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Nana enjoys a Mint Julep!

By Sarah Lolley

Growing up a filly in Kentucky, the pounding of a horse was like the pounding of my heart and the fever to my head. For twenty years I come home for Derby because the quiet hometown that taught me my prayers becomes the essence of Southern charm and hospitality along with debauchery and sparkly pageant queen debutantes. It’s better than Christmas and Purim.

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Churchill Downs has become so popular that the day usually dedicated to the locals, the Oaks which is the filly race, is almost as equally popular as the stallions on Derby. So Thursday seemed the best day to take the family to the track. Not! Thurby, has become the newest day to get down to Churchill for Kentuckians to visit the track without all the security guards barricading the best seats and bathrooms.

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A great place to take three toddlers!? 

While only every other lassie donned a frilly hat, the track was bustling and I was glad we decided to forgo the stroller. We had three adults and three kids so we each had a charge as we plowed into the fray.

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photo (3) We had tickets for a catered lunch which was nice to have a guarded table as home base. But as usual, an adult has a lapse of attention and zoom Lazar is gone like a gnome in the garden. I spent most of the four hours we were at the track following him up and down the crowded staircases. At one point when the race was starting and every one moved to the track Lazar set out like he was on an obstacle course race ducking underneath chairs and in between legs heading for the track. I kept my finger pointed in the direction of my son proclaiming “He’s mine, He’s mine, He’s mine!” Until a large hatted woman holding a beer nabbed him like a grandma. He was trying to get on the track!

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At another venture away from our box seats we went to see a triumphant horse come into the Winner’s Circle. Lyra was whining “This is boring! I can’t ride or pet the horse!” She had a point. I mean the thunder of the horses lasts like a few seconds and then what? Have a juice box and color the racing forms?

At 3 o’clock Luca snuggled into me and it was time for his nap and time for someone to finally hail down the Mint Julep vender! Next year we are coming on Wednesday. Then maybe we can see the paddocks and wander the museum. I think they have a simulated pony ride !!!   :)

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