Marques Downs does not resemble the Royal Ascot or the Kentucky Derby because you can come as you are or make a splash with a fabulous hat, it doesn’t matter.
The races at the Downs of the thoroughbred horses are extra special events; everyone can enjoy them and create memorable experiences. They invite you to relax, enjoy a flatter, and soak up the atmosphere in the grandstand and in the surroundings as one watches the speed and stamina of the superior equine athlete.
It was my first time at the racetrack and the evening races offered the most prestiges and the biggest purses. I had my eye on a maiden race in which the horses usually are two years old and had never won a race making it their first race ever. It was going to be a race of six furlongs.
There are many factors which influence races such as the weight the horse carries, their proximity to the inside barrier, gender and track surface and distance. My table partner was a retired jockey who shared a wealth of knowledge with me. I still cannot get my head around the size of the “saddle” a jockey sits on when riding the horse - It’s no bigger than a saucer practically sitting on the bare back.
Sitting in the grandstands dining room overlooking the racecourse, I could see the horses in their stalls and then entering the track for the post parade to the starting gate. As the horses pranced, I glanced nervously at the racing form in my hand. It was the first time I placed a wager – my very first bet. I have to say here that I needed help from my table partner placing this bet not that I was spending a big sum of money. I clutched my ticket as the bell rang and the starting gates sprang open. Like a bullet the horses charged forward, I couldn’t help but get caught up in the excitement and I cheered my horse all the way to the wire. Amazingly my horse won!! It was Peaches a horse my friend owns. There were anxious moments earlier as Lynda had told me that Peaches (the winner) had a good chance of winning this race as she was pretty keyed up. She had questioned her maturity at this point but knew that she had tremendous ability and a tremendous hearth, which of course is a great combination.
The evening was spent celebrating and was a safe bet for fun and excitement and an experience I’ll never forget.
Here are the pictures of Peaches aka “Marge’s Action” the winner of the Woodland Heritage Sweepstakes and all her friends who came to cheer her on to this tremendous win with her trainer Fern Zdunick and jockey Garfield Gordon.