Thursday, July 26, 2012

And They're OFF!

There is something exciting about the announcer broadcasting "The horses are in the starting gate"...."And they're off!"  The crowd suddenly goes from calm and collected to screaming and jumping around like a bunch of monkeys from the zoo.  Is it because they have money on a certain horse and are cheering them on?  Maybe just joining in to cheer on a favorite horse?  Could be the alcohol being served at the race :)  Either way this last Saturday was the 15th running of the Virginia Derby.  What?  You didn't know there was a derby other than the Kentucky Derby?  Well yeah!  It's ok....I didn't know Virginia had one either until around the first of this year.  But once I found out I scoped out the date and put it on the calendar! 

Pre race trot around the field???

For our first year attending the Virginia Derby, Mother Nature paid a little trick on us and decided to drop buckets of water on us....isn't she sweet???  But we didn't let it hold us back too much.  The Derby is held at Colonial Downs in New Kent County.  They have several options on how to actually watch the race.  And each options comes with a different price tag, ranging from $5 right on up to $135.  They have indoor options, out door options and 'Hoot on the Hill' options.  We decided on tale gating at the 'Hill' with the Hooters girls :)  For one price everyone legally in your vehicle can get in to watch the race.  So not a bad option for us and our friends that wanted to go.  And yes they do have A Fancy Hat contest.  Next year I will be rocking my own FANCY HAT.  I am sure it will have a wine theme! 

She braved the rain to show off that....hat

One of the jumbo trons

There were 8 races before the BIG race.  If you opt to do the 'Hoot on the Hill' they have a tent set up for placing your bets, a couple jumbo tron screens to help see the races, a band plays pre race (unless it's raining buckets) and then they have a tent set up for the Hooters Girls.  Lots of fun all the way around! 

Emma dancing with he girls

Emma dancing with anyone that will dance...

The rain was a bummer but by race time it had stopped and the races went on without a hitch.  It did leave us with a muddy mess but we knew it would all wash off and we proceeded to have a good time anyway.  I am glad however we took a canopy :)

My sister Tessa and her hubby Marty...they were troopers to put up with the
kids and the mud!

The official winner of the 2012 Virginia Derby and the $600,000 was Silver Max.  He and his rider did a great job!  And they all had the crowd whipped into a frenzy!  I was glad to have experienced it with our family and some friends. 

The Virginia Derby-1 1/2 mile course

Emma was having a 'moment' and her foot
made contact with my torso.  HMPH!
Next year I would still go with the tail gating but I would get there a little earlier.  I would also have a nice talk with Mother Nature and see if I couldn't work out some agreement with her to not have it rain that day or have it 100 degrees.  I'm sure she is a reasonable entity.  Right?!?!?!

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