Saturday, July 9, 2016

A day at the races! At the California State Fair!

Starting gate
Starting gate
Sacramento's horse racing track, part of the Calexpo complex, and during the California State Fair, home to several days of horse racing, on the flat! Not harness racing! Just horses and their jockeys, going fast... very, very fast.

Today's card had eight races in Sacramento; other races from around the country were also shown on big screens. You could spend your whole day at the races, while still inside the State Fair... for a moment it felt like we were back in England, living a Jilly Cooper novel, because there was even a guy in a red coat blowing a horn to announce the preparation for each race.

Don't You Want Me
Don't You Want Me, winning race 8 
Before each race, the horses, warming up on the track; excited, nervy, highly-strung, ready to burst into speed, each accompanied by a buddy horse and rider.

The jockeys, perched so high on the backs of their steeds, like birds ready to take flight. And then the horses are at the gate... and they're off!!!

Don't You Want Me
Out of the gate: horse racing at California State Fair
So fast. So very, very, very fast. Thoroughbred power, thoroughbred speed, and every horse with a documented pedigree and bloodline. They thunder past, and the race is already over.

Horse racing
Heading to the home stretch
More races tomorrow, Friday to Sunday next weekend, and then Thursday to Sunday the last weekend of the California State Fair. It's free with your entry to the State Fair, you can place wagers ("pari-mutuel wagering", like the Tote in the UK), and you can even win up to $300 in the Win, Place or Show promotion, for free... for simply guessing the winner of a race. See the information booth for more info!

More photos in the California State Fair photo gallery, and more to come!

Horse racing
Racehorses and buddies

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