My favorite part was standing right alongside the track by the finish line. I loved the sound of thundering hooves!
Previously, I had never been to a track or watched a race. I am definitely no racing expert, so a couple of things surprised me:
a.) The horses were quite calm. When I think of racehorses, I think of them as easily spooked, hot-tempered, and prancing around. While there were exceptions, most of them seemed quite polite and levelheaded.
b.) The horses were not all that tall. I always figured racehorses were giants (17hh+), but the ones that were racing while I was there were certainly shorter.
During a tour, we were shown how they were brought into the starting gates. One horse threw a huge fit. It reared a couple times, the bridle fell off, it reared again, the jockey jumped off, and the horse took off at a full gallop to the other end of the track. It happened not once, but twice. They were all having a laugh about it, so I guess it must not be too uncommon. I would have been terrified, that's for sure!
It was a huge place and a beautiful facility. The footing looked wonderful, and I wanted to steal it.
The Kentucky Derby Museum was very well put together and interactive. They had a horse racing game that I low-key got addicted to.
I was able to spend a couple hours in the museum, go on a few tours, and see about 10 races. It was loads of fun, and if you are ever near Louisville I would highly recommend checking it out!