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Heading back home starting today. We hope to make Kalamazoo tonight and be back in Kitchener by suppertime on Sunday.

In our last full day in Des Moines this trip, Michael and Rosemarie took us out to Prairie Meadows, where the horses were racing. The kids loved the pomp and circumstance of it all, seeing the horses and their riders paraded before post, and then racing halfway around the track. We stayed until the sun set before heading home.

There was a bit of extra excitement in the third race when, just after leaving the starting gate, horse number eight threw its rider and went galloping the wrong way along the track. I had visions of it meeting the pack around the finish line and causing major chaos, but the support riders came out and ran it down, corralling it before the other riders reached the finish. I hope the rider was okay; he was taken away in an ambulance, though I heard it was mostly as a precaution.

I placed a $2 bet on a whim and picked a horse to win (after having the terms “win”, “place” and “show” explained to me) and, surprise surprise, he won! I got back $2.80.

All in all, a good time was had by all.

More photos can be found here.

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