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mrwunrfl May 7th, 2005 03:59 AM

Travelling Horse Racing
Inspired by the baseball thread, and since it is Kentucky Derby day, please list thoroughbred race tracks to which you have travelled. Not as popular as baseball, but I hope to get a couple of replies to this.

Here is my list:
So Cal: Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, Del Mar
Phoenix: Turf Paradise
Seattle: Emerald Downs
Florida: Gulfstream Park
Kentucky: Churchill Downs
Illinois: Arlington Park
Maryland: Laurel, Pimlico
Boston & NH: Suffolk Downs, Rockingham Park
Tokyo Race Course
Hong Kong: Happy Valley, Sha Tin
Paris: Auteil, Maisson Laffitte, Longchamps
UK: Ascot, Sandown, Epsom Downs, York, Hamilton

ChristieP May 7th, 2005 06:01 AM

I'm not as well-traveled as you, but I adore horse racing, too!

Texas: Lone Star Park, Retama Park
Kentucky: Keeneland, Churchill Downs
Oklahoma: Remington Park
Louisiana: Louisiana Downs
Ireland: The Curragh

My personal favorite horse racing trip is to go visit stallion farms, especially in Kentucky. I havebeen fortunate enough to watch breeding at several, which is quite an honor in the Thoroughbred industry. Farms I have been on:
Three Chimneys, Lane's End, Walmac, Claiborne, Gainesway, Spendthrift, Calumet, Darby Dan, Vinery
Texas: Valor, Cedar Crest, Summer's Mill

Go Bellamy Road!

AAFrequentFlyer May 7th, 2005 06:59 AM

I'm not much of Horse Racing fan but I'm proud to say I've been to the world's richest race, the Dubai World Cup in Dubai at the <b>Nad Al Sheba Racecourse</b>. It's hard to describe, but it is amazing.

I have also been to Arlington Park outside Chicago and the Hong Kong Happy Valley.

nytraveler May 7th, 2005 07:00 AM


Belmont - including 3 triple crown winners: Secretariat winning the 73 Belmont, Seattle Slew and Affirmed/Alydar

Saratoga - almost every Travers

Everyone should try to do the latter - not just for the unique atmosphere (saddling under the trees instead of in stalls in a far off paddock) and the Racing Museum - but for the charm of the area - and seeing how beautiful - vs tacky and crass - racing can be.

One caveat: it can be amazingly hot and humid in August and that area is subject to incredibly violent thundrstorms in the summer - so be prepared.


Ascot - the English Derby

Longchamp - Grand Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

JJ5 May 7th, 2005 07:17 AM

I've been to only two or three- and one was more than 30 years ago. But I have very close friends who do this and race horses at Arlington Park. But no more! He just sold his last horse and is getting ready to retire.

I've been to:

Arlington Park
Hawthorne Race Track/Sportsman's Park
Maywood Park
(These are all IL)

Churchill Downs
Gulfstream Park

But I have been SO fortunate to be there the day my friends' horse came in 1st. There is a wonderful picture of us all together in my dining room breakfront in the winners circle at Arlington. It truly was a thrill to be included. They pulled me down about 4 flights of stairs before I even knew what hit me.

JJ5 May 7th, 2005 07:18 AM

Once I listed it was more, but I hardly can remember Churchill Downs and Hawthorne as they were very long ago.

dbenya May 7th, 2005 07:22 AM

Just a few weeks ago I was at the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. On Friday morning of race weekend we had a private tour of Claiborne and Calumet Farms and the backside at Keeneland. Then, still in our barn clothes, sat in the grandstand, bet the horses, ate brats and drank beer. On Saturday, I put on my big hat and we sat in a box for the stakes races, drank champagne and ate strawberries.

I work at a riding barn in suburban Philadelphia. The barn has a summer camp for girls and last year, during Smarty Fever, the entire group was invited to the track for the day. A female jockey spoke to the girls, a race was named for the camp, and we had a private audience with Smarty.

My 85-year-old godmother lives across the street from Santa Anita, where she goes every day during the season. (Last year she was 35 cents to the good!) Summer before last we met her at the track before 8 and had breakfast in the trackside patio area (where Charles Howard has a brief conversation with Tick Tock McGlaughlin in the Seabiscuit movie) and watched the exercise riders. The next week we moved south and spent an afternoon at DelMar. I bet Julie Kron in the 7th race on the 7 horse with 7 minutes to post and was able to pay for dinner!

Nearer to home, we've been to Saratoga for the Travers and Belmont for a regular afternoon of racing.

It's a wonderful thing to do on a sunny day. And there's so much of history, food and lovely scenery that goes with it.

Enjoying the thread.

bigtyke May 7th, 2005 04:54 PM

Del Mar, CA

Cheltenham England for the National Hunt Festival (steeplechase) - Read several Dick Francis mysteries before you go.

lolfn May 7th, 2005 05:03 PM

laurel--md (but for a concert)
happy valley--hong kong

mrwunrfl May 7th, 2005 08:05 PM

great replies.

AAFF, I would love to read a trip report about the Dubai W.C. if you have written it.

I wasn't at Auteil in Paris. The track name started with an &quot;E&quot;.

Forgot about Saratoga. Went there one August for the G1 1.5 mile turf race and it was POURING rain and COLD. Beautiful place, though.

ChristieP, that is an impressive list of tb farms. I would like to visit Fly Till Dawn but I don't know where he is. I would love to go to the Curragh and Keeneland.

Also, I forgot to list these racecourses:
Macau: Macau Jockey Club, Taipa
Brazil: Cidade Jardim in Sao Paolo, Gavea in Rio
Argentina: Hippodromo Argentino, aka Palermo, in Buenos Aires, and San Isidro outside of B.A.

Good for Mike Smith. Glad he finally won it.

ChristieP May 8th, 2005 04:59 AM

Mrwunrfl, here he is:
Most Thoroughbreds have ads on the Stallion Register. :-)

Curragh was neat. Very different from US tracks! I was in Ireland for a horse trek, and we managed to stop by. I *wish* I was able to visit Coolmore Irlenad and see old Sadler's Wells while he is still alive...

fairfax May 9th, 2005 10:14 AM

Bigtyke - I totally agree about reading Dick Francis's novels before you go to the tracks in England. I've been to more in England than in the UK, and I live 10 minutes from Pimlico. I have been there! I've been to cheltenham, pitchcroft and chepstow in england, where they do some flat and some jumps. I am living in the Uk now and hope to go to some of the big races this summer.

Wednesday May 9th, 2005 11:34 AM

-Birmingham Turf Club

P.S. I must say how much I enjoyed watching the Derby this weekend. I love when long shots win and was cheering loudly when Giacomo pulled past everyone, what a great moment !

gc May 9th, 2005 11:52 AM

Sufferin' Suffolk Downs, Boston
Saratoga, NY


SAnParis May 9th, 2005 12:11 PM

Keeneland, Turfway Park, Churchill Downs, The Fairgrounds, Thistledowns &amp; Beulah Park. Was at the Oaks @ Churchill this year &amp; have been to several Derbys. I must say I'm not crazy about the changes they have made there..

greenfieldhunter May 11th, 2005 02:19 PM

great thread

Good derby this year. I love to see an underdog trainer win the roses and Mike Smith is a very deserving rider (who delivered a perfect ride)

Loved the Today show on Monday featuring a savy bunch of New Yorkers who liked Giacomo. They pooled there funds and made a stab at the exotics and hit the superfecta with a dollar bet winning around $600,000 before taxes. Good job.

I have been to
Charlestown (WVA)
Woodbine (Canada)
Laurel, Timonium and Pimlico (MD)
Delaware Park
Churchill Downs (KY)
Gulfstream Park(FL)
Colonial Downs (VA)

In addition to galloping horses at most of the above I shipped over with a horse for the Japan Cup and got treated like a rock star (as a groom- love the JRA). Rode races over fences at Delaware and Colonial and worked horses on the turf at Belmont and Saratoga.

While many tracks have lost their mojo- if you ever have a chance- go to Saratoga during the meet. They must put something in the water

Pleiades Nov 6th, 2005 04:57 PM

Hello from NZ.
From NZ, we have travelled to Randwick, Flemington, Morphetville and Moonee Valley in Australia.
Flemington on Cup Day (it was last Tuesday) is at fever pitch.
While further afield we have been to
Belmont (twice), Santa Anita (twice) and I visited HOllywood Park for morning track work when I found myself in a hotel nearby.
In Paris, we have been to Auteil (twice) and Longchamps (including for the most recent Arc - Hurricane Run - in October).
England - Ascot. Lovely course.
In Ireland we have been to Clonmel but we unfortunately missed the races at Dingle .. you have to see the course to believe it.
If you come to NZ, the big courses are Ellerslie (Akld), Trentham (Wgtn) or Riccarton (Christchurch). There is also a lovely beach race meeting at Castlepoint on the east coast but unfortunately it has been cancelled the last two years b/c there was not enough sand on the track.
BTW, tomorrow, we have a horse racing at a nearby course called Otaki ... 2 yo filly over 800m. In 24 hours, that could be my favourite track!

mrwunrfl Nov 6th, 2005 06:59 PM

Hope you have/had good luck at Otaki, Pleiades. Thanks for the info on the NZ tracks.

The Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita ended today. It was a great day. Except that I learned that Hollywood, which opens this week, won't have any turf racing! They hold a &quot;turf festival&quot; the weekend after Thanksgiving annually, except for this year. Too bad since I planned to go there this year.

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