Sunday, June 27, 2010

Books and Barbaro! Churchill Downs

A Hot Day at the Racetrack

Continuing on my little visit to Louisville last month, I took one afternoon to visit the track and facilities of Churchill Downs, the famed location of the Kentucky Derby. I didn't realize that it was actually in Louisville itself, and is fairly easy to access. It is situated in the southern portion of the city, near the Louisville airport. The day that I went on the tour it continued to be blazing hot in Louisville, and I attempted to find a place to hide from the relentless sun. A group from the ATLA conference took a bus (with air-condition!) to the track and headed in quickly to the inside of the Churchill Downs buildings, where the Kentucky Derby Museum was located. Unfortunately, we didn't spend much time indoors, instead we went out back to see the stables, but again most of us retreated for shade during the tour of the grounds.

There were a few books on premises, so I snapped some images for your viewing pleasure. Most of them were in the book shop, such as this one called "Gallopalooza!"

Some horses resting in the museum stable area.

And everyone had a designated "parking space," though it was unclear if this was for their car or their horse?

The area where bets are placed (above) and continuation of the massive complex (below).

Above the view from the stands, as well as others viewing the track below (on the tour).

The bibliotourist pauses to take shelter from the sun.

The track is really a remarkable piece of engineering, even though it is an old dirt/sand track. Here's an eye-level view.

Again, pausing for photos. Below we discovered old-technology emissions. And I must announce that I was not the only one on this tour photographing these processed piles of equestrian product! It was as if the tour group had seen thoroughbred gold! Snap! Snap! Snap!

We retreated back into the cool-air museum to rest and enjoy the history, before getting back on the bus. Below we find an exhibit of ladies' hats and jockey uniforms.

Finally some books!--here was a book display of some Stephen Foster artifacts, which were quite interesting. Specifically "My Old Kentucky Home!"

Of course, there were some more desirable biblio-items in the book and gift shop. And I figured these would bring us back to our biblio-earth. For those of you who enjoy the photos, I've kept the writing down today. I figured I wouldn't...pardon me..."horse around" with some extra verbiage. And I've got a whole lot more to write about this week. So stay tuned and enjoy!

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