walkLEX: Thoroughbred Park

Thoroughbred Park
Thoroughbred Park, Lexington, Ky.
When I was little, I remember walking down Short Street to its eastern terminus on the back side of Thoroughbred Park. There, the topography recreates the feel of rolling, grass-covered hills of the region. As a kid, it was the perfect place for a game of frisbee.

Before the rolling hills were built and the statues crafted, this block was still the eastern entrance into downtown Lexington. Among the many buildings and businesses occupying the site was an old Pure Oil gas station which had become the Featherston's Motor Company - a unique piece of architecture that could not be salvaged and funds couldn't be secured to move the structure.

Thoroughbred Park, which opened in April of 1991, is a 2.75 acre tribute to the area's equine history. As you drive down Midland Avenue toward Main Street seven life-size horses gallop with their jockeys urging them to the finish line where they are greeted by the pictured rose garden. (A "finish line" snap shot is recommended  for visitors to Lexington, but natives can and should take advantage as well). The jockeys aren't generic either; keen equine eyes will recognize Willie Shoemaker, Pat Day, Chris McCarron, Randy Romero, Don Brumfield, Jerry Bailey and Craig Perret - each adorned with the silks of a major stable. Foal and broodmare sculptures are located throughout the park, and there is also a statue of the famed horse, "Lexington." All of the horses were sculpted by Gwen Reardon, a local and renowned equine sculptor. There is also a walk of plaques of important figures in equine history from around the globe.

This park is a great Lexington resource, but is underutilized. Maybe more people should go and throw around a frisbee?