We're in the process of working out our schedule for 2020, our 17th season of operating international racing trips.
One definite trip will be to a new destination for us -- Yorkshire, in the north of England. It will feature an entirely new menu of racecourses, training areas, and non-racing activities, different from any of our previous trips to the U.K. The trip dates will be May 6-14, with an optional one-day extension for more good racing.
Race days/evenings will include York (the so-called "Ascot of the North"), Ripon, Thirsk, and Wetherby. At least one other course can also be visited if desired. The York days will highlight very important final prep races for The Derby and Oaks.
Headquarters will be in the historic city of York, at the elegant and traditionally-styled Grand Hotel. All of the attractions of this famous place will be available on foot just outside our hotel door, and there will be time during the week to explore independently. The town will be blessedly free of the summer tourist crowds.
Excursions outside the city will include the training area of Middleham, a taste of the moody North York Moors, one of the great English country estates at Castle Howard, the seaside atmosphere of Whitby, maybe a steam train ride if we can fit it in, and a dinner at a private residence.
The trip dates fall between the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. May 6 is the Wednesday after the Derby and the 14th is the Thursday before the Preakness (although you'll be urged to stay the extra day and come home on Friday). There's no need to miss either if you're a regular attendee.
The Closing Date for the Yorkshire trip will most likely be March 20. This is earlier than we've ever closed a trip before, so be thus alerted.
There will be at least one, and possibly two, additional trips in 2020.
We're looking at a return to France for the Arc de Triomphe, and the likely dates for this would be September 28 to October 5. It would include stays in Chantilly and Paris, racing at Saint-Cloud and Compiegne in addition to the big days at Longchamp, an extensive visit to the Chantilly training area, and other special activities.
And we're also considering our first ever domestic U.S.A. trip, to Kentucky Downs. This unique-in-America European-style course has obvious appeal for us and the quality of the racing there is growing by leaps and bounds every year. Contemplated is a four or five day program, based in the vibrant city of Nashville, Tennessee. It would include two or three days at the track, and a number of local experiences in Nashville itself. Probable dates are in the September 9-14 range, after the closing of Saratoga and Del Mar.
We expect to have the website updated with the final 2020 schedule by late October and all the trip details posted by December 1. Meanwhile, please don't hesitate to get in touch -- either by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by toll-free telephone at (800) 261-0499 -- if you'd like an up-to-the-minute update or have an interest in any of the trips described above.
We look forward to hearing from you and to going racing with you in 2020.