The pleasures of Thoroughbred racing may be had in a variety of settings in this country, from a concrete fortress, as at New York's Aqueduct, to the mountain-backed palm garden of California's Santa Anita. Commendable progress has been made, both in the production of good horses and in the elaborate facilities for racing them, for the entertainment of millions of new fans each year. Yet when the sport moves into Lexington, Ky. each April, it is quickly clear that the Bluegrass remains the nation's top breeding area—and one without peer in natural charm. As the photographs on the following pages by John Lewis Stage demonstrate, Lexington has kept the spontaneous atmosphere that gives racing a sporting—as well as a business—character. Laved by its clear sunshine and soft air, fans can study future form at one of the many small breeding farms near by or at a big establishment like Calumet (opposite). Here two fillies, one a sister and the other a daughter of Tim Tam, engage in a graceful ballet, not knowing and certainly not caring that their renowned relative once won the race that has made the Bluegrass famous all over the world—the Kentucky Derby at Louisville's Churchill Downs. For the study of current form, there is no more delightful place than the walking ring of the Keeneland track itself (next page). The management at Keeneland is proud, and justly so, that Lexington attracts informed sportsmen to its meets. Nowhere else in the U.S. are spectators allowed to follow races without the squawking intervention of a public address system. Their cries of excitement, pleasure and occasional despair are felt to need no metallic encouragement.
Framed by the blooms of an Oriental magnolia tree, Keeneland outriders lead the walking ring parade
Returning from pasture, a mare and her foal enter the barn area at Walmac Farm