Fun Night at the Red Mile!

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to travel back to where it all began, Lexington.  I spent several days in the area, photographing my old stomping grounds.  First stop is always something to do with horses, now it was not the typical Thoroughbred most people think about when Kentucky is said, but rather the Red Mile track in downtown Lexington.  This track is known for its red clay surface, from where it’s name derives, and holds its meet in late summer and runs in the crisp days of October. Standardbreds typically are raced pulling a sulky (the cart where the jockey sits), but at times ca be raced under saddle.  Either way, there are 2 gaits this wonderful breed shows on the track: trot or pace.  The trot is where legs on the same side track opposite of one another, meaning the left side front leg is forward and the left side rear leg is back, and then on the right the front leg is back and the rear leg is forward.  This is a gait that can be seen naturally in all breeds.  Now the pace, is a little different, the legs on the same side track the same directions, meaning that both the front and rear leg on the left will go forward, while the front and rear leg on the right will point to the back.  This gait is less likely to be seen naturally in many other breeds.  Horses are bred for this gait, and then nurtured to improve it once they start training. The pace is a faster gait than the trot, and the two never compete in the same race.  To hear the pounding sound of the Standardbreds hooves across the red clay is something that needs to be witnessed in person, and is a must stop for any visitor to the area.

Here are a few photos from that night.