(Trainer Michelle Lovell and Just Might after winning the Louisville Thoroughbred Society Stakes / All Photos by Holly M. Smith)
Truly, the song lyrics keep serenading in the back of the ears and top of mind:
“Oh What a Night…
“Late (September) back in (’21)…
“What a very special time for (us)…
“As I remember, what a night…”
OK, in my version, I took the liberty to edit the words just a bit…
But you get the idea.
The first ever Louisville Thoroughbred Society Stakes was held at the unreal, spectacular, glamorous, fan-crazy, fun-lit “Downs After Dark” program that jazzed-up Louisville and whipped this crowd into a frenzy.
Could not even imagine a better scene.
Could not have been a better time.
All you haters in the world, go ahead and say what you want about my great friends at Churchill Downs. But if you do, it is very obvious. You have never been to a single “Downs After Dark” event. Not a single one. And, it is equally as obvious that you have never met, sat down and had a chat with the leadership team or any one of them, individually, either.
These guys know how to throw a damn party. Over 20,000 screaming, jumping, and laughing people filled the historic structure and turned Churchill Downs into a college football campus full of fun.
These guys know how to promote our sport and game better than anybody in the biz.
And, these friends-for-life are the best people in the world. Bar none.
We — at the LTS — are truly honored to call them “partners.” More importantly, we are so fortunate to call them neighbors.
Saturday night was a dream come true for many of us who have grown up loving this sport of Thoroughbred racing. For most of you in Lexington who refuse to acknowledge that we exist over here in the “502,” I truly feel sorry for you. Sad really. You don’t know what you are missing. No clue.
I grew up a “606er.” (That was the area code in Lex before it became “859,” for the youngsters.) And, I am so damn proud to now call Louisville my home. Damn. Proud.
You have never experienced a racing day/night double-header like this one. I promise you. I’ve been to the best you can muster there. I’ve been to the best we can dolly-up here. No comparison. None.
Saturday night was a dance across the clouds like the Northern Lights across the sky.
Oh what a night.
Here’s a few looks through the eyes and lens of our very own Holly M. Smith:
Shedaresthedevil exits “Stage Left” after another grand performance and rider Florent Geroux celebrates the victory:
Shedaresthedevil on the “walk over:”
Major General gets a “salute” and a pass to the Breeders’ Cup:
Hidden Connection and Reylu Gutierrez:
And, Just Might Went Ahead and “Just Did” in the first Louisville Thoroughbred Society Stakes:
Keep an “Open Mind:” Sconsin Is Real Deal:
Bell’s The One Was Nearly “The One” Again: