pink muzzle is visible second
from the right.

On Sunday I woke up at 4:00am after five hours of sleep for the schooling dressage show at Fields and Fences in Wadsworth/Gurnee. I wasn't planning on riding (good thing, because I technically couldn't, anyway...different story!) but I wanted to tag along with Lim to take in the experience of being at a show, stress-free.

Long story short: the day was endless, I was exhausted, Lim was fairly well behaved (she did spook at a cooler on a table and went into the classic Thoroughbred "periscope pose" countless times) but thanks to the horrible weather blowing in and the other horses freaking out in the arena, I knew that had I ridden her, she would have been truly awful.

It was one of the longest days of my life but I did have fun and enjoyed watching my friends from the barn perform. I was very proud of all of them, even if their horses weren't behaving perfectly!

A sparkling clean, alert Limerick and her
dirty, exhausted mom.

My husband and Lim--I love this picture!
My husband came with but left at
noon in his car. I think he had enough
of horses for the weekend!


Husband said...

I don't think he did because he spent the next couple hours with HRTV and Xpressbet :p

Stephanie said...

yes, it was a very LONG day!! :)