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Best SEC game-weekend experience: The horses are on the track

GRAPHIC BY JODY HORTON

8-ken
I don’t know much about horse racing. I also don’t care much about horse racing.

But something about being in Lexington, Ky., for a fall football game on the same weekend when the horses are running at Keeneland is magical. I can’t explain why, but there is a pep in the step of every Kentucky fan you meet. There is a sense of pride that can’t be matched. So help me, I think they are as proud of Keeneland as they are of their bourbon and their basketball team.

That is why I have Kentucky at No. 8 on my list of SEC game-weekend experiences, which probably is higher on this list than you expected. No. 9 features trees and a famous corner. No. 10 features "tailgate trains," and No. 11 on my list is a must-visit place if you like music. Here's No. 12 on my list, and two schools tied for 13th.

I always seem to land in Lexington around that time. The leaves have changed some, the air is brisk, the horses are running. And if you stay at the Marriott Griffin Gate, you have to find time to slip out and play golf at Griffin Gate, one of the truly underrated courses in the South. I've played it and I love it.

Commonwealth Stadium, where the Wildcats play football, isn't great. It seats only 61,000 – small by SEC standards. The stadium can seem bland and all too often quiet. The new football facility, though, is top notch.

Still, because of Keeneland, the weather, the pride they take it in – OK, because of the bourbon and Griffin Gate, too – Lexington on a fall Saturday definitely is underrated.

What I liked best: Griffin Gate. I love golf.

ABOUT KENTUCKY
Location: Lexington, Ky. (population of about 308,000)
Stadium: Commonwealth Stadium (61,000)
Enrollment: 30,000

(You can follow Frank Frangie on Twitter @Frank_Frangie)

© 2016, Frank Frangie. All rights reserved.

© 2016, gridironnow.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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