Wanderful, were you at Chantilly?

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May 21st, 2007, 04:50 PM
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Wanderful, were you at Chantilly?

We were at Chantilly on May 9th for the 1st and 2nd races and won both! I haven't won a race in I don't know how long. Chantilly was a nice experience. If you were there that day then you know the weather was threatening. It looked as though they were building another clubhouse. We walked in an entrance with some horsemen and did not pay an entrance fee, however I wondered if they weren't charging that day because of all the construction. Did you make it to Longchamps and St. Cloud?
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May 28th, 2007, 05:23 AM
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May 28th, 2007, 06:45 AM
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Opaldog:

Yes, I too was at Chantilly on the 9th.

I hit the first race as well, with the horse West Wind, though I didn’t take the second. I stayed through race six.

I spent the morning in Chantilly in the fascinating, neglected, eerily empty Musée Vivant du Cheval adjacent to the race course. I was the only person in this vast, musty museum filled with all manner of tributes to horses — Thoroughbreds, work horses, show horses, wooden toy horses, carousel horses, unicorns — including paintings, statutes, and videos of racing, dressage, and equestrian events playing to an audience of none. Several older horses are stabled in the museum, and there was some dressage going on in the center ring for a brief time, which suddenly disappeared, and I was left utterly alone again. At times I felt as if I were in a David Lynch movie. (One bizarre video, playing continuously in a dark, empty room with tiered seats, showed a ballerina dancing ”Swan Lake”alongside a horse in full dressage.)

Opaldog, I did wonder whether if you were there. If you happened to see a short, middle-aged man in a Chicago White Sox ballcap, at times looking chilled in his wine-red polo shirt because he failed to bring a light jacket on a day when the sun came in and out and the wind often got rowdy, well, that was me.

I went to Longchamp four days later and hit three of the six races I watched, including a bet on the still undefeated Darjina in the female version of the Guineas prep for the French Derby. She won by a nose in a thrilling finish, beating Finsceal Beo, who set a course record the week before when taking the Guineas at Newmarket and who won the Irish Guineas yesterday at the Curragh. She’s some filly.

And I did go to Saint-Cloud, the next day on the 14th. I missed narrowly in two races, but took some of my better equine pictures, though my little digital camera is limited in what it can capture. I took the local train from Gare Saint-Lazarre to Saint Cloud, then managed after 20 minutes to corral a taxi to the hippodrome. I took a local bus from the race course back to Gare Saint-Cloud.

Going to the races three times was one of my trip goals. I was in Paris for two weeks and did many other things, but the races — and the museum — were a highlight.
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May 28th, 2007, 02:07 PM
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May 28th, 2007, 03:36 PM
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You know I think I may have seen you. I remember seeing a man with a hat with an american team, but I don't remember if it was the White Sox. I was the short middle aged woman with the jean jacket on standing down by the rail getting blown around by the wind. My husband was the middle aged man with the khaki sport jacket taking pictures of the horses as they came down the stretch on the rail. I didn't bet the first race, my husband did and won. I bet the second, the 2 year old race. The same jockey won race 1 and 2. I only bet 2 euro. I'm a cautious better. With my husband's winnings we came out ahead around $100. After the second race we decided to leave while we were ahead and walked over to the chateau and then to the stables. We didn't go in either. When we came to the stables we walked in from the road toward the track and did see an inner courtyard with a woman doing dressage on a horse. Must have been that same horse you saw. We watched a race on the backstretch and got some good pictures with the threatening clouds as a backdrop. It's funny to watch a race being run in the "opposite" direction. We kept walking through the town of Chantilly and on to the rail road station. It was cold so we caught the next train back to gare du nord. I did think about going to St. Cloud the next day, but we were only in Paris for 3 days as we were combining it with a trip to Rome. Glad you had such a good trip to Paris and the tracks.
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