Keeneland hosted the first day of A Taste at the Races as the calendar page turned to October, designed to whet the appetite for the upcoming race meet. Any Keeneland aficionado doesn’t need extra incentive to look forward to that stellar meet but it’s still fun to get a hint of what is to come, and also spend time in one of my favorite places.

I received a reminder of a visit on this date to Keeneland last year via Facebook’s “memories” feature. The difference between now and then is that my only opportunity to experience Keeneland close to the race meet, since it was off-limits to most. I’m grateful this year, even with COVID restrictions still in place, that will not be the case.

Arriving at Keeneland today, I paused to soak in the ambience, helped by a lovely sky with an interesting cloud formation that seemed to mirror a tree near the sales pavilion. The track’s classic architecture sets the tone for a top-notch facility, every time, and never fails to capture my eye with its lines.

I walked through the entrance and noticed trivia questions related to horse racing had been placed around the trees in the paddock, the first time I’ve seen this there. I loved that, too, as it aligns so well with Keeneland’s motto of “racing as it’s meant to be,” by honoring the history of the sport. The first question I happened to see was about 2020 Horse of the Year Authentic, asking who the most recent Derby winner sold at Keeneland is. Given my association with Authentic through MyRacehorse, that made me smile.

Before leaving the track, with the complimentary brown butter popcorn and a few new additions to my racing memorabilia collection, I paused at the new painting commemorating 85 years of racing at Keeneland and noted the fall colors had begun to make their appearance in some trees in the parking lot. Here’s to more lovely days and a stellar meet, kicking off in one week!