March 23, 2019

New Year’s Day At the Races: Turfway Park

by SAKYA SCHULER

Horse racing is all about connections: Breeding connects the current Thoroughbred to ancestors born centuries before, and the word “connections” itself defines the people entrusted with the care of these magnificent animals.

There are connections between fans, too, which is one of the reasons I love to spend a day at the races.

New Year’s Day brought me to Florence Y’all south of Cincinnati following a round of Top Golf north of the city. I went alone, but you’re never really alone at the racetrack—there are connections everywhere.

With the King of Beers in hand watching the Sport of Kings I struck up a conversation with a like-minded older lady doing the same (watching the horses in the paddock, not drinking the Budweiser). Neither one of us liked the favorite, but we picked different horses. I won and she lost, but that connection was there. She as legitimately happy for my winning bet even though she lost hers.

Turfway is different from other Kentucky tracks. It’s cavernous, it’s concrete, and it does not play host to the prestigious races or aristocracy of its downstate brethren, but I prefer that when just going to enjoy the horses, gamble on them, and the people who make this game great. You can walk right in to Turfway and feel at home even if you have never been there.

My only miss from this Day At the Races was not trying any of the food. Next time!