Spring break in Lexington

Lexington, KY

For the last half a dozen or so years, I’ve devoted my spring break to visiting family in southwest Florida. It’s the epitome of relaxation: I read a ton of books; I spend hours at the beach; I take naps; I go running in the sunshine; I go to the races or watch tennis. This year, I decided to go off my own beaten track (pun intended) for this Kentucky-destined road trip.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever used profanity (even mild profanity) in this blog before, but this vacation is kicking my ass. It’s 5:45 am, and here I am, typing away in my hotel room, an hour or so before I head to Keeneland to catch morning workouts (at temps near freezing) and eat at the famed track kitchen. I’ve been in Lexington for about thirty-six hours, and without exaggeration, no fewer than half a dozen people have recommended that that’s where I have breakfast today. I’m a big fan of the backstretch kitchen at Saratoga, but I’m a little fearful that my expectations, based on these recommendations, might be impossible to meet. It’s also not quite the same as throwing on a light sweatshirt to combat the early morning Saratoga chill and knowing that the horses will hit the track as the sun comes up. I’ve never seen Thoroughbreds work out under the lights before, and I’m putting on my winter boots.

Day 1 in Lexington was a mix of the planned and the unexpected. Planned: a lunchtime visit with commenter Trip, a Lexington denizen and fellow race fan; a wander around downtown Lexington; a visit to Three Chimneys. Unplanned: watching one of my favorite sires cover a mare; lunch in delightful Midway and the discovery of a wonderful independent bookstore; trips to Gainsborough and Lane’s End with a local friend.

Details on the trip will have to wait until a later, less sleepy time, less rushed time. Here’s a look at 2005 Travers winner Flower Alley at Three Chimneys, getting cleaned up and looking with much interest in the direction of his “date” being unloaded from her limo…er, trailer.

9 thoughts on “Spring break in Lexington

  1. I love Midway and if you get a chance check out Wallace Stationhttp://www.themusicdifference.com/vendors/wallacestation/a great place for coffee and a snack

  2. The best part about the Keeneland track kitchen is all the pictures! I could’ve spent all day there.I felt the same way during my trip to Lexington. After the “fun” part I had to go to a conference when all I wanted to do was sleep for a week! And WHY is it so cold in the morning LOL?

  3. The track kitchen at KEE is one of the highlights of any Lexington visit. The biscuits and sausage gravy — and the photos — are worth the trip. Enjoy the vacation, despite the early hours and a Happy Easter, too!

  4. Yesterday was a blast getting to say Hi; too bad it’s tax season and we can’t spend more time and give you the “Grand Tour”. I give such good tours, just ask Linda, so good I wore her out – lol (Just kidding Linda!) I could eat every breakfast at Keeneland but then I would be 200lbs and having to have bypass surgery! Eggs, saugage, hash browns, gravy & biscuits – now I’m really hungry and my oatmeal and yogurt don’t look to appetizing – lol!The pictures are a walk down memory lane of those who have ran upon Keeneland’s track. That’s why when they changed from dirt to poly, I had to keep a small vial of the dirt, in their memory. It’s also a reminder to me of “my horses” that I will never forget – Riva Ridge, Prairie Bayou and Alydar that left us all too soon.It’s places like this I can come and relish in the industry that I love and in a part why I moved to KY because it’s rooted in my heart.

  5. Wait a minute …How does one secure a breakfast at the Keeneland track kitchen? Do you have to “know someone”? Or is it like Disneyworld and you have to book your Character Breakfast 3 months in advance? For some reason, I’m under the impression that any Dumb Bunny (read: me) just can’t go strolling into the backstretch of a racetrack and order up eggs over-easy with a side of biscuit and gravy.Ooo … I’m hungry now …

  6. Sue -At Keeneland, all you do is walk right in and order up a plate of whatever hits your fancy! It is open to the general public. You can even walk through the barn area as well. It doesn’t matter whether it is during a meet or not. If so, the lines are just a whole lot LONGER and you may not get a seat or a table but the plus is you never know who might be in line next to you!

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