(Field Pass in the winner’s circle at Turfway Park after winning the Jeff Ruby Steaks / Photo by Courtney Snow)
I started going to the races at the ole’ and old Latonia Racetrack. It was never built to be confused with Keeneland in April, or Saratoga in August, or Del Mar in late July. It was meant to last, though.
And, the racetrack lasted. Years and years. Miles and miles. Races and races. It changed hands several times. It changed names sometimes. But it remained through the years.
And, the thing that last the longest?
Some funny ones. Like when Pete Rose, the legendary “Hit King” and I would pay the track a visit or two. We had a blast. Traded some stories. Cashed a few tickets. Laughed a lot.
Some fond ones. Like the time when Julia Ballard won her first race as a trainer with a filly of mine. That filly was named after my daughter. Duchess Alexandra. She ran off at some big odds and big cashed several tickets. Not all at the same time, mind you.
Some tough ones, too. It was there that our very own First Kiss ran the best race of her life and looked like she was truly ready to become the filly that we all dreamed she would be. Until the next day. Until the x-rays came back.
But the memories have lasted right along side the racetrack.
Last Fall, Turfway Park — as it is called now — was purchased by Churchill Downs. A full-scale remodel was planned. A complete make over and re-do was ordered. A new and improved racing facility — all the way from the track surface to the track kitchen to the grandstand to clubhouse to the club sandwich — will be made over from scratch.
As a tribute, Churchill Downs recently released a video celebrating the memories. Take a look.
I think you will like it:
It’s a fun look back.
On our way to a great look ahead.