Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Day at the Track: Arlington International

I discovered this outing opportunity last summer and the second time around it again proved to b a great day with the kids desitnation. It's easy to get to, even hosts a metra station for those who opt for the train. The cost is manageable, 6$ for adult and 2 for kids to enter the park. The grounds are beautiful with lots of interesting things to walk around and see when the horses aren't running. There are plenty of eating options that are reasonably priced or you can pack your own food in for a small fee at the gate - lots of people had large coolers in tow. You don't have to get up at the crack of dawn as with many a kid day as the park does not open until 11 and the races don't start until 1pm. The races take place every 1/2 hour or so. Betting is easy, 2 $ minimum, user friendly machines. Typically, each of us will place a 2$ bet for our horse to show - which means if it gets 1, 2, or 3, you win! It's fun to see how the girls choose their horses. You can get a track brochure which gives the details of the horses in each of the races. But the girls usually chose by the cool names of the horses. I chose geographically, from where they hailed.

We arrived early by accident. I had no idea when it opened as we were in camp out mode at the Brookfield residence and had no access to internet. So we actually ventured out "late", relative to when a typical outing day with the girls goes, around 930 but got there a solid 1/2 hour before it even opened. I liked that, a nice easy start time ... 11am. So I had plenty of time to make the girls pose for pictures - to which they dutifully acquiesced.

In the background are the entry pavilion and to the left is the grand stand viewing area. 

Emmerson was not in quite in pose mode on this particular a.m.

Just prior to each race, the horses are paraded around this circle in the background before heading out the tunnel to the track so those interested can get a look at the goods.

In the tunnel the horses use to get out to the track. The track is designed so there are plenty of venues to get quite close to the horses and jockey's. 

Ada still posing well - Emmerson not so much. In the background is the track and scoreboard.

Watching my step while getting in on the action in an attempt to rally Emmerson to power thru a few more poses. 

Emmerson fading ... 

Ada showing some impressive stamina as she throws in some style points in one of the final poses of the day. Emmerson had hit the wall and opted out.

Viewing area over the winners circle. Notice all the kids - just to prove that I am not a delinquent dad using my kids as a cover for a day of gambling.

The race horses with their chaperones on their walk to the starting gate.

The orange one. Numbers and colors definitely held some sway in the selection process.

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