Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Off to the Races

Because Labor Day in France was way back in May we have had to find another way to mark the "end" of summer. If the weather is good we head off to the races as our last hurrah of summer fun. And this year's weather was good, actually gorgeous. So a gaggle of folks headed down the road to the world's most charming race track in the tiny village of Pompadour. Yes, as in Madame Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV. This chateau and race track were one of the 16 chateaux she was given for her amusement by the king. 

We don't have a BBQ, but a picnic is just the thing. The local car buffs brought out their gorgeous cars to get our juices ready for the four legged beauties that would soon be the center of attention.
After lunch there is a lull in the conversations as each person checks out the day's racing form. This is a serious and private moment!

I have a different approach to picking my horses. For each race I choose a different way to select the winning horse. For the first race of the day I stood and watched the horses as they paraded in the paddock. As soon as I saw #2 I knew this was the horse for me. She had a look of passionate reserve, she was calm with her handler, and even though she was the slightest horse out there she seemed built for speed. 

When her jockey came on board I could see a twinkle in their eyes that said, "look out everyone here we come."

And they were off! #2 lead the entire course and seemed so happy at it!!
For the second race I consulted with my helper. We went by the jockey's colors this time. We went for the blue on blue silks and by chance once again the #2 horse.

Once again a good pick as Sky Run came in by a good length or so. Too bad I don't ever put a real bet on my choices.
When there is a grey horse in the running I have no choice but to choose them as the winner. My luck continued for yet a third race....maybe I really should have bet - ha!

It was a very quiet crowd spread out along the course under the terraces of the grand chateau.

The gentle fields below the chateau have been carved out for a beautiful course. There are flat races as well as steeple chases. I hold my breath each and every time they jump those seemingly enormous hedges.

Tom spent his time at a bend in the course making sketches. 
He got a bit distracted today and made this his pick for the winners circle.

1 comment:

Mary Jo said...

My mom used to pick them that way, too. I try to use the form, which my grandmother taught me to read, though I've only been to the track once, Saratoga, in about 40 years. I ran into a friend that day and he said he always bets on the gray horses. How 'bout that! I place only $2-$3 dollar bets because it is even more fun if you have a vested interest in the outcome. Try it some time! Great post.