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Old 08-01-2021, 05:22 PM   #46
jefftune
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In my neck of the woods there was Commodore Downs. Occasionally we would travel to Waterford Park (now Mountaineer) and then afterwards go to harness racing at Wheeling Downs (now a dog track I believe).
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Old 08-01-2021, 05:29 PM   #47
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"Where it all began, where it is today".
If Roosevelt was still around, I'd probably still be splitting my time between harness and flats.
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Old 08-01-2021, 05:41 PM   #48
PhantomOnTour
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Jefferson Downs

On the shores of Lake Pontchartrain just outside New Orleans, where the great John Henry broke his maiden.

Spent many summer nights there with my father. He would make small bets for me...hit my first "big score" there...an exacta and win bet that paid a juicy $52. Man, I thought I was rich.


I still remember the horse...My Mercedes
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Old 08-01-2021, 06:02 PM   #49
Zman179
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The closed track I miss the most without question is Roosevelt Raceway. I do a lot of shopping in that area and to this day, I reminisce about being there with the most unique tote board ever made. Second mention would be Atlantic City. I remember when Trevor Denman would call the races there at night between the California meets.

Other closed tracks I’ve been to:

(Flats/QH)
Rockingham
Suffolk
Northampton
Great Barrington
Suffolk Meadows
Garden State
Atlantic City
Sportsman’s
Calder
Bay Meadows
Hollywood
Fairplex (I missed the last ever race by five minutes after getting stuck in traffic from Dodger Stadium.)

(Trots)
Roosevelt
Blue Bonnets
Québec City
Connaught Park/Aylmer
Maywood (made my biggest ever score here)

(Dogs)
Wonderland
Raynham-Taunton
Plainfield
Shoreline Star
Derby Lane
Palm Beach
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Old 08-01-2021, 06:06 PM   #50
illinoisbred
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Didn't Blum wind up as the Chief Steward at AP? Hartack was not a friendly man.
I don't recall. I thought he returned to New Jersey. Hartack was a steward here for a while.
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Old 08-01-2021, 06:25 PM   #51
alhattab
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If Roosevelt was still around, I'd probably still be splitting my time between harness and flats.
I play almost exclusively flats now but tarted playing at The Meadowlands harness races when in junior high. We used to hit Yonkers all the time- not too tough a ride from North Jersey. But only went to Roosevelt once! Watched the channel 9 show religiously
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Old 08-01-2021, 06:32 PM   #52
Mick
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Things I remember as a kid going to "old" Arlington in the early 60's. Bill Hartack,would never acknowledge my "hellos" and I usually got a cold stare. Funny the things you remember from way back.
I have two stories about Bill Hartack both second hand information but from good sources.

My father told me he always got a good ride from Bill Hartack. He said that he bet a horse to WS at Arlington Park and on the turn, he could see the horse backing up and wanting to quit. He crumbled his tickets in hand but kept watching. He said that Hartack never eased up, kept encouraging the horse with hands, feet and occasional whip, and along the rail he managed to get back up for third and my father had to scramble to find his show ticket.

Just earlier this year, I was at Fair Grounds along the rail and a man who once was a jockey and I started chatting. We spoke about Cajun jockeys and how they once ruled New Orleans, though he thought it was overdone, he did mention one jockey that got tossed by those Cajun boys. I told him my story about Hartack and he related his story.

He said that Hartack was shunned by other jockeys and I asked why. He said there was a rumor that Hartack was gay, and he wasn't allowed to be around the rest of the jockeys.

I trust my fathers story implicitly and read a book where a section was devoted to Hartack. The other story had a ring of truth to it, though who knows if it is true? Not me.
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:57 PM   #53
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1.Was staying near San Jose during the Christmas holiday.

Took the train to bay meadows. Had a great time.

2. Loved the meadowlands during the late 70s made it out to Roosevelt but once.

Got off the train in westbury and bused to the track. Those were the days.

Allan
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:59 PM   #54
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In my neck of the woods there was Commodore Downs. Occasionally we would travel to Waterford Park (now Mountaineer) and then afterwards go to harness racing at Wheeling Downs (now a dog track I believe).

Is this the Wheeling Downs you speak of? One of the non west coast places I have been.


https://www.wheelingisland.com/
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:15 PM   #55
Copyroomjim
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A few I went to and don't miss

Miles Park, Louisville, KY

Cahokia Downs, Collinsville, IL

Bluegrass Downs, Paducah, KY

Audubon Raceway, Henderson, KY
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:29 PM   #56
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I'm fortunate that the 4 tracks local to me that I've been to are still racing but the one that I wish I got to visit before it closed was Roosevelt Raceway. I was only 9 months old when they closed for good. Ironically, my in-laws live at the senior community that was built on the grounds. All of the buildings are named after Thoroughbred and Harness tracks and the clubhouse building has a bunch of Roosevelt memorabilia in it from the tracks heyday.
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Old 08-01-2021, 10:22 PM   #57
v j stauffer
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I don't recall. I thought he returned to New Jersey. Hartack was a steward here for a while.
Walter Blum was a Steward when I was at GP. Along with Charlie Camac and Tommy Trotter. Jeff Noe and Kevin Scheen also worked the stand when I was there.
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:47 PM   #58
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Some impressively long lists here, or maybe depressingly long should be the word.
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Old 08-02-2021, 12:09 AM   #59
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Some impressively long lists here, or maybe depressingly long should be the word.
Good point, Inner Dirt.
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Old 08-02-2021, 02:02 PM   #60
Henry Gondorff
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Greenwood racetrack in Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood was memorable for me as the track where I was first introduced to the sport.
The thing that impressed me was how I felt like everything was within my grasp. Once inside the gates I could quickly get my hands on a newspaper and racing form. There was a barbershop, a shoeshine stand, and a gift shop where they sold the Bloodhorse magazine. There was food and coffee and even a raucous tavern that reaked of spilled beer. There was also the lure of free money at the tote windows. The paddock was only a short walk outside giving relief from the smoke filled grandstand. You were close enough to whiff the horse lineament and hear and see the horse’s wet nostrils while snorting. The track had tight turns and from the first row of the grandstand you felt like you were on top of the horses. You could hear whips cracking and hear jockeys voices of encouragement from the top of the stretch. It was a great introduction to the sport and gambling. Good times.

It closed a few years before the internet came along and changed everything.
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