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Old 07-31-2021, 08:23 PM   #1
Inner Dirt
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Name the defunct horse tracks you have been to and what you miss.

For me the list is short, Agua Caliente, Pomona/Fairplex and Hollywood Park.
The only thing that stopped at AC was thoroughbred racing, the sports betting and dog racing lived on. It seemed at AC most all the money was bet in the exotics pools, so you could occasionally grab a nice win price, the track toward the end was a bias waiting for a place to happen and a handful of riders caught on to it quick. My favorite rider was Humberto Enriquez, I was expecting him to show up in the states, but he never did to my knowledge.


My love of Pomona/Fairplex was mostly in the 1/2 mile track days back when OTBs did not exist in SoCal, and admission to the track was free. It was on the LA County fair grounds and the meet ran concurrent to the fair. I doubt a betting pool ever had a higher percentage of unschooled money than that place. You could hit some very nice prices.



Hollywood Park was the usually the longest drive from where I lived and not my most profitable track but it had lots of fond memories. First time I ever walked out with a 4 digit profit and I got to listen to the calls of Harry Henson, seeing Landaluce and Melair run, and when they had harness seeing Niatross.
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Old 07-31-2021, 08:38 PM   #2
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Garden State Park --- May probably still be the track I attended most often, all the others I've only been a few times or once.

Trinity Meadows
Bowie
Atlantic City
Blue Ribbon Downs
Birmingham

Harness:

FreeState --- Spent many a summer night here, miss the cashing of tickets. Some of my biggest hits came here.

Brandywine
Liberty Bell
Garden State
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Old 07-31-2021, 08:58 PM   #3
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Sportsman's Park, in Cicero Illinois. The first track that I ever visited...and the only defunct track that I will ever miss.
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Old 07-31-2021, 08:58 PM   #4
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Detroit Race Course
Greenwood
Liberty Bell

Drove by many times, but never had time to stop in

Beulah
Suffolk

Miss Detroit most of all. Got there a lot on business trips - it was right near the airport. And the "Tout" horse racing store down the street, and then in the track grandstand eventually. Loved that place. Owner was a Sartin guy, posted his readouts on the wall by a "free" coffee pot.
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Old 07-31-2021, 09:02 PM   #5
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Sportsmans Park
Washington Park
"Old" Hawthorne
"Old" Arlington
What I miss more than anything else are the crowds...the stands full of people and the electricity/noise that seemed to build to a crescendo as the horses turned for home. Don't get me wrong...the newer Arlington is a palace but there was something about the cavernous "old" Arlington that presented an attraction to young kid. There were places you could just get lost,and I did,plenty of times as a child.

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Old 07-31-2021, 09:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom View Post
Detroit Race Course
Greenwood
Liberty Bell

Drove by many times, but never had time to stop in

Beulah
Suffolk

Miss Detroit most of all. Got there a lot on business trips - it was right near the airport. And the "Tout" horse racing store down the street, and then in the track grandstand eventually. Loved that place. Owner was a Sartin guy, posted his readouts on the wall by a "free" coffee pot.
Wdym on "Tout racing store"?

Like selling picks/systems?
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Old 07-31-2021, 09:28 PM   #7
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Suffolk
Rock
Hollywood
Fairplex
Detroit
Mass Fairs

Wiggle-runners:
Foxboro
Scarborough
Hazel Park
Hinsdale
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:10 PM   #8
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Great topic:

Atlantic City
“New” Garden State (was never at the old one)
Calder
Greenwood (for harness- had my first long shot there Willvan Sam at 20-1)
Roosevelt
Hazel Park and The Woodlands still in business?
Arlington soon-to-be I guess. Tragic.

Wonderland

Hinsdale (my wife skied and we would stay at a friend’s place at Mt Snow. She would ski and I would drive to Hinsdale- 45 mins or so. The name of the lure there was “The Colonel”)
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Great topic:

Atlantic City
“New” Garden State (was never at the old one)
Calder
Greenwood (for harness- had my first long shot there Willvan Sam at 20-1)
Roosevelt
Hazel Park and The Woodlands still in business?
Arlington soon-to-be I guess. Tragic.

Wonderland

Hinsdale (my wife skied and we would stay at a friend’s place at Mt Snow. She would ski and I would drive to Hinsdale- 45 mins or so. The name of the lure there was “The Colonel”)
What I miss most was that Atl City ran the 6 day meet in late April/early May. It was the official dawn of spring/ summer for a degenerate like me. All winter I’d have either bet from home or at Monmouth simulcasts- all indoors and no smoking or live horses. AC was the opposite. Seemingly everyone smoked, and they had this wide open walking ring to see the horses. I couldn’t wait to smell cigar/cigarette smoke and horse shit!
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:30 PM   #10
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Interesting that already there are quite a few tracks I never heard of. As I have said before, SoCal where I first bet in in 1975 and left in 2010, was a dozen years behind in getting OTBs compared to the East coast. Las Vegas 250-350 miles away from where I lived did not have much either, back in the day. Agua Caliente in Tijuana Mexico is where I heard of or bet a lot of the out of state tracks mentioned here, along with reading all of Andrew Beyer's books.
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:32 PM   #11
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Hollywood Park with Harry Henson calling the races with "The flag is up" in his gravely voice in the 70's.
The blatant predictability of the fast dirt.
Ack Ack, Kennedy Road, and Snow Chief where I "learned" that all gray and white horses win on the turf.
The Goose Girl floating around on the infield lake and walking around in the stands.
This is where I made some money and thought I knew everything about horse racing.
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:37 PM   #12
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Marlboro, Bowie, Atlantic City, Gr.Barrington, Marshfield, Northampton, Dover, Hollywood, Caliente, shenandoah. I know Dover is still running but we used to go when they ran thoroughbreds. I was only 6 or 7 when we used to go to Dover but it was fun. Saturday night racing, then bird watching in the morning with Dad and then Sunday afternoon racing. No Sunday racing in Maryland back then. Marlboro reopened in the 90s for 2 or 3 days a year so I don't know if that really counts.

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Old 07-31-2021, 10:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augenj View Post
Hollywood Park with Harry Henson calling the races with "The flag is up" in his gravely voice in the 70's.
The blatant predictability of the fast dirt.
The Goose Girl floating around on the infield lake and walking around in the stands.
This is where I made some money and thought I knew everything about horse racing.

"The flag is up, and there they go!" I loved Harry Henson's calls. Not thoroughbreds but Hollywood Park's Friday night harness cards caused a lot of rough Saturdays for me. I lived 110 miles away, worked a day shift as a machinist and often OT was available on Saturday. I worked a lot of Saturdays on 2 hours sleep.
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inner Dirt View Post
"The flag is up, and there they go!" I loved Harry Henson's calls. Not thoroughbreds but Hollywood Park's Friday night harness cards caused a lot of rough Saturdays for me. I lived 110 miles away, worked a day shift as a machinist and often OT was available on Saturday. I worked a lot of Saturdays on 2 hours sleep.
I bet a few of those harness races too. Your schedule was rough.
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:54 PM   #15
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