My Valentine: When Horse Racing is for Lovers

Events / Travel
Sara Dacus and her husband, Casey, at the racetrack. (Sara Dacus photo)

Tired of sending roses for Valentine’s Day? Is the dinner-and-a-movie combination stale? Do you long for an outing with endless opportunities for fresh conversation and interesting people watching? Head to the racetrack, because horse racing is for lovers.

My husband and I went to Oaklawn Park for our third date. We were already smitten with each other, but as we watched the horses race around the oval, I became even more enchanted with him and the sport.

Casey and Sara Dacus at the racetrack. (Sara Dacus photo)

I was immediately attracted to the scene: the fashion, people from all walks of life, the horse names and the adrenaline rush of the race.

In our decade of marriage, horse racing has enthralled us and enriched our relationship.

We go to the track when we can. Each year, our anniversary destination is Oaklawn Park. And we usually head there for Valentine’s Day as well. But some of our best dates are sitting on the couch, each loaded with electronic devices, with the TV turned to TVG.

Sometimes, instead of saying “I love you,” we say, “Who do you like in the sixth?”

When I have no interesting stories about teaching my eighth-grade students research strategies and he has nothing new to tell about renting construction equipment, an alternative to “How was your day?” is “Did you hear Baffert’s horse scratched in tomorrow’s big race?”

Instead of dreaming what we would do if we won the lottery, we dream what would happen if we hit a Pick 6.

Since we do not foresee major changes to our lives, sometimes, instead of asking, “Where do you want to be in 10 years,” the better question is, “Which racetracks do you want to visit in the next decade?”

Perhaps before we die, we will go to Royal Ascot or the Dubai World Cup. Or maybe, we’ll just watch it from the couch. Either way, we’ll have a unique experience together, and we’ll be in love.

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