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A Day at the Races

Los Angeles, California: My Driver turned 60 this weekend and the kids planned several celebrations to commemorate this most auspicious day. We arrived to Lisa and Lenny's Saturday and went to dinner with Our Blonde Daughter to Sushi Yuzu in Toluca Lake. DT just loves sushi!

After dinner, we returned to enjoy birthday cheesecake - baked by The Lovely Lisa:

The cheesecake was ridiculous! Lisa really out-did herownself for her Dad's birthday cake. Sunday morning, Lucy had a little avocado, Dave and Lenny went for a run (together), Leo played with his sister and then we all dolled-up for a Day at the Races!

Lenny and Lisa reserved a box at Santa Anita Park - one of the best horse racing tracks in America - for Dave's birthday party.

The race track opened in 1934, in a stunning location at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. The original Art Deco style remains throughout the park, though it has been updated many times.

In 1984, Santa Anita played host to the equestrian events during the Los Angeles Olympic games, Seabiscuit was filmed here and Santa Anita has been the host of the Breeders Cup several times. A very historical race track. And even though Santa Anita is gorgeous, the weather played a huge part in our enjoyment today. Warm and sunny (while our seats were happily shaded). No wind. The park was busy, but not overly crowded. Plenty of staff, so no lines while placing bets or buying a snack.

Perfect.

The view is just stunning!

My favorite senior citizen

This new senior was having a great day. (Ironically, the race track was hosting a charity event today, raising money for local senior enrichment.)

The Whole Family at Santa Anita

Lisa bought a program and the boys sat down and figured-out racing strategy. Let's just make it perfectly clear that no one is going to get rich following the Taylor Method of Horse Racing.

But you should also know that no one had more fun today.

Lucy slept through a few races. Leo (not yet 4) was an absolute dream - he loved watching the races, loved choosing the winner by racing color (and was successful three times!) and seemed to enjoy the entire experience.

Finish line sprint

Two races today were determined by photo-finishes. So much anticipation and excitement. Oh. The. Drama.

Lenny arranged for the Santa Anita trumpeter, Jay Cohen, (who blows a Coach Horn at this park) to play Happy Birthday to DT on this 60th. Mr. Cohen has been introducing races (by horn) at Santa Anita since 1987! I can't imagine how many times he has played Happy Birthday and I can't imagine how many times he has given his entertaining little birthday spiel to tipping guests... all I know is DT was smiling, Mr. Cohen was hilarious and we all sang Happy Birthday to Bubba on His Special Day.

For the last race, I took Leo down to watch the race along the rails. We saw the horses brought out to enter the chute and then felt the thunder as they raced down the straight-away. So intense!

Just a little more awesome than the ponies Leo rides in Griffith Park. Just a little.

Someone was pretty impressed.

I certainly was impressed as well. What a great facility, what a great afternoon and Dave was so happy (he won a few bets) and really enjoyed the entire unique event.

Later, the kids arranged for a babysitter so the adults could go out for a lovely Italian meal.

Happy Birthday to My Fabulous Driver!

Until my next update, I remain, your young correspondent.