Sights and Thoughts from Day 1 of My Breeders' Cup Week

Wow, yesterday was an eventful day! I left Lexington around 5:30 a.m. to drive to Louisville so I could be on the backstretch for training hours, talked to a few trainers about their Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) contenders, saw several of the European horses try out the Churchill dirt and turf for the first time, experienced Zenyatta’s arrival in Louisville, where she will attempt to defend her title in the Classic (gr. I), and attended the post position draw luncheon for the 14 Breeders’ Cup races.

Then I got to work, transcribing, deciphering notes, and writing about everything I experienced. Here are some of my photographic highlights from throughout the day Nov. 2:

A Breeders' Cup horse galloping at Churchill Downs

Photographers, videographers, and reporters observing morning workouts at Churchill

Beethoven (BC Mile contender) takes to the Churchill track

All is well with Biondetti (BC Juvenile contender) the morning of Nov. 2

BC Turf morning line favorite Workforce tries the dirt before venturing onto Churchill's turf course for the first time. Apparently, it was too firm for his liking and his trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, may decide to scratch him. Friday, Nov. 5 is decision time!

Zenyatta arrives via police and helicopter escort at Churchill and receives a very warm welcome from more than 100 spectators!

Zenyatta's first taste (in a long while) of Kentucky grass. Hopefully it wasn't too dry for her!

Zenyatta, performing her infamous side step dance for an adoring audience.

Have you ever attended the Breeders' Cup? What have been some of your most memorable sights and experiences?

Read my Breeders' Cup coverage so far herehere and here
 

9 Comments

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parksdona@yaho.com

2009 was the year for me.

It was my birthday, I had gotten a BC t-shirt and cap from a friend as a gift and wore them on both days of the event. I secured a spot on the rail, fairly close to the winners circle because I wanted a long clear sight of the post parades and to be able to take as many unobstructed pictures as possible.

Both days were wonderful and I had a few winning tickets, not due to any great handicapping ability but based on a personal bias of sorts. Such as I love Carla Gaines as a trainer so I bet on her horse. Then came the classic and all my dreams of that day came true.

I loved Einstein and was so unhappy that I missed his prior trip to California, so to see him in person was a big thrill but my heart belonged to Zenyatta in this race.

I had plenty of time to make friends with everyone around me and some had never seen her before, so it was great fun for me to enlighten them on her virtues and capabilities. By the time the race started, I think the crowd near me was in a frienzy. Noisy and loud, it was like the olden days when Native Diver ran there or John Henry. Zenyatta didn't disappoint us and the day was complete, almost.

Actually, John Sheriffs stopped and threw his hat right into our little group, being to short, I couldn't reach it but I tried my best. We screamed, cried and totally enjoying the moment.

The crowning glory for me was after I came home and saw the video of her winning parade, there I was, arms in the air, looking like a idiot, but forever caught on video with Zenyatta.

The same happened in the CBS video, there I was, in my t-shirt for all the world to see on 60 minutes. Quite an experience.    

03 Nov 2010 1:05 PM
Blue Blue Sea

Z is a KY bred, so this would hardly be here first taste of KY grass, just saying. Crowd looks a bit thin around her.

Hoping for an exciting Breeder's Cup though.

03 Nov 2010 1:25 PM
Monty

Great photos, thanks ! Just heard Mrs. Moss wants the queen to stick around for the 2011 season if she stays healthy, & spunky, as she usually is ! Wow, another year to adore the queen, one can only hope ? Let's hope the track stays "dry" for her Sat. GO ZENYATTA !

03 Nov 2010 2:21 PM
Esther Marr

Thanks for sharing you great Breeders' Cup experiences, parksdona! I love it that you were on 60 Minutes. What a great memory!

03 Nov 2010 4:46 PM
Fuzzy Corgi

My Breeders' Cup experiences have all been on tv (haven't missed one yet), but a friend of mine who was a Zenyatta naysayer was invited to Santa Anita last year. Let's just say he is a naysayer no longer.

Monty - if what you say is true about Zenyatta running in 2011 then I'm amazingly happy! But I may need to talk to my doctor about prescribing me sedatives for her races. Zenyatta almost gave us a heart attack in the Vanity and Lady's Secret this year. And then she won and the crowd went wild! Heart attack averted.

03 Nov 2010 4:59 PM
Dona

Thanks Esther but could you do me a favor and remove my email from the entry. I made a mistake in typing my name in the "display name box". Thanks again, Dona

03 Nov 2010 11:53 PM
JOE

Zenyatta will not even be in the money.    Quality Road all the way wins by 20 lengths.

04 Nov 2010 7:55 AM
Pat

Esther, I always enjoy your BH pieces. I've even created a folder for you on my external HD, to capture everything you publish about the 2010 BC as seen through your eyes. Keep up the great work and keep those 2010 updates coming. You have a Canadian fan! Go Zenyatta!

04 Nov 2010 10:32 AM
Bellwether

LET EM FLY BABY!!!...IT$ ALL BEN GOOD @ THE BC...ty...

05 Nov 2010 2:02 AM

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