Naturally, as soon as I had downed my last bite of Danish, I skipped down to the rail to see the action up close. Some of the horses came cantering by, others were galloping flat-out, often in pairs, hooves hammering the track, tails flying out behind.
Closer to the rail they ambled by in the opposite direction. Here's a photo I especially like, looks like the thoroughbred is getting a big hug.
Next, track announcer John Lies came out with jockey Weldon Cloninger who gave us an inside look at a life riding race horses. And then track superintendent George McDermott gave us the dirt, so to speak, about racing surfaces, their maintenance and the attention that goes into making them usable and safe for each day's races, all very interesting.
Finally, the best part was when we were bused down to the stable area where we were allowed to admire and pet the thoroughbreds in one of the barns.
Wonder what they were thinking about all these strangers who suddenly descended upon them with outstretched hands and clicking cameras.
Kudos to Lone Star Park and their courteous staff for treating us to such a delightful experience; I hope it earns them some new racing fans. We're certainly going to be back very soon to watch these beauties run for real.