Kentucky Downs: A Hidden Gem
Roughly an eighth of a mile north of where I stood was the finish line, and beyond that, the field of entrants and the outriders, running back after completing the race. The scene I surveyed was pastoral and surprising. Pop-up tents, with tables and chairs underneath, lined the back edge of the grassy area that ran up to the rail, and spectators who had been hanging on the fence, cheering for their favorite, now made a slow parade back to their home bases.
Lawn chairs of every variety were strewn around the yard, and as I walked in the direction of the finish line, I encountered an array of metal tables with umbrellas installed near the pavement, along with a section of stadium chairs, mounted to the lawn, in the open air. A couple of basic, but more than adequate, pavilions held tables, vendors for refreshments, and kiosks and windows for wagering. Behind the largest pavilion was a two story building that, no doubt, housed administrative offices for the racing secretary and the like. It all seemed charming and perfect and explained why my email and phone message requests for press credentials had gone unanswered.