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A Day at The Races
If you've ever been to a race track then you know there is nothing else like it in the world. The tracks, all of them, are beautifully laid out, often with a pond or something very scenic in the outfield. The club house is always elegant and filled with well dressed people animatedly discussing their favorites for the day. The grandstand is jammed with people, all angling for a really good spot and avidly reading their racing forms, marking them for their possible bets. Down at the railing stand the groups that want a last look at their favorites as they parade around the track with their jockeys dressed in their brilliant silks. The excitement is palpable. I don't know of any other sport where the excitement is quite the same as at a horse race. I went for the very first time when I was in summer camp as a counselor a hundred years ago at least. We hitch hiked to Saratoga, New York and went to the track. I had a ball! The next time I went I was in college and we went to Pimlico in Maryland. Great day! Since then Belmont in New York, Yonkers Raceway for Harness Racing in New York, Del Mar, Hollywood Park and Santa Anita in California and once a track in Miami but I can't recall the name of it, it was so long ago. And I am not a horse racing fan. I just love the excitement of the track. It has color that no other sport has and the beauty of these magnificent, graceful animals and the heart they show when they are racing -- it is a lifetime experience and something everyone should experience at least once.
A. The Week Before the Race Box. Both of these beauties are going to be racing next week and it almost seems as though they know it. Both have their ankles bound to protect them prior to the race. They are standing in the pasture communing with nature and each other. I suspect they are talking over their racing strategy each giving the other tips.If you run your fingers over these two figures you can feel the musculature of each animal. They are exceedingly well done. Inside, painted, a racing saddle, the stirrups are very short. The clasp is a horseshoe for luck! Our price: $259.90.
B. The Jockey in His Silks Box. Dressed for his big ride and ready to weigh in, he's carrying his crop. Inside, a line drawing of his saddle. The clasp, his jockey cap. Retail: About $202.00. Our price: $182.90. (Like a real jockey this box is small, less than 2.5 inches high.)
C. The Dog Whose Putting on The Jockey Box. Chamart has done a whimsical jockey box that accents the bowed legs of some jockeys. He's wearing a cap, his sun glasses astride it. His jersey carries his number fore and aft, 7. A horse head for the clasp and nothing inside. Our price: $264.90.
D. The Harness Racing Box. Harness racing used to be very popular in the 1950's and 60's and earlier than that as well. The drivers rode on small, flimsy two wheeled seats to which the horse was harnessed -- hence the name Harness Racing. The sport was also called The Trotters -- and that was because the horse was not permitted to do anything but trot. They were specially trained not to break stride because that automatically disqualified them from the race. It was fun to watch but not nearly as exciting as a real horse race. Inside, painted, betting slips and the clasp is a four leaf clover for luck! Retail: About $153.00. Our price: $138.90.
E. The Mallards on The Outfield Pond Box. Because the time between races was about a half hour or more so winning bets could be claimed and new bets made, the powers that be, at certain of the tracks, gave us very scenic outfields. I recall at Hialiah they had flamingo's on a small lake and at some of the other tracks they had ponds with various other water fowl on them, here a couple of Mallards enjoying the scene. The ducks are very well painted and the bird with the outstretched wings has a real sense of movement. Inside, marsh grass painted and the clasp is a bloom. Our price: $197.90.
F. The Winner's Circle Box. For big races they often place either a horseshoe of roses or a throw of roses around the winner's neck. So number 7 didn't make it, number 8 won the race. Notice that this horse's hind ankles are bound. That's to protect his ankles. Isn't he a love with the white diamond on his forehead. They are such regal looking animals and so beautiful when they run. This must have been the Run for The Roses because inside the box are roses, painted.The clasp is a horseshoe and it did a good job. Retail: About $279.00. Our price: $251.90. A fun way to recall a fun day.
G. The Crossing the Finish Line Box. The Jockey in his handsome silks is standing up in the stirrups, the horse has his neck stretched out as far as it will go, he'll win by a nose is what's in his mind. Inside, a lady's very fancy hat, painted. The clasp , a horseshoe for luck. The race must have been at Ascot! Retail: About $327.00. Our price: $292.90.
H. Opening Day at The Ascot Races Boxes. At Ascot, in England, on opening day the ladies come dressed to the nines! They wear their very best outfits, usually from top designers, and always they wear huge hats! You may remember the scene in My Fair Lady when Audrey Hepburn swept into the box in this enormous and beautiful hat. That was a bit of an exaggeration but the truth is every woman there is wearing her best hat, usually new and often made for this occasion. So here are some of the ladies. No explanation is needed.
Lady Orange Hat...Ascot Elegance Retail: About $283.00. Our price: $255.90.
Lady Purple Hat...Saratoga Elegance. Retail About $283.00. Our price: $255.90.
Lady Blue Hat...Belmont Elegance. Retail: About $265.00. Our price: $238.90.
I. And their Escort, Lord Top Hat -- Only at Ascot does one see this! Retail: About $271.00. Our price: $243.90.
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