I'm beginning to think novelty is the secret to a good charity event. It certainly motivated me to join up when I read that Thoroughbred Retirement of Tampa (TROT) was sponsoring a fundraiser on Kentucky Derby Day, May 1, that included a chance to walk around the racetrack at Tampa Bay Downs.
TROT does wonderful work trying to save racehorses who can no longer race from fates sometimes worse than death. That's racing's dirty secret: when they don't produce victories for their owners, those beautiful animals frequently go to horrible conditions and then to the slaughterhouse. Often their physical problems would allow them to become a nice riding horse for a private owner, even if they aren't capable of racing anymore. But it takes time, money, space, and expertise to help them make that transition. TROT's mission is about all of those things.
So I was very happy to help out by showing up to walk a mile for the cause.
We had a police escort.
Here's the view of the clubhouse and grandstand from directly across the track. You are a long way from home at this point!
Sorry these are so distant. I was really impressed with the spaciousness of the track, when you are out on it. It's quite a contrast from being in the stands, which is more like a traditional sporting event and attracts the same kind of Joe Average crowd.
After the walk, I had a really delicious lunch of chicken nuggets and fries in the grandstand, and then lost my entire $20 betting budget in $2 increments in about 3 hours. (Oh, yeah, I'm a high roller, all right!)