Sights & Sounds From Churchill Downs’ Spectacular Card This Saturday Night

Churchill Downs put on a spectacular show on Saturday night. Lights. Cameras. Action. All over the grounds. All through the facility. And, top notch racing from gate to wire.

Unfortunately, our filly, First Kiss, took a bad step and wrenched an ankle, forcing jockey Chris Landeros to pull her up in the 8th race. We were hoping for so much more. But such is horse racing. Another day (or night).

But it didn’t take away the glamour and pageantry that was invested in the night event, which attracted thousands out to the old ball yard (er, racetrack). No other track in the world can pull off and extravaganza like Churchill Downs. None. Zero. Nada.

Here are a few of the sights:

(People clustered up to the rail to catch some of the action / Photo by Leigh Ann Thacker)

(Look at the graphic light show underneath one of the grand, ole’ Spires / Photo by Leigh Ann Thacker)

(Another shot from the Churchill Downs paddock / Photo by Leigh Ann Thacker)

(The crowd, horses, and pageantry that is Thoroughbred racing at its’ finest / Photo by Leigh Ann Thacker)

(Our own First Kiss in the paddock before race 8 / Photo by Leigh Ann Thacker)

(Yours truly with First Kiss in her paddock stall / Photo by Leigh Ann Thacker)

(My good friend Greg Schell joined us in the paddock on Saturday night / Photo by Leigh Ann Thacker)

I’m on a horse in this race that could turn the tables on Gun Runner. I have to get a lot of things done and done right to even give myself a chance to beat him. I need to get out of the gate and get in a place that I feel is happy and comfortable for my horse and then see where everyone’s at.

“I have to fire my A+ race and a few things have to go our way, which can happen in horse racing.”

Mike Smith, who will ride Collected in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational. The pair ran second to Gun Runner in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar last November
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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