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My teenage son and I have been reading our way through a series of mystery novels by the British author Dick Francis which all have some connection to horseracing. I've always been a fan of horseracing, watching the Triple Crown every year, and now my son shares that interest. With the shared novels and interest in horseracing as well as a horse who won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, we decided there would be no better place to watch the third leg — the Belmont Stakes — than Canterbury Park.
We were both first-time attendees and made our way to the rail to watch one of the mid-afternoon races. We'd viewed many races on television and expected this to be much the same but we were BLOWN AWAY by how much better the races were in person. After the horses crossed the finish line right in front of us, my son turned to me with a huge grin and said "WOW!". That would have been enough right there to make a perfect afternoon but we had a great time, even on that rainy day, watching the saddling, getting up close and personal to the horses moving from the parade ring to the track, watching the betting, the undampened enthusiasm of the crowd, some pretty great tasting ice cream, and people watching.
Justify made history that day as a rare Triple Crown winner but that fun afternoon with my teenager will live on way longer in my memory.
Insider Tip: The entrance gate near the parade ring is the perfect spot for an up-close and personal view of the horses and jockeys as they make their way to the track.