We left our riverside spot in Frankfort, KY a little later than we'd planned this morning and figured we'd just drive through to St. Louis, Missouri (5 hours or so). Along the way though, we felt kinda lame for not stopping at Churchill Downs (during daylight hours) to go to the Kentucky Derby Museum, or do a Barn and Backside tour or something. I did a little googling to find out if they were racing today and they were and so we decided we really should stop and go to some horse races. In Kentucky. At Churchill Downs.
We parked the Airstream out in the back 40 and a little guy in a cart gave us a ride to the gate. We paid our $3 admission and went inside and found a spot right at the finish line, trackside. Kevin said we really couldn't be at the races without placing some bets, so as they walked the horses out in the post parade, we chose the ones we thought looked the best and placed a few bets.
We consulted our program for tips on how to wager and how to read the info about each horse:
Wooo! Look at us go!
It was such a blast and we had so much fun. Kevin had never been to a horse race, and I hadn't been since going with my grandpa when I was little (at Santa Anita, in California).
I took a ton of photos but I'll just post a few of my favorites here:
They had races on the fast (dirt) track and also on the turf track in the middle:
There were 10 races today and we arrived just after the first race. We stayed 'til the last race at 5:08pm and placed bets in every race. They have an app you can download and use to place bets, to look up the odds, etc. After you get your account set up, you go to one of the machines around the corner and log onto your account and you can fund your account from there. After that, you place bets using the app on your iPhone and it just adds and subtracts money to your account when you win and lose. We started with $20 and won and lost and won and lost and after the 10th race, we left with $17. So a whole day's worth of horse racing and betting for 3 bucks, plus the six dollars for admission. Not too bad. (And WAY better than Vegas, in our opinion.)
After that last race was over, we headed for St. Louis. We went through Indiana (dark, boring, no idea what Indiana looks like at all now.) We stopped for gas and a bite to eat in Nashville, Illinois at the Little Nashville and it was something straight out of a Coen Brothers film. Straight. Out. It was perfect.
Now we're in St. Louis, MO (well, across the river from it, so I think we're technically still in Illinois) parked in the Casino Queen ("Home of the Loosest Slots") parking lot. It's free, and much easier to get into in the rain and dark than the RV Park we had in mind when we thought we'd be arriving by 5pm. Bonus is that it's right on the river and has a view of the arch and downtown. We'll probably move to an RV park tomorrow and explore St. Louis a bit.