Kentucky Derby Horses Work at Dawn at the Downs.

Derby Favoriate "I Want Revenge"

One thing is generally consistent with the week leading up to the Kentucky Derby…. Weather will come into play. And so was it today as a cold front danced its way through Louisville and destabilizing the air for the rest of the week with rain in the forecast.

The signature event today for the Kentucky Derby Festival was the “Run for the Rosé”, an event where people run trays of rosé wine around an obstacle course. The contestant with the most un-spilled wine at the end wins. The contest used to be local bartenders and servers, but its expanded to include teams from the local media, local colleges and universities, etc.

We didn’t go. It was raining and we didn’t feel like getting out in the bad weather. However, we made it to another event early in the morning just as the rain was beginning to arrive: Dawn at the Downs.

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Dawn at the Downs is a free event (well you pay $5 to park!) and you can watch the horses during their morning workouts at Churchill Downs. This is a nice low pressure event and fans can get down to the rail to watch the horses up close. For many, who won’t be able to attend the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, this is their only chance to get to see these champion horses before they race for the Triple Crown.

We got a late start and missed the first group of horses to work. The sky was brooding with dark rolling and very watery clouds and they were moving toward us. The rains came, then they stopped, then they came, then they stopped, but the rains were not enough to stop the practice or stop the fans. Those that wanted to be dry could just move up under the covered area, those not minding the rain could stay by the rail.

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The horses continued to work.

Eventually we go to see three Derby horses work, Papa Clem, Summer Bird and current betting favorite I Want Revenge.

The rains eventually came harder and with a pause in the action, we decided to leave as I had way too many photos to edit and process. I hope you enjoy these. Click on the photos to go to their Flickr page and then click on the “All Sizes” and “View Large” to see how well ripped these athletes are!

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