Monday, October 11, 2010

A Day At The Races

We spent Saturday at the Belmont Park racetrack.

My brother-in-law Steve invited us to a charity event that his brother Mark was hosting. I loved Mark's invitation! (a little 'play' on the Marx Bros. "A Day At The Races")

Mark reserved a grandstand picnic area for us:

We had lots of fun:

And we did lots of cheering!

And our horses even won some of the races!

Here's my Aunt Florence, she bets on the dog races when she's down South, so she knew what she was doing and she looked at the odds. I went by the horses names and/or color (Color? Yes, because my Aunt Margie always used to say "Bet on the gray!").

I've only been to the racetrack one other time in my life, so I have no idea what I'm doing. But I had fun anyway, and sometimes I even won!

Some of the races were on the dirt...

...and some of the races were on the grass.

In this race I picked 'Bambi Bound' to win, she's pulling ahead here, and...


We also took a walk to the other side of the racetrack to view the horses and the jockeys in the paddock:

Really beautiful animals!

And here's one of my bets, Bambi Bound:

And we got an 'up close and personal' view of one of the gate-crew horses that lead the race horses to the gate. This horse was so obedient and compliant, and he was very approachable:

(Now here's a little 'aside' story that shocked me. You see that other little boy petting the horse with Jayden? His name is Sean, he was a sweet little boy, but he was not with our party. His Dad just happened to be there at the racetrack that day and Sean struck up a conversation with Jayden, and he came into our picnic area and the boys played together. We decided we would go see the horses on the other side of the track, I told Ray I would go to the Ladies Room and then meet him. I was surprised to see Sean with him and I asked where his father was, and Ray said Sean asked his father if he could go along and his father said YES! I was incredulous! I asked Ray if the father said yes directly to Ray and he said that's what happened. Would you ever let your eight-year-old go off with a stranger???!! I did not feel comfortable with this situation at all! It's not like the boy was with anyone in our party! I was relieved when his Dad showed up awhile later. I said to Ray he probably was on the phone with his wife, telling her how he let their son go off to see the horses with strangers and she made him high-tail it over to us!)

Ray got a kick out of this cameraman protecting his shoes with plastic grocery bags:

On the last race we all picked 'Prince Will I Am' to win because my nephew's name is William (my sister Diane and brother-in-law Steve's son). And, oh, the cheering when he crossed the finish line!

It's official! Prince Will I Am won!


  1. Hi Eileen,
    I loved your post and how lucky were you to have had your own picnic area at the races. I used to go to them with my mom when I was just a little girl, but really have not been since I was a child. I agree with you about not letting an 8 year old go off with a stranger...(you are hardly strange, but I know what you mean).

    I never really thought about going to the racetrack, but maybe I will try it again soon. I bet Jayden had a blast. He has grown so much this year. I bet he would really love Simon the puppy!

    I have missed you, glad to know you are feeling better these days.

    ((((HUGS)))) T

  2. Oh my gosh Eileen, what a fun day! This reminded me of when my parents used to take me to the harness races when I was very little!

    And I must say that I think Mia looks like a mini you. It was strange of that father to just let his young son go off with strangers. I couldn't imagine doing that. I would have stayed with my son while he enjoyed Jaydens company. Well at least he picked a good family!

    So glad you had a good old fashioned family fun day. Love You, Di ♥

  3. I bet Jayden really enjoyed his day at the races! We used to go to harness races in our younger days.

    You're right Eileen, can't imagine a parent letting a child go off with a stranger, no matter how nice they looked!

    I see Teresa would like to give you a puppy!!!
    Hope your computer woes have been fixed, because you were missed!


  4. Hi Eileen. I got such a thrill out of each photo. I've never been to a horse race or a dog race...and if I go, I'm calling you to help me pick a horse or dog to win!!!! Great job at picking those horses. I am happy that you had a great day....and like you, I am appalled that the little boy went with strangers. Thanks be to God it was your family that the boy was with....and I do hope that the father of the boy keeps a eye on him. There is NO way in the world that my son or grandson would be out of hand's reach from me, much less out of sight!!! I shudder to think what might have happened if the young boy had wandered off. I don't even want to think about it.
    I smile at the photos of the family at the grandstand picnic area. What fun!! (Hello to your Aunt Florence!!)
    The photo of the horse (Bambi Bound) on the race track is a winning photo... GREAT shots...absolutely great shots. I love being here today. Have a great week, Eileen.
    Love and hugs,

  5. Omigosh, that looks like so much fun. And you won some of the time too. Great pictures of the picnic area and the track and the gorgeous horses. Wow.

  6. Hi EIleen -
    your day at the races looked like such fun-great pictures, - and Jayden is really seeing it all :-) and ya, I agree - that was unsettling that Sean's father just said "yes" to strangers carting his son off. wow.

    Enjoy your week

    Love you

  7. What a great day you had! And I still can't get over how much Jayden and Mia have grown.

    And about Sean's dad....WHAT WAS HE THINKING??? But then again, he probably knew immediately he could trust you are a sweet looking family. But still....

  8. Steve made the invite!
    Sean's father looked familiar to me, maybe we knew him!
    Your ever loving sister, Diane

  9. Oh what a fun adventure!!! I have linked your post to today's Adventure Tour Express. This is too good not to share!!! Well done! Cathy

  10. This was a fascinating post, Eileen!!!! I think horses are such magnificent and loving animals!!! I have always wanted to attend a race in person!!! Gorgeous photos!!! You did have a wonderful time!!! Disturbing about the boy...but glad that he was with you all...a safe place!!! Love you much!!! Janine XO

  11. What a fun post! I used to go to the track with my dad all of the time. I really miss those days ♥ I would not let my eight year old go off with anyone alone and especially these days. What was that dad thinking??? It's just a good thing that little boy hung around with all of you and stayed safe.

  12. I am dying here! That is like my all time dream! I get so excited to see the Kentucky Derby on tv my heart starts racing and I just want to stand up and scream. Bob and I went to see the movie Secretaria. It was an amazing story and show. I almost cried. I don't know what it is about race horses. I just love their beauty. OH I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU WERE THERE AND SO CLOSE AND UP FRONT what an amazing day for you. I don't think I would have slept for DAYS! I am just dying inside right now! LOL

  13. I've NEVER been to a race track in person! It was interesting to see your pictures and get a "feel" for it. (I probably would have to go with the color and names, too. I'm that way with football--I key in on the uniforms.)

    I totally agree with you about letting a child go with strangers. But I'm not surprised. I've seen too many instances of this to where I have started to think that many people son't have a clue!)

  14. What gorgeous horses, Eileen! And what a fun day!

    I have missed you. I think each of us have been sporadically blogging, but I think of you often. Fred had surgery and is much better and back at work! So I am freeer to blog if my server would only cooperate.

    Sending you warm hugs...


    Sheila :-)

  15. Hi Eileen, I am so glad to be back here viewing pictures and reading your post. This was such a delightful post to read... the picnic looked like it was a lot of fun. Next to dogs, I love horses. I believe I will have a horse of my own in heaven.

    Thanks for sharing...I enjoyed being visiting you today.


  16. Hello to you, my friend....
    I'm here to say 'hello'...and to let you know that I'm thinking of you.