A travel journal
to Lexington by dglawless
Quote: Lexington, KY is truely the horse capital of the world. It has a rich history for many generations. The horse farms are beautiful and just a 10 min. drive from downtown Lexington.
Lexington is the home of Keenland, a track visited by royalty which has an atmosphere that allows all that attend to feel like royalty themselves. Lexington also honors the horse with a park and museum dedicated to horses of all types. The rich history of the horse and man’s use of horses for work, sport and leisure is documented and displayed in many wonderful exhibits.
Many sites throughout the city evidence the regard for horses. As you enter downtown Lexington you will see Thoroughbred Park with its beautiful red roses and bronze statues of horses.
To make the most of the visit you might want to schedule it around the Keenland schedule in April and October or the famous Rolex three-day event the last weekend of April.
Restaurant | "Roger's"
Like any good family style restaurant, Rogers has delightful desserts. The pecan ball, a KY favorite, is a ball of homemade vanilla ice cream, rolled in chopped pecans and served with hot fudge. They also have a variety of homemade cobblers, pies and cakes to delight the palate. The dinner servings are so generous it is hard to make through a meal here and have room for dessert but it is always fun to try.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 10, 2001
808 South Broadway
Lexington, Kentucky 40504
Restaurant | "Ramsey's "
Ramsey’s is popular with students from nearby University of KY, local business people, downtown residents and tourists alike. It has a full service bar, which has many regulars. Two televisions over the bar usually have a ball game of some sort playing. You can eat at the bar but most folks reserve the bar seats for sitting and having a drink and catching up on local news.
My favorite dish is the pot roast with real mashed potatoes and gravy. The southern fried chicken and fried chicken livers are also very popular. Ramsey’s is also known for its variety of vegetables prepared in the down home way. Okra, corn and stewed tomatoes, squash and onions, fried green tomatoes and fried apple fritters are some of the vegetable offerings that attract the many regular patrons. In the summer they purchase the vegetables from local farmers and the corn on the cob will have been picked the morning it is served.
While all of these veggies are great, there is nothing like the homemade pies they serve made right next door at Missy’s Pie Shop. The pies are just like the ones your grandmother made! Rich luscious cream pies with mile high meringue, mayday pie, and a variety of fruit pies served hot and topped with ice cream are among the many desserts tempting the visitors. I rarely am able to pass up the pie when I dine at Ramsey’s.
496 East High Street
Lexington, Kentucky 40502
Attraction | "Keenland Race Course"
During the spring the many spring flowers and flowering trees will awe you. In the fall the track is alive with oranges, reds, yellows and other fall colors of the many different trees and fall flowers of the extravagant landscaping.
There are two restaurants that serve excellent food and where you can stay for the entire day. You can also buy seats in the grandstand and there are bars and food stands throughout the track. If you would like seats in the grandstand or the restaurants you need to make reservations well in advance.
Betting windows are ample and they make betting very easy for first timers, with instructions on how to place a bet above each window. Keenland also has wagering on simulcast available.
At Keenland you will see all types of people including many children. There are always people very well dressed but you will also see many in casual dress. It doesn’t seem to matter because the crowds are very friendly and everybody there is treated with Kentucky hospitality.
You can contact Keenland at http://www.Keenland.com/splash.asp to make reservations, get a calendar of events or get more information on the track
Keeneland Race Course
4201 Versailles Road
Lexington, Kentucky 40510
When the weather is nice you will see townspeople stopping at the park for a stroll or just to sit and take in the beauty of the park. You will also catch tourists stopping to snap pictures of the beautiful bronze statues.
Main And Midland Streets
The farm has tours that I highly recommend. As you drive through the farm you will see breathtaking beauty both in the land and the horses grazing in the rich green paddocks. The tour of the trophy rooms gives you some idea of the dominance this farm has had in the thoroughbred world. You will be amazed at the incredible elegance of the thoroughbred barns with closed circuit TV, beautiful cabinetry and tack rooms. While on the guided tour you will learn about breeding, training and racing the majestic thoroughbred horse. You will hear a bit of the history of racing and of course the farm itself.
The riders sit behind the horses in two wheeled sulkies. It is slower paced than thoroughbred racing but the excitement is the same. As you watch the horses round the track it seems that at any minute the riders are going to be thrown from their perches- although this almost never happens.
The dress is casual in the grandstand and along the rail but in the dining room and club house, people are very well-dressed. Now with off track betting you can also make syndicated bets on tracks all over the U.S. if the racing of the day at Red Mile isn’t enough for you.
Red Mile also is the location of many other events such as the great American Chili Cook Off on the Fourth of July, the Junior League Horse Show and a variety of concerts through the year. The grounds are very nice and it is an excellent place for indoor/outdoor events.
The dinning room offers a great buffet of excellent food. You need to make reservations if you plan to have dinner in the dinning room. Call (859) 233-1221 or more information about the track or the schedule.
Red Mile Track
1200 Red Mile Road
Lexington, Kentucky 40504
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 10, 2001
1098 Versailles Road
Lexington, Kentucky 40508
Attraction | "The Kentucky Horse Park"
In the visitor’s center there is a wide-screen theater, which shows two feature films. After touring the visitor’s center and the gift shop it is time to start touring the park. You have the option of browsing the park on foot or shuttle. For the more adventuresome you can go on a horse-drawn carriage or by horseback.. You can spend hours roaming around the beautiful grounds. There are more than 30 breeds of horses in the Breeds Barn. My favorite is the miniature horse, which stands less than 3 feet tall. While touring the park you get the opportunity to see the day to day operations of a working horse farm. You get a real feel for the hard and often dirty work of the horse industry and not just the glitz and glamour of the track.
When you visit the Hall of Champions you will see tribute to many of the greats of racing and show. The Horse Park also has a 3,500 seat arena that hosts many world class events. This is where the Rolex Three-Day event is held as well as the High Hope SteepleChase, and the U.S, Open Polo Championships. Other equestrian events are scheduled throughout the year.
During December the Horse Park has a Christmas Light Festival. You drive through the park and thousands of lights make up all sorts of exhibits. I look forward to it every year as it is ever changing with new additions.
There is camping on the grounds although I have never been to the campground. It is advertised as having a swimming pool, tennis courts and other campground facilities.
The Kentucky Horse Park is open from 9 AM to 5 PM daily except from November 1 through March 31, when it is closed Monday and Tuesday. One-day general admission is $9.95 for adults and $4.95 for children ages 7 through 12. A combination ticket, $12.20 for adults and $6.20 for children, also includes admission to The American Saddle Horse Museum. A 50-minute guided trail ride on the outskirts of the park is $12 per person.
The park also has a number of horse shows and special events throughout the year. Call for details.
Kentucky Horse Park
4089 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, Kentucky 40511
It is not only the thoroughbred horse that is part of Lexington’s history and present day culture. There are many farms dedicated to saddlebred, standard bred, appaloosa and Tennessee walkers. The Junior League of Lexington holds a world famous horse show every year as a major fundraiser at the Red Mile. People from all over the world come to compete in the event. There is a working livery in downtown Lexington offering horse drawn carriage rides through historic downtown. There are mounted police officers riding throughout the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods. Horses definitely rule in Lexington!