Highlights of the Breeder's Cup itself include seeing Giant Oak's incredibly impressive, acrobatic bucking fit in the paddock (I knew he would do well in the race after that--and he did, 3rd); Shackleford being a handful for his amused groom in the paddock; seeing Baffert in person for the first time (how can you miss that shock of white hair?), and his wondrous charge, The Factor (sorry no photo, Blogger gave me troubles with that one for some reason); seeing the great Goldikova and Gio Ponti in their final race, the turf Mile; and the entire field for the Classic in the paddock.
Although there were some disappointments, such is life with horse racing--if the favorite won each time, no one would bet!
That evening we drove to a hotel in Lexington. Our first stop the next morning was Airdrie Stud, and it ended up possibly being the best part of the whole trip. It was just my husband, a friend of ours, and the stallions in their paddocks. No crowds, no cameras, no other fans. The day was gorgeous and almost too perfect--crystal-blue skies, grass still green, the leaves on the trees in all shades of the fall rainbow. Seeing Indian Charlie himself was to be a special treat, but his endearing personality made him all the more likable.
The rest of the stallions were an entertaining mix--from the naughty Canadian Frontier to the clownish Majesticperfection.
Then it was on to the Lane's End open house. It was more crowded than I expected but I still enjoyed myself greatly (I didn't even mind the long line for the lone bathroom too much!). While most of the fans seemed to crowd around Curlin, the pedigree buff in me particularly enjoyed seeing AP Indy and Kingmambo.
The afternoon was spent at Old Friends, where I got to know our new Nikon DLSR camera quite well (okay, perhaps just well enough to get a few decent shots!).
We capped the evening off with a visit to the gorgeous Keeneland, where I got more photos, and the Fasig Tipton sales, where I had the most surreal moment of the entire weekend--watching Hip 105, Funny Moon--in foal to Indian Charlie--sell for a sales-topper $2.3 million. Since we had just spent time with a muddy, funny, sweet Indian Charlie that morning, well--WOW.
The next morning we spent a quick few moments with a very-pregnant (in foal to Medaglia d'Oro) Serena's Song before driving back to Chicagoland.
Oh, Kentucky...you never fail me.
Giant Oak (Marathon)
-shortly before his bucking fit
Shackleford (Dirt Mile)
End of the Dirt Mile - Caleb's Posse, winner
(view from our seats)
Sidney's Candy (Mile)
The great Goldikova (Mile)
Gio Ponti (Mile)
Havre de Grace (Classic)
Drosselmeyer, eventual winner (Classic)
Uncle Mo (Classic)
Stallion barn at Airdrie Stud
Indian Charlie (Airdrie)
-a sweet boy despite the action-filled shots!
Canadian Frontier (Airdrie)
-not so sweet
-a clown of a horse
Flashy Bull (Airdrie)
-eating the fence in frustration
Brother Derek (Airdrie)
-"you guys bore me"
Istan (R) & Indian Charlie (L) (Airdrie)
Creator (Old Friends)
Popcorn Deelites & Affirmed Success (Old Friends)
-doing their song and dance
Leave Seattle (Old Friends)
Clever Allemont (Old Friends)
Bullintheheather (Old Friends)
Ogygian (Old Friends)
Funny Moon in foal to Indian Charlie,
$2.3 million (Fasig-Tipton)
Greyciousness, dam of The Factor (Fasig-Tipton)
Quality Road (Lane's End)
-love the forelock!
Kingmambo (Lane's End)
Smart Strike (Lane's End)
English Channel (Lane's End)
Lemon Drop Kid (Lane's End)
Candy Ride (Lane's End)
AP Indy (Lane's End)
Curlin (Lane's End)