My family often vacationed in San Diego while I was growing up, and one of our favorite activities while we were there was to spend an afternoon at the Del Mar racetrack. It was always an amazingly dichotomous atmosphere, with factions of the spectators dressed in their finest suits, dresses, hats, and heels, and others (like us) smelling of sunscreen with sand coating their sandaled feet, fresh from a morning at the beach. The adults could indulge in “Del Mar-garitas” while the kids could run, play, mimic the announcer who had the best of Australian accents, and cheer on whatever horse they thought had the best name or the prettiest coloring in each race.
I was very into horses as a kid and was also very competitive, so the combination of getting to see these glorious animals up close and to watch them race was hugely thrilling and fun. Not to mention that my parents always let me and my brothers each pick our favorite horse, and they’d place a small bet on each of them to win the race so we had a stake in the game and someone to cheer for. I picked a gray one whenever there was one in the pack, a tradition I carry on to this day, to no avail quite yet. Someday, someday, that gray horse karma will come around.
This is the family friendly and fun environment that I was introduced to horse racing in, and I still get goosebumps whenever I hear that trumpeting sound marking the horses’ entry onto the track for the next heat.
Boulder is not a city that’s about to let a special event go by without celebrating it full tilt and, with this weekend’s Kentucky Derby, there are plentiful events going on around town. Check out my article with Your Boulder, “The Kentucky Derby in Boulder,” here.