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On the Road to the Races

Posted Thursday, April 7, 2011, at 9:38 AM

Horses, horses--Everywhere!

On March 17, St Patrick's Day of this year, I experienced my first horse race. My friend took me to Hot Springs for what I think was the first race of the year.

As you can imagine, I was pretty busy gawking at the sights and sounds, and was less interested in the betting process.

My favorite things were in roughly this order: the sunshine, the horses, the FOOD in the Carousel Room, the carved horses in the Carousel Room, the jockey silks, the colorfully-dressed ladies in green, and the entire experience as a whole!

Since we were on our way to see my friend's brother and sister in Texas, we stayed for only a couple of races, but it was very interesting to get to sit at a comfy table up high in the restaurant, where we could see the horses line up and run. A trip down to the track was pretty cool, too!

My friend did win $30 on a horse named "Awesome Symmetry." The name reminded him of my 7-year-old grandson Michael Patrick's first-grade science project over black holes! It was Michael's birthday, so, in celebration, we chose Awesome Symmetry, with, I think, a $4.00 bet. The filly won her first race. Yes, I know--too bad we didn't bet more, but winning might only hook us, anyway. Best to just enjoy the outing and not get all hung up on games of chance!

Anyway, I understand that all these beautiful carousel horses were carved by a former Dexter resident? They are breath-taking and well worth the trip to see them!

From the sunny hills of Kelso. MO, where I am babysitting a sick 1 1/2 year old grand daughter, this is your roving reporter signing out, before nap time is over!

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

The phrase "Awesome Symmetry" comes from a poem by British poet William Blake--"Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright in the forest of the night.." --I just recall bits 'n pieces-- "...who framed your awesome symmetry..?"

Okay, you other English teachers--who remembers the rest without looking it up??

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 9:52 AM

At my age, I'm trying to avoid the awesome cemetery.

-- Posted by ksteinhoff on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 10:37 AM

Oops! I always forget that this isn't Facebook, and I can't hit the "like" button!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Apr 8, 2011, at 6:22 AM

It's always an awesome experience to see old friends and make new friends at Oaklawn and especially the Carousel Restaurant. Some servers I have known for almost 20 years.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Fri, Apr 8, 2011, at 9:51 AM

Yes! The horses at Oaklawn were carved and created by Alan Gibson from Dexter! My favorite is the one located just outside the main entrance. Alan goes down to Hot Springs every year to paint the new colors on the horse, depending on the colors of the jockey who wins the latest Arkansas Derby.

This horse looks like he is in a full gallop, running out of Oaklawn! You have to do a double take to realize that it's a statue.

I have a soft spot for Hot Springs and Oaklawn because my husband and I were married at the Justice of the Peace's home in Hot Springs. We stayed at The Arlington, were married one morning, and we were at the racetrack by noon! It was a blast!

Everyone should head down to Hot Springs at least once in their lifetime. It's gorgeous, especially in early spring when it's still winter-ish here because it's full-blown spring there. Hot Springs is the only town in America that's located within a National Park.

Be sure and take in Lake Hamilton while you're there, and also the fantastic bath houses, massages, etc. Heaven!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Wed, Apr 13, 2011, at 2:36 PM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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