Keeneland: It’s a Circus

Monday, April 19, 2010

Apologizes to the few readers I have but I took the weekend off from blogging. I choose to spend the weekend with some close friends watching the ponies run at Keeneland race track. What a mistake! Not the friends but choosing to visit Keeneland.

Everyone who comes to Kentucky feels they must see the horses; people either want to visit the Kentucky Horse Park or Keeneland. My friends and their guests had timed their visit to attend Keenelands spring meet so the day had been planned, Keeneland it was. Saturday we would spend watching the ponies and enjoying each others company, catching up on time gone by; not!

Most of my party had arrived at the track early, staked our seating area and had been enjoying the first three races before I arrived. I had to walk from the next farm over it seemed and I know one entire race had transpired during the hiked in. While hiking I passed the strangest array of circus animals (today's college students) I had ever seen.

I passed wild bears cubs (college boys) fully dressed in their bow ties practicing their circus routines, cougars (you know this one) were lurking in the trees waiting for their opportunity to pounce on the young cubs. There were pretty flamingos (college girls) being led around by neck rings being held by other flamingos, all the while smoothing their feathers trying to catch the eye of the young bear cubs. There were chimps (single nerds) swinging from anything elevated and laughing hyenas (stoners) doing their thing, laughing at anything and nothing, the parking lot was truly a circus. I just knew I would feel safer once I reached the pavilion. That I found was to be short lived.

The animals had been allowed in and were taking over. You could not walk without running into to some form of circus animal or stepping in their droppings. I do not know who their trainers were but they apparently got their circus outfits mixed up. The poor animals were wearing outfits that either did not fit or were miss matched. Those that who’s outfits did not fit spent the afternoon clawing at them trying to get them off while those that were miss matched, one had to assume were later to be props for the clowns.

At some point, I think about the second race, the animals broke into the alcohol and this is when the races got really interesting. You should not give animals alcohol. By the sixth race we had animals dropping all over the place. You could find them propped up against stone pillars, passed out in the restrooms, lying on the stairways; I even saw a couple that barely made it off the escalator. “Poor animals,” I thought, just as one decided to attack.

Apparently this bear cub had been given too much alcohol, had caught him a flamingo and was hanging on to her neck ring when our bench looked like the perfect place to mate. We tired our best to calmly shoo away the beastly couple but the male was having none of it and the pretty little flamingo just went where her neck ring pulled her. We knew it not safe to get between two mating beasts but we wanted our bench.

The animals hissed and spat at us, bared their teeth but we were determined, so we went to retrieve the animal tamer (track security). Upon arriving he calmed the bear cub, grabbed the flamingo’s neck ring and removed them from our bench. He came back to inform us of what really caused the animals distress, apparently we had stepped on the poor bear cubs circus shoes and it upset him.

We spent the rest of afternoon looking out for more distressed animals and avoiding them, all the while stepping over those that could not handle the alcohol. I always enjoyed going to the circus and watching the animals perform I just never knew I could do it at the horse races.

My advice to you, should you want to visit Keeneland and see the horse races, bring a whip and chair and whatever you do, do not step on their circus shoes.

Going UP