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Ellis Park Saturday: Camels, Ostriches, ‘Horses and Hope’ and a Dave Spencer First [VIDEO]


Saturday was a great day at Ellis Park. For starters, after a week of sweltering heat and stifling humidity, the weather was terrific–warm but not very humid at all. And folks came from everywhere to watch the camels and ostriches.

It was the 5th running of the Camel and Ostrich Races at Ellis Park but I had never seen either. And both were a lot of fun.

There was also cause for celebration as breast cancer survivors were honored during the “Horses and Hope” race. “Horses and Hope” is Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear’s breast cancer initiative. One race at each track in Kentucky was dedicated to “Horses and Hope” on Saturday.

Very nice moment.


120 breast cancer survivors are honored in a blanket ceremony following Saturday's "Horses and Hope" race at Ellis Park. (Photo by Dave Spencer)

Plus, something happened at Ellis Park on Saturday that has never happened before. In the third race, something jumped out at me about horse #7–Pacificator–and his jockey, Jesus L. Castanon. So I plunked down some money on him.


For the first time ever, I won money betting on a horse. I’m not good at gambling, to begin with, and I’m never quite sure I understand the horses. I’m still not. But, whatever it was that was floating over Box 76 at Ellis Park that day, I won money betting on a horse.

Very cool.

The 7th race of the afternoon was the WBKR race, so I got to go down and watch it up close. Tap and Trade was the winner and I got to have my picture made with the jockey–Jesus L. Castonon, having a very good day–and the trainer, Greg Foley.

After the blanket ceremony, I hung around so I could get some video of the ostriches. They were hilarious…and none too fond of any of it. When the race was finished, two of them got away from the wranglers and took off toward the other side of the track. It took park workers a while to get them cornered. One of them came right toward where we were standing. Close call.

But it was a total blast! And that’s usually the case at Ellis Park.


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