Saturday, July 2, 2011

A New 4th of July Tradition?

On a whim John and I decided to take Gunnar to the horse track today. We weren't sure if we were going to get to see actual fireworks on the 4th so we were looking for a weekend alternative. And Arlington Park supposedly puts on a pretty amazing show.

Ever since we lived in Louisville, Kentucky for a year...we sort of became horse people. There is something so exhilerating about watching horses race. At Church Hill Downs during Derby week you can go and watch the horses train in the morning free of charge.  I went and watched twice (and the only horse I saw training both times happened to be the Derby winner that year--Giacamo) and it was fun to see the trainer/horse relationship. There is clearly a shared mutual respect between horse and trainer but on a laid back training morning you can also see their love for one another. I don't doubt that their are situations where this isn't the case...but clearly (as it was with Giacamo) when a horse loves to run and respect and loves his trainer...it's a winning combination!

Anyways Arlington Park is a beautiful track not too different from Church Hill Downs.  John placed the bets based on odds...but I picked them based on looks and feeling. Is it surprising that the horse we placed the most money on was named "Theatrical Girl"? She was the only horse we chose on name alone...and of course she gave the most entertaining race of the day. She went from dead last to winning in the last short leg of the race!

It was awesome that we could bring our own food, beverages and chairs or blankets and we found a great spot right by the finish line. But the real high light was the amazing firework display. It was a good 40 minutes long with possibly the best finale I have ever seen. Not to mention they handed out free mega missle popsicles! (I think the last time I had a popsicle was 1989!)

Gunnar was amazing! He loved the fireworks and even though they were extremely close and quite loud he didn't seem scared in the least. In fact he was all smiles and giving sweet snuggles throughout. We had such a good time I really think this could turn into a Hammergren family tradition!


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