Fans finding racing fun, prizes at Equestricon

 

By Connie Leonard | WAVE 3 News

Not all the fun of Breeders’ Cup is at Churchill Downs.

This week, events are happening all around Louisville and throughout the state. One stop racing fans are taking in Monday and Tuesday is Equestricon at the Kentucky International Convention Center. It’s part trade show, part festival.

“It’s like Comic Con for the horse racing fan,” Michael Blowen, Old Friends Farm President, said.

Blowen, who has a booth at the show, gets a chance to talk to festival goers about the retired Breeders’ Cup champs the farm helps after their careers are over. At Equestricon, you might meet a legend like Seattle Slew jockey Jean Cruguet, who talked about the excitement of the two championship days.

“It will be some good racing,” he said,” that’s for sure.”

Or you can pay tribute to a champion like Rachel Alexandra, in a photo op with her image.

A horse racing fan bows at the feet of a picture of Rachel Alexandra.

You can check out a fine rye whiskey at distillers like Peerless. The company is offering samples at any hour.

“It’s never too early to drink,” laughed Tara Bowling, of Peerless, as she handed out tastes of the product.

If you’re in the market to buy an official Breeders’ Cup shirt, bag or hat you can — and if you’re in the market to buy a thoroughbred? You can do that, too.

Horse racing syndicates are on hand to prove it’s affordable.

“Our shares range anywhere from $500 to only $2,000 dollars,” Russell Sapienza, of Taste of Victory Racing, said.

Taste of Victory would-be owners got a taste of what it’s like, hearing from Kate Chenery Tweedy, the daughter of Secretariat Owner Penny Chenery.

“Our goal is to get people in (ownership) for the experience,” Brian Richardson of Taste of Victory Racing said. “They get in for a small amount and get their feet wet and if they want to go to the next level they can certainly do that.”

And everyone gets to register for prizes — even us. But just like racing, some payoffs are better than others.

“I just won a horse (stuffed animal),” Jon Swanson said. “And the lady behind me won a free trip to Australia — all expenses paid, air fare to the Australian Cup.”

Equestricon stuffed horse
Jon Swanson went to Equestricon and all he won was this stuffed horse.

We found her and the only thing grand prize winner Rita Kasinow could remember was the prize volunteer’s reaction.

“She’s screaming, and so then we’re like OK, well this must be a good thing?” she laughed. “It is cool, like I have a headache and I need a drink, or a bourbon or something here.”

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