Sunday, September 6, 2009
Thus proclaimed Julia as we drove home from today's outing!! I really cannot explain why I never looked into this before! I guess once I had been told about Illinois' peculiar liability laws regarding horseback riding coupled with the knowledge of the greyhound track's regulations down in Sarasota, I just assumed that children were not allowed at our tracks either! The very nanosecond after we discovered Arlington Park's website Julia started her campaign to go ASAP!!!! Not only are children welcome but they even have a Junior Jockey Club which allows members to experience 'behind the scenes' activities. Today was the LAST day of racing in which the Junior Jockey Club had such an activity planned so obviously I had to make today happen...especially since Julia had requested this as our Mommy and Me day outing! So after a very restless night's sleep Julia awoke and donned her appropriately themed outfit as I packed the cooler. After a brief drive we approached Mecca..... Yep, another cloudy day but the morning rain had moved on and we were not to be deterred. Hmmmm, now what can make our Mommy and Me day even better??? Yes, that would be the BFF/Cousin 'Deeda' loyally at her side as she charged toward the entrance!!! Mommy and Me really just means no Mari in Julia's concept of the day..... besides how could she fully enjoy the day without her 'sidekick'????? Normally Julia is my 'plodder'. My left arm is surely longer than my right from all the years I have literally pulled her along where ever we went but not today. I spent many a moment chasing after a little girl so excited she didn't know what to run and see first!!!! Seconds after entering she saw the horses from the first race being shown in the paddock and I might as well have been another brick in that walk as she took off like a shot! To say this is her dreams come true is an understatement! Even in her dreams she never thought she could get this close to an ACTUAL racehorse. As they watched, mesmerized until the last horse entered the tunnel, I signed them up for the Junior Jockey Club.Where do they get these poses???? This is what I got when I asked them to let me see their membership cards. Today this card was their 'magic ticket' into the............ track's bugler tent! The woman was LOVELY and had a fun surprise for the Junior Jockeys present. She passed out......... KAZOOS! They all got a music lesson in which they learned the Call To The Post....which Julia can whistle in her sleep, duh!! And after they practiced a time or two or three or....well a few of the Junior Jockeys were quite young...... they got to walk down THE TUNNEL. You know? THE TUNNEL where the horses walk to get to the track!!!! Then that lovely woman lined the group up and put my baby at her side as they waited for the 5 minute until post mark for the second race. The camera started to roll..... and my baby played the 'Call to the Post' on her kazoo!!! ...and this DORKY Mom was so caught up taking pictures of the moment that I MISSED the big picture!!! The picture of my little Junior Jockey up on the track's JUMBO TRON for all the crowd to see!!!!!! Sigh, that is why I need Auntie Peggy. Unfortunately Auntie Peggy had to work today which means there were a few more precious moments not recorded for posterity...oh well. So the rest of the day was spent running back to the paddock to see the horses for the next race.... then running back to the rail to watch the race.... then running to the winner's circle railing hoping for one of the winning jockey's riding goggles which seems to be a 'traditional' thing, at this track anyhow. As is typical for our family, there was no such luck. But that didn't stop them from trying....after all TEN races!! (and yes it did get chilly enough for sweatshirts!!) This is the shot that sums up the day! Her authentic jockey helmet NEVER left her head all day and neither did that ear to ear smile! Well, that is until it was the end of the day. I thought all the running at the track would be done by the horses but these two gave those thoroughbreds a run for their money. Tonight's sleep will be much sounder than last night's was!!! It's a safe bet that we will be spending many a summer Sunday afternoon at the track next year! Junior Jockey Club members get to go to the barns you know!!! ..and there's those riding goggles to get from the winning jockey you know!!!...and maybe the REAL jockeys will even let a Junior Jockey Club member ask for an autograph, or two, or three!!!
Posted by Spudsnsalsa at 10:19 PM