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Behind the Scenes Thoroughbred Tour

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2 travelers
    What to Expect
    Each tour starts at our main office which is located at the corner of Paris Pike and Johnston Road. Check in at the front desk and our tour guide will bring our mini bus around to pick you up.   

    At 9:00am the bus departs from the main office. The first barns you come to are the two largest and original barns on the property and can house up to 300 horses each.  This is where you will likely see the horsemen hot-walking, grooming or bathing their horse. It's all part of the daily activity.  You will then pass two training tracks and then get off of the bus to stand rail-side watching morning workouts.  It is likely an outrider or exercise rider will approach the group so if you've ever wanted to ask them a question, this is your chance! The group spends 20 to 30 minutes rail-side before getting back on the bus to travel to the backside.

     While on the backside you will see our training gate where horses learn to break from the gate, paddocks where horses spend their afternoons, hay and feed stores and more barns. As often as we can we will walk through Barn 28 and talk with trainer Mike Cameron if he is available. We spend about 30 minutes in the barn talking about the horses we see, how they are identified, what factors make central Kentucky the Horse Capital of the World and a myriad of other racing-related topics. He may even choose to pull a horse out of its stall! There is nothing quite like standing next to a 1,000-pound horse. So if you've ever wanted to have a Q & A session with a horse trainer, this will be your favorite part of the tour.

     Depending on the time of year, size of the tour group and amount of time left, the next stop may be a short walk through a gate to our neighbor, Mill Iron Farm. They have a swimming pool for horses! Trainers will sometimes choose to send their horses to Mill Iron for a quick swim rather than taking them to the track. As you head back to the main office, notice the plank wood fences that are all around you. Nowhere in the world will you see as much of this iconic fencing as you will in Central Kentucky.
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    Important Information
    Departure Point
    The Thoroughbred Center's Main Office
    Departure Time
    9:00 AM
    1h 30m
    • Driver/guide
    • Small-group tour (no more than 24)
    • Transport by air-conditioned minibus
    • Drinks
    • Gratuities
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    Additional Info
    • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
    • Most travelers can participate
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Minimum numbers apply. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there are not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund.
    • Children must be accompanied by an adult
    • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately (Umbrellas are not permitted)
    Cancellation Policy
    For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
    Reviews (9)
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    All reviews take pictures great tour marlene riders barn training track trainers horses
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    1 - 5 of 6 reviews
    Reviewed July 6, 2019 via mobile

    Had a great tour with Annette today. Our family of 6 was the only group on the tour. We learned a lot and also got to see many of the beautiful horses in action.

    Thank lizjs47
    Reviewed July 4, 2019

    Being on vacation last year, we drove by and didn't have the time to visit, but this year, we made a concerted effort to take a tour. It was great to see the training of the horses, stables. They have a starting gate but none...More

    Date of experience: June 2019
    1  Thank Sandy135
    Reviewed June 26, 2019

    We visited on a rainy day so it was hard to take pictures of the horses and riders training on the track. We still got to see them working the horses but spent most of our time in one barn meeting the horses there. It...More

    Date of experience: June 2019
    1  Thank ProctorParquette
    Reviewed June 16, 2019

    My husband and I had a wonderful time on this tour. Our guide, Annette, was very entertaining and enthusiastic about the Center and the horses. It was obvious that she loved her job and enjoyed dealing with people as well as horses. She knew everyone...More

    Date of experience: June 2019
    Thank akedgar1
    Reviewed May 17, 2019

    This is a good tour or a non-horse person however as an educated horse person, dressage trainer, breeder and TB racing enthusiast, it was not what I expected. Marlene is a nice lady and obviously loves horses, but she doesn't really know anything racing, race...More

    Date of experience: May 2019
    Thank Dressagez
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