KEENELAND HAS ME MAKING LIKE B.B. KING
This was supposed to be the opening week of the Spring meet at Keeneland Race Course. Due to a virus it will not happen and frankly that has me feeling sick. Now this is not going to be another one of those sappy columns that features political blame or accusations. The current cancellation honestly has me being B.B. King and singing the blues. But since my singing voice is definitely lacking, let’s just pay homage to one fantastic place.
Since Keeneland opened its gates back in 1936, people have been able to enjoy one terrific ride. So what makes the magic here? Is it the nestling in the heart of horse country and the majestic countryside surrounding? Perhaps the finely tuned four-legged phenoms rolling over a fantastically manicured racing facility is what waves the wand. Could it be the friendly faces and superbly dressed patrons that make the rabbit appear from the hat. Maybe the excitement of this adrenaline-based sport is what saws the lady in half? Or is it the speculation on the race outcome that is the card trick?
All of the aforementioned adds up in the equation. The bottom line in regards to Keeneland is this…its one of those happy places in life where memories are made. BOOM! That pretty much says it all.
When you roll through the entrance and drive toward the track the hair on your arms starts to stand. While walking to the entrance with the sales pavilion in sight, the thought of the hierarchy of horses that have hoofed these hallowed grounds is in fact more than cool. And then you walk through the gates…
If you are rolling in near first post time the immediate thing you see are the current runners parading in the paddock. As they ready for the race the blood pulses through your veins as if you are the one heading to the starting gate. Then there’s the dash to the window with hopes of getting more than a bar of soap back. Hope springs eternal as low risk can create high yield in this game.
Then the day unfolds before your very eyes and things happen that you will never forget. Whether it be new acquaintances, running into old friends, the magnificent athletes, cashing tickets, the food, the facility, or all of the above.
So now I am feeling better as my many fond memories of Keeneland have danced through my head. And you know, I don’t have to do my B.B. King impersonation because the thrill is NOT gone…it is just on temporary hold.