Hubby is going on a business trip to Lexington later this week for a couple of days and I am thinking of going with him. Probally shouldn't because I just got home from 16 days in Tampa, helping friends ship then just generally helping. But..... I have always wanted to go. Any suggestions on a low budget, get in as many farms, tracks, parks, etc. Is Turfway the only track running now, that is close to Lexington? I am going to do a google search, but I figured you all would know best.
Kentucky only runs one track at a time, so yes, Turfway is your choice. If you're on limited time, I'm not sure I'd suggest the drive.
Keeneland, even when dark, is a wonderful place to visit. There's a grand library there and the track kitchen hasn't changed much in the 40 years I've been checking. You can wander around the sales pavilion, too.
You can make Churchill Downs in an easy hour-and-a-half. The track dark isn't much but the Derby Museum is nice.
Most all farms offer tours for free - Lanes End and Three Chimneys are two of my favorites. And Claiborne, if for nothing more than the cemetary.
There's also the training track just south of town on 68.
Joe Bologna's for lunch - college pizza place that's both budget and great!
Not sure if The Springs is still taking reservations, but that and Campbell House are good, centrally located Motels that are nice without being costly.
And the Kentucky Horse Park now features Funnycide and Alysheba! If you go, drop a couple peppermints on John Henry's grave for me, would you?
Er, no offense but I'd skip the hour drive to Turfway. For one thing, it's COLD. For another, Turfway is not exactly scenic unless you consider strip malls and big box stores worth the drive. Just another suburban racetrack.
Yeah, Keeneland is beautiful. So are the miles of fencing and stud barns that are way nicer then where we live.
Horse Park is on winter hours but their main museum has an equal number of Derby and other major classic trophies-including the ones for the Triple Crown which I never knew exsisted.
I'd do a farm tour and hit the Horse Park if it fits your time frame. Most of the local hotels can set you up with the tours and help with directions to the Park.
But bring a warm coat.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
It doesn't have the TB history that Claiborne has, but Castleton Lyons should be on your short list. It is an incredibly exquisite place.
Gainesway is a favorite of mine, both for the horses and the architecture, but I heard they aren't doing tours anymore.
Claiborne is lovely, and the graveyard, as mentioned, is like a walk through racing history. Three Chimneys is nice, but tourism central. Airdrie is more of a "working farm" than a showplace, but the stallion manager is a doll and the horses are super.
WinStar has a glorious entrance, but where the horses are is down to earth. Tiznow is a ham and a half.
TaylorMade is way on the south side, and you'll think it "eh" when you get there, but Unbridled's Song is perhaps the most beautiful creature I've ever laid eyes on.
Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.
I'm from Cincinnati and get down to Lexington often...it's only 1.5 hours.
That said, Turfway, being closer to CIncinnati, is not really worth your drive. I second the others....visit Keeneland. It is just beautiful, even when nothing is going on. Very genteel.
Kentucky Horse Park for sure.
My favorite horse farm tours that are open to the public are Three Chimneys and Claiborne, but Claiborne is a bit of a drive up to Paris, KY. Not sure where you are staying, but it would still be worth it. If you are . If you are looking to buy halters,leads, etc, Quillin's Leather is in Paris KY and all their items are made by hand on the premesis and are of premium quality, but still affordable.
Old Friends..yes, please go there. Some fabulous horses there in their retirement. It is a top retirement farm. You will be amazed. Make sure to get one of the guided tours so you can get informed of all the details of the residents.
Midway, Kentucky is charming with lots of little unique shops and restaurants, and is located near some of the most scenic farms in the area.
If you like Bourbon, Woodford Reserve is in Midway. You can do a tour and can purchase some souvenir. For wine, there is Equus Run Vineyards.
Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
Last edited by lindasp62; Dec. 8, 2008 at 06:56 PM.
The road to Lexington should be a yellow brick road where the rainbow ends and you have a pot of gold!!! My favorite place on Earth and to be my home soon again!!!! But bring a coat.....the most horse horse friendly lovin town ever but indeed chilly....sorry!!
The barn you mention is on the grounds of The Red Mile, not Keeneland. Fennell's Tack is right next to it, and it is a wonderful place to stop in and warm up next to the woodstove and gawk at the Standardbred racing bits It is closer to downtown than I am, a shocking find when you think you are in the center of Lexington.
Food must stop: Wallace Station on Old Frankfort. You might see Sam Shepard there. My DH sees him seemingly every time he stops there (i.e. twice a year).
Tour: Three Chimneys. Claiborne.
Another must see: Keeneland. With the all-weather surface on both the main track and the training track, they are galloping horses year-round. Go early, watch some works, then have a cholesterol-laden breakfast in the track kitchen. Get your pic taken by the Rolex clock in the paddock, and go shopping at the gift shop ($$$$).
There is also The Thoroughbred Center on Paris Pike (beautiful drive).
Lots and lots and LOTS to see, even in the dreary days of winter.
"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton