As many of you know I had the honor of attending the Arlington Million race on Saturday! It was awesome being able to attend and watch the horse races in person. Been awhile!
Heads up this is going to be a long blog
My father in law and I attended the Arlington Million race on Saturday August 12th 2017 at the Arlington Racetrack. I brought my dad along as well, my necklace with his ashes. We arrived around noon or so. I decided to park at the very end of the parking lot. A decision I later regretted lol. I figured it be some good exercise and maybe get out a bit easier after the races. The parking lot was getting full. We parked and walked up to the entrance.
As we walked up you got to see the size of the place, it is huge! Very well taken care of and the beauty of the place is just jaw dropping. From the large building, to the large gates, to the amazing and very beautiful flowers they have out front. They have it spelling out “Arlington” (I could of swore when I last attended back in 2011 it said Arlington Park) Then another thing that was neat to see was all the limos that were lined up at the entrance, pretty cool sight to see. Definitely a place of shear size and beauty!
Surprisingly we were able to get right in. I thought for sure we would have to wait in line a long time. But they had the lines moving quickly to get in! They definitely had this planned out and were doing things quickly and efficiently so the fans did not have to wait in long lines. I was impressed.
We paid for our tickets, $30 a piece.
We walked in and one of the first places you see is the horse paddock. That is a really neat feature I liked about the place. We arrived a little bit before race 1. We enjoy horses alot and we wanted to experience and enjoy the full day. We walked over to the paddock area and got to see up close some of the most beautiful horses I have ever saw in my life! These horses are well groomed and taken care of. We watched them as they walked them in the paddock area. Very neat experience. This alone, is priceless! Seeing the horses up close.
We walked through the building and over to the track area. I took the selfie below as soon as we got over to the track area. As you can see from the photo the sheer size of the place and also the stands were not packed yet. Advantages of getting there early.
The one thing I enjoyed about getting there early was there were not a lot of people. Yes, there was alot but the place soon filled up quickly as the day went on. I was able to get up front on the race line fence and get some good photos early on in the day. Later on, I would have to go thru a large crowd to get up front. So some of my better photos were during the early part of the day.
We went over to the statue of the 2 horses. For the life of me I can’t think of the name of them right now. But I was taking a selfie with the horse statue and a lady was taking a photo of me taking the selfie. Come find out she works for a Chicago paper. So me taking a selfie, is going to be all over the Chicago area papers lol. Below is the photo of the statues. I decided not to post the selfie photo, so that way people can view it on their website.
I was not going to bet all day. I was going for the experience and the photos of the horses. Well, that changed and I ended up making a few bets. And the funny thing is, i have no idea if I won, LOL. I bet some races and put the tickets in my wallet and forgot about them. So I need to check to see if I won! I should do that after I write this.
I won’t blog about what I did step for step all day. To sum it up before each race we walked to the paddock and admired the beautiful horses. Then we would walk over to the track and watch the races and photograph them.
I did meet some celebrities and chatted with some! A lot of them admired my cowboy hat. And came up to compliment me on it. That was something I was not expecting. I knew it is a big race and many famous people were going to be there. But I never expected to meet any, let alone talk to some. So that was a pleasant surprise!
Another surprise was seeing the Chicago Cubs World Series Trophy & The Arlington Million Trophy! That was definitely a once in a lifetime thing! I was able to get my photo with the trophies, posted on top of this blog! I am super excited about seeing it, and also getting my photo with it! Priceless!!!
There was something tragic that did happen while I was standing in line to get my photo taken with the trophies. I was standing in line talking to this gentleman (Photo below, do you recognize him 😛 ) when the announcer said a horse and jockey were down.
The whole place went silent, literally. That is something you never want to see or happen. The race was the Grade 1 $400,000 The Secretariat Stakes. The horse that went down was the well known horse Permian. From Ireland. They had to put the horse down near turn one. I am thankful I was in the trophy line and did not witness it. My heart aches just knowing what happened and seeing the tarp up and knowing the horse was being put down there on the track 🙁 Words can not describe how the place felt. You could see women crying and people that were smiling earlier and now had sad faces. Very tragic incident. May Permian Rest in Peace.
I am going to stop blogging now and just post several photos below. I had a wonderful time at the track and it was one I will never forget! I highly recommend you going to the Arlington Racetrack if you get the chance. It is a really neat experience. You get to see the beautiful horses up close! Words can not describe how awesome it is. If you love horses, then this is definitely the place to be! I can not wait for next year!
I decided to live stream the Arlington Million with my cell, instead of using my DSLR camera.