Monday, September 13, 2010

She wants the Young American, part II

The richest Quarter Horse race in the world is run every Labor Day in beautiful Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico, and I was there!

Although getting to the track was quite a story, the day progressed, and it was finally time for the running of the All American Futurity.

All day, the paddock area was nearly empty of spectators. Most people couldn't even go down there. However, at the time of the All American Futurity saddle up, everybody who was somebody was there in the paddock area. Of course not just anybody could go there. That's another perk of the $25,000 Turf Club pass.

The infield was packed with people. I was afraid the observation deck was going to collapse.
Unfortunately, I wasn't tall enough to get this whole sign. I believe it says 1,000,000 (winner's prize) or maybe 2,050,000 (total prize money).

Hmmm, that could have been me on that hill watching from the backside...
There was a virtual sea of cowboy hats.
I found a spot by the old winner's circle where the professional photographers stood. Can you imagine, having a split second or two to get the ultimate photograph, as the horses race by, and your job is depending on it?  I'm glad I take pictures for fun. 

This dressy lady photographer from the AQHA was probably looking forward to the after parties.

She was wearing some really awesome boots!

As the horses were led out, I tried to get a picture of each one.

#1- JLs Mr. Bigtime (favorite) and #2 Jd Baccarat

#3 - Miss Racy Jess
#4 - Prospect to the Top (My SIL put $2 to win on this one)

#5 - Dm Streakin thru Fire (I put a quinella box on #5 & #6 for my son and his friend)

#6 Make Me Fly 

#7 Dominyun (My mom bet $2 to win) and #8 Cuz Iba Okey

#9 Mr. Piloto (I bet $2 to show on this one. I figured with all the other bets we placed for winners I'd settle for third.) He was the horse with the slowest qualifying time and the last horse in the race since #10 scratched.

It seemed like forever for them to go around the track, warm up, and load into the starting gates. While I was waiting for the race to begin, the people behind me were discussing how one horse had been purchased for $98,000, another for 100,000, and another for a mere $5,000. I don't remember which ones they were though. Crazy, huh?
And then they were off! They flashed by but I managed to snap a couple of pictures.

They raced to the finish line and I really couldn't tell you who won. I went inside to my mom and they kept replaying the race. There was an inquiry because several horses bumped at the beginning and there was a photo finish at the end.

Everyone waited in suspense. Then it was announced: 9 - 1 - 7. Too bad we didn't bet a show on Dominyun and a win on Mr. Piloto. He paid $46.60 on a $2 bet. Because I bet to show, I won $8.40 and my mom didn't win anything on Dominyun.

Mr. Piloto won $1,000,000 and JLs Mr. Bigtime won $750,000. Each horse won something all the way down to the tenth (scratched) horse who was awarded $50,000. In all, $2,050,000 in prize money was awarded to the horses entered in the race.

Here's a video of the race. Be prepared; it's 10 minutes long and there are some commercials. The race is in the first couple of minutes however and then there are interviews with the jockey and the trainer.

ITG-AA Futurity Recap 2010 from SureBet on Vimeo.

But that's not the end of our adventure. We figured the crowds would begin leaving right after the big race so we stayed and watched the next race. There was an accident in the parking lot so the shuttles couldn't get through. So we people watched. You should have seen the lines for the valet parking!

This lady security guard was quite the character! She raced over to the people walking out carrying alcoholic drinks and started chatting with them, putting her arm around them even, to tell them they had to leave the drink on the premises. We saw a lot of drinks downed in a hurry. I wouldn't want to mess with her!
There was also quite the display of footwear.

The in fashion for men nowadays is bling, lots of it, as evidenced by this man's belt. It's too bad the picture didn't turn out. From the roughest looking cowboys to the well-heeled socialites, we saw all everything.

Finally, after waiting about an hour, the shuttles came by, filled up with people, and left. We didn't even bother to fight the crowds to try and get on. I wonder how many people were actually there at the races? We didn't pay any admission fee so there was really no way of counting the people. I guess they could tally refreshment sales and bets but that still won't account for the actual attendance. Whew, it was a lot!

We got on with the next round of shuttles. The shuttle was half empty, because by now, lots of people had already walked to their cars. The shuttles took us down through the barns back to the parking lot because of the backed up traffic, so here's some exclusives.

This dark photo is the walkway up to the track from the barn area. I took it from the other side of the bus and through the window so you'll have to excuse the poor quality.

Finally, the shuttle let us out at the top of the hill and I walked down to my car. Then I drove to the top and  loaded my mom and her walker. She began telling me about a pickup truck that turned the corner too sharp coming out of the field into the roadway and hitting the post at the corner. Wouldn't you know it?

I did the same damn thing! My poor LOLA!!!

What good is it to cry over though? The damage was done and at least the car was still drivable and we didn't get hurt.

On the way home, along the back roads, I was driving over sixty-five for a time and a truck and horse trailer passed me going about eighty. I thought about how crazy he was and how easily they could wreck. I slowed down when I saw at least three deer standing in the shadows of my headlights at different times. I was terrified that one would jump out in front of us. I worried about the stupid truck and horse trailer too. Some time later, I passed him by because he had stopped in a pull out area along the side of the road. I wondered what happened and if he'd had a close scare. Towards home, I drove at least 35 miles with nary a car in either direction. Boy, was that strange! What a long, eventful day it was. We finally got home about 10:30PM.

She want the Young Americans - song: Young Americans, artist: David Bowie, album: Young Americans


Sydney_bitless said...

That race would be neat to see. I have seen the sires stakes here in Windsor but thats standardbred racing.

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

That's a full day. Thanks for sharing and bringing us along.


Breathe said...

How exciting to be at such a big race! I have a pair of boots very similar to the orange ones - except mine are turquoise. I need to get a matching blanket for my horse now!

Sorry about Lola's injury. I imagine the pole has claimed many a paint job.

achieve1dream said...

That really sucks about your car, but I agree about not getting all upset about it. The only time I would get upset is it if made the vehicle undrivable or if someone else was involved because then you have to deal with police and insurance. I had a shopping cart roll down a parking lot and hit my car. Then I drove off with it scraping down the entire side of my car because it was on the passenger side and I didn't see it. Oh well. :)

I don't understand why people wear their pant legs inside their boots, but those were some nice, colorful boots lol. I guess it's a fad or something right now hehe.

I like the shot you got of the horse galloping past. It turned out really nice. :) Glad you had fun and nobody got hurt (well we hope the stupid speeding guy with the trailer didn't have an injured horse).

fernvalley01 said...

Sounds like a great day! too bad about the car

Shirley said...

Betting is so tricky, but a lot of fun. I love playing the long shot. Thanks for the tale and the tour!

Jo Castillo said...

Thanks for the story and the wonderful photos! I haven't been to that race either, but have been to the races when I was young.

achieve1dream said...

In answer to your question on my blog about Mercedes Lackey she writes fantasy. She was one of my favorite authors growing up and I've read just about all of her books. If you like fantasy she's awesome. :)

The Wades said...

That is booking it with a horse trailer! Scary stuff. Sounds like a fun day.