Welcome back to the next installment of Fall Activities!
Going to the Keeneland horse races is something I look forward to every October. My family has been going for years, so I have many fond memories of tailgating in the parking lot, ice-cold beer, and spending all of my money on $2 bets and over-priced cocktails. Plus, Lexington is beautiful, so you almost don’t even realize that you’re quickly losing all of your spending money.
This time was no exception.
Keeneland’s fall races go from October 2-28, every Thursday through Sunday. We typically go the second weekend of October and meet up with my extended family from North Carolina. We left Thursday and got their around 1:30 a.m. My sister and I both brought friends, so the four of us had our own room. I, of course, brought my friend, Cassandra and we had such a great time.
We woke up at 8 in the morning so that we could make it to the hotel’s breakfast that ended at 9 and ended up bringing plates full of food up to our suite so that we could eat while we got ready.
Then we went to a local grocery store, Meijer’s, to get some drinks for tailgating. Meijer’s is basically like a Wal-Mart but less sketchy. My dad was pretty obsessed with it, actually, and made us return the next day for lunch. After picking up some much needed beverages, we grabbed lunch from Subway to take to the tracks.
Next is tailgating–the fun part! I always enjoy sitting around and chatting with my family, especially since I don’t get to spend that much time with my extended family outside of the holidays.
Once inside, my family tends to stick to a specific routine. First, you go out to the paddock where they bring the horses before each race. Since I’m not a seasoned horse race expert, I tend to rely on this part to place my bets because I get a chance to really look at the horses and the jockeys up close. Then we go inside to place our bets before proceeding to the front of of the track to actually watch the race.
This pretty much repeats over and over for each race, with the exception of a few bathroom breaks and beer breaks.
When all 10 races are done, we go back out to the parking lot to tailgate once more while the parking lot clears out and then we go grab something to eat and tailgate some more in the hotel lobby.
And then you do it all over again the next day.
If you are ever in Lexington (or not! Road trips are fun!) during the month of October or April (they do spring races, too), you need to spend a day at the Keeneland horse races. It is so beautiful and such a great place to be.