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Old 08-09-2021, 05:04 PM   #106
Zman179
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That is correct. Roosevelt property is majority residential, with businesses.
Liberty Bell was located in a rapidly growing area north east of Philadelphia.
The demise of Brandywine I could never get my head wrapped around.
It was a very nice place to go. Had good racing. Many of the top outfits from NJ would race there .
Liberty Bell and Brandywine ran head-to-head as business enemies and the only thing they did was put each other out of business.
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Old 08-10-2021, 12:40 AM   #107
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Lots of really fond memories in this thread.

Only one mention of Miles "Miles of Smiles" back in the day in Louisville.

Before simulcasting weekend trips to Raceway Park, Toledo and Beulah Park were routine. Raceway Park was three hours away. I'm find a Pizza Hut, get a Medium Thin and Crispy Peperoni, and work on it all of the way back to Cincy.

I've seen no mention of Hamilton, a half-mile bullring that ran both trotters and thoroughbreds during the late fifties/early sixties, on the outskirts of Cincinnati..

I remember Sportsman's Park in Cicero, Illinois, their dining room served warm sweet rolls with honey butter - outstanding.

Of all of the Florida dog tracks, Biscayne was my favorite. Very colorful, fun atmosphere, bad neighborhood. Hialeah was hallowed ground. Took the train down from Hallandale Beach Blvd.

I remember Atlantic City as having huge signs marking the distance poles, with bright neon lettering - tacky.

River Downs was my home track, back when it was a race track. No substitute for a ride to Coney Island on a ferry boat on a Saturday, lunch at the Beir Garden at Coney, walk over to RD at 1pm, with post time not until 2:15pm. Back to Coney for dinner in the cafeteria, a round of putt-putt golf, and return home, anticipating the next Saturday. I miss it

September nights at Latonia were much anticipated.

Michael Wrona also called the races at Bluegrass Downs.
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Old 08-10-2021, 11:22 AM   #108
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What was your first year going to Meadowlands?
I started going in winter 1977. I grew up in the northeast corner of Bergen County. We used to try to get there as fast as we could just to get there quicker.
Our record for the 22 mile trip door to parking space, yes we had rules, was 22 minutes. We were doing like 80 mph on the Palisades Parkway and 80/95. High school kids...What are ya gonna do
Early/mid eighties. My earliest memories are of the Beatcha/Genghis Khan rivalry and Duenna's Hambletonian (I think 1982?). Durkin called the races then. We went all the time in high school- then to Yonkers when Meadowlands would close after the Hambo. Our record to the Meadowlands was 17 minutes from Wayne.
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Old 08-11-2021, 06:28 PM   #109
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Mine, in no particular order:

Woodlands, Kansas City, KS
Balmoral, Crete, IL
Maywood, Melrose Park, IL
Dairyland, Kenosha, WI
St. Croix Meadows, Hudson, WI
Blue Bonnets (Hippodrome de Montreal), Montreal, QC
Valley Race Park, Harlingen, TX
Great Lakes Downs, Muskegon, MI

Balmoral has been repurposed, I'm not sure what the operating status is of Valley Race Park, but the others have fallen to the wrecking ball, including three that were built in the 1980's or later (Woodlands and the two Wisconsin greyhound tracks on the list).
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Old 08-13-2021, 10:24 AM   #110
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Happened to be in Montreal (and Blue Bonnets) when it looked like Real Quiet was going to win the triple crown. The Canadian horse ' Victory Gallop' won before an appreciative crowd. Sorry it's in the history books.
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Old 08-18-2021, 05:11 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by BMustang View Post

River Downs was my home track, back when it was a race track. No substitute for a ride to Coney Island on a ferry boat on a Saturday, lunch at the Beir Garden at Coney, walk over to RD at 1pm, with post time not until 2:15pm. Back to Coney for dinner in the cafeteria, a round of putt-putt golf, and return home, anticipating the next Saturday. I miss it
LOVED reading this memory!
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Old 08-18-2021, 08:29 PM   #112
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Didn't see these two on list:

Bandera Downs, Bandera, Texas

San Juan Downs, Farmington, New Mexico (Now SunRay Park)

Miss my hometown The Downs at Santa Fe the most. Also, Hollywood Park. Made many trips there; met Woody Stephens at a book signing. Those were the days.
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Old 08-18-2021, 09:07 PM   #113
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Didn't see these two on list:

Bandera Downs, Bandera, Texas

San Juan Downs, Farmington, New Mexico (Now SunRay Park)

Miss my hometown The Downs at Santa Fe the most. Also, Hollywood Park. Made many trips there; met Woody Stephens at a book signing. Those were the days.
Amazing to me how often I think about Hollywood Park.

Going on 8 years since we closed.

You'd think I'd get over it and move on.

Not like it ruined my life. If it stays open I probably don't do as much Stewarding as I have.

And obviously Oaklawn is a pretty darn good place to land.

I suppose it's tough because how often does any of us truly get to fulfill our life's desire?

From 16 years old all I ever wanted was to be the announcer at Hollywood Park.

I certainly appreciate and know how blessed I was to have 13 years.

Officer, Cesario, Ghostzapper, Lava Man, Azeri, Queenie. What a run.

Still I keep thinking, even though I knew it was coming and I understood why.

How in the **** could HOLYYWOOD freakin PARK go out of business?

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Old 08-18-2021, 09:42 PM   #114
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I remember that booming voice of yours well at Hol. This was the track that made me think I could actually make some money betting horses.
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Old 08-18-2021, 11:30 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by v j stauffer View Post
Amazing to me how often I think about Hollywood Park.

Going on 8 years since we closed.

You'd think I'd get over it and move on.

Not like it ruined my life. If it stays open I probably don't do as much Stewarding as I have.

And obviously Oaklawn is a pretty darn good place to land.

I suppose it's tough because how often does any of us truly get to fulfill our life's desire?

From 16 years old all I ever wanted was to be the announcer at Hollywood Park.

I certainly appreciate and know how blessed I was to have 13 years.

Officer, Cesario, Ghostzapper, Lava Man, Azeri, Queenie. What a run.

Still I keep thinking, even though I knew it was coming and I understood why.

How in the **** could HOLYYWOOD freakin PARK go out of business?

I started visiting Hollywood in the '80s. Saw Perrault defeat John Henry in the Gold Cup, saw the great Landaluce and was there for the Hollywood Juvenile to see New Mexico's own Bold Ego, who ran third. Always stayed next door at the Airport Park Hotel, where Bill Michaels and Jerry Antonucci gave their seminars. And, of course, I always tried to attend the Gordon Jones seminar at the track, who was always accompanied by his daughter (can't recall her name). Like you, can't believe it's gone.
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Old 08-19-2021, 12:01 AM   #116
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La Mesa Park
Santa Fe Downs
Sportsman Park
Hollywood Park
Latonia

River Downs
Beulah Park and Darby Downs

Hazel Park
Detroit Race Course
Commodore Downs
Erie Downs
Wheeling Downs
Florida Downs

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Old 08-19-2021, 12:38 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by v j stauffer View Post
Amazing to me how often I think about Hollywood Park.

Going on 8 years since we closed.

You'd think I'd get over it and move on.

Not like it ruined my life. If it stays open I probably don't do as much Stewarding as I have.

And obviously Oaklawn is a pretty darn good place to land.

I suppose it's tough because how often does any of us truly get to fulfill our life's desire?

From 16 years old all I ever wanted was to be the announcer at Hollywood Park.

I certainly appreciate and know how blessed I was to have 13 years.

Officer, Cesario, Ghostzapper, Lava Man, Azeri, Queenie. What a run.

Still I keep thinking, even though I knew it was coming and I understood why.

How in the **** could HOLYYWOOD freakin PARK go out of business?

Hollywood Park. My all-time favorite Horse, Precisionist...vs Greinton. What a Jockey colony then. Those were GREAT days...just following it from afar in Kentucky. I cannot imagine how great is would have been to actually be there.
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Old 08-19-2021, 01:33 PM   #118
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Not many...

Hollywood Park... so great to see the great jockeys and trainers -- my local track at the time was Delta Downs, very few great jockeys or trainers so I was in awe at Hollywood.

Trinity Meadows... interesting place, you had to buy a membership card to purchase beer.

Evangeline Downs (sorta)... I went to the original track, then they renamed it the "New Evangeline Downs" and I went there. I haven't been since it moved to Opelousas.

I live near the former sight of Arlington Downs -- I didn't notice anyone mention it, it was before my time so I never went there. It was in the vicinity of today's entertainment area, where the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers play and the amusement park and water park are.

Someone mentioned Jefferson Downs. I remember watching it from Delta. It was a bullring and they would run quite a few races over 1 1 /2 miles, sometimes over 2 miles. The view was from pretty high and I could never figure out how many laps they were going or when the last lap began. lol

Speaking of Delta, I would tell some of what I saw there, but nobody would believe me.

Mr. Stauffer, I appreciate your contributions both to this thread and to horse racing. You, sir, are a legend. And that's quite an impressive list of tracks you went to and worked at.
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Old 08-19-2021, 06:17 PM   #119
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I thought The Forum, right next door would meet the wrecking ball long before Hollywood Park. I think one of the strangest moments I ever saw at a track was at Hollywood Park. Two turn race for low end claimers in the early 80's. I was a rail bird on the finish line watching with binoculars, crossing the finish line Laffit Pincay, and a rider whose name I forget pulled their horses up almost immediately crossing the finish line, both well beaten. Both dismount, ran toward each other and started fighting, rolling around in the dirt entering the far turn. Quickly a group of guys ran over and yanked them apart.


Watching the replay I did not see anything major that was worth trading punches over, the cameras quickly panned away from the fight before you could see it on the replay, pretty sure most of the fans did not even know it happened.

Last edited by Inner Dirt; 08-19-2021 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 08-19-2021, 09:10 PM   #120
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If I could go back in time to visit one track it would probably be Hialeah. In the early to mid 70s was the first time I ever set foot in Florida, my parents were still married then and took me down to Hollywood Florida to visit some relatives. I was still much too young to go to the tracks but there was always this magic in the air with my mom and others in our family when it came to horseracing and that enthusiasm rubbed off on me.

Except for the passing of a relative I never really made it back down to Florida again for an actual vacation until I had kids of my own. My wife and I took them to Disney World. Hialeah was long finished by then and the kids would've been too young anyway. I do think back though to the 70s and the Florida racing scene as if it were a magical time to be a gambler. Heck even the greyhounds were everywhere. I don't know where the time has gone. Seems like it's on fast-forward and covid ain't helping matters.
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