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Derby Weekend

A little taste of Kentucky Oaks in Southern Arizona

sunny 90 °F

Okay, so it isn't exactly Kentucky Oaks, but there is a racetrack about an hour and a half south of us.
Last year we ditched church and went to the races!

With the wind in our hair, we jumped in the jeep and headed south to Sonoita.
Pronounced Son-OY-ta.
Personally, I would say Son-oh-EE-ta, but apparently, I would be wrong.
jeep_ride.jpg
(That's me in the rear view mirror of the jeep...you can't see me because my hair is blowing around like mad...I kind of like it...)

The welcome sign to the town of Son-OY-ta has horses racing. I kind of think that is all they do there. It's a small town, out in the middle of friggin' nowhere, with a bunch of ranches. Horses and cattle. That's what they do. And wine. There was also a sign saying "You are entering wine country." I'm guessing we are among the rare and few French people to visit "wine country" in southern Arizona. Otherwise, they would not possibly call it "wine country." We may come down again in the future for the Stomping of the Grapes and Wine Festival to find out for sure.

Anyway...

As we got closer to our destination, The Daddy asked where we were supposed to go.
I said, "I don't think we can miss it."
Sure enough, a cowboy welcomed us to the fairgrounds.
Cowboy.jpg
There were races both Saturday and Sunday over the weekend. The fairgrounds' website announced the events for both days, with a derby hat contest, mint juleps, and a mariachi concert (that's what you get when the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo collide) and free military day on Sunday. Even though I wouldn't get to strut my fancy stuff in the derby hat contest, we decided to wait until Sunday so that we could go with the Daddy.

There were hats at the track of the cowboy variety, worn by spectators and the Rodeo Princesses on hand to congratulate and provide a photo op for the winners:
Derby_Hats.jpg
The trumpets blared, warning the betters (or is it bettors? Gamblers? Anyway...) that they had 5 minutes before the race to place their bets.

We saw quarterhorses...
Quarter_Horses.jpg
...and thoroughbreds.
thoroughbreds.jpg
We preferred the longer races for sure, and I secretly desperately wanted to yell "C'mon Dover, move yer bloomin' arse!" but I refrained. It was hard.

Sonoita is significantly cooler than Tucson, so it was a nice escape from the spring heat.
It's race time again this weekend and the Daddy is in the market for a new Jeep...we may have to take a test drive and go see horses again!

Posted by TamB 14:10 Archived in USA Tagged arizona derby_weekend horse_races

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