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Old 08-02-2021, 02:20 PM   #61
statepierback
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Hollywood Park
Grew up in the sand playground near Native Driver's resting spot.

Caliente
Hit my first ever Trifecta there.

Fairplex
Experienced some fun times after the races many moons ago.
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Old 08-02-2021, 03:46 PM   #62
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Some impressively long lists here, or maybe depressingly long should be the word.
100% true statement.
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Old 08-02-2021, 03:51 PM   #63
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I remember the couple times I went to Caliente back when Michael Wrona was calling the races there. Something about seeing wild animals in the infield that made it a very interesting place! Now the grandstand and greyhound tracks are still there, but there is now a soccer (fútbol) stadium where the far turn used to be.

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Old 08-02-2021, 04:03 PM   #64
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I remember the couple times I went to Caliente back when Michael Wrona was calling the races there. Something about seeing wild animals in the infield that made it a very interesting place! Now the grandstand and greyhound tracks are still there, but there is now a soccer (fútbol) stadium where the far turn used to be.
I didn't know Michael Wrona ever called the races at Caliente? Are you sure? Seems to me like that track was closed before Michael ever came to the United States. I think he's a contributor here. Perhaps he'll see this and respond.
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Old 08-02-2021, 04:48 PM   #65
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If my memory serves me correctly Caliente shut down horse racing a couple years before I moved from San Clemente to Riverside, so that would have to be 1992-1993.
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Old 08-02-2021, 07:04 PM   #66
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This trip down memory lane certainly reminds me that I am getting old.


Caliente - the only reason to go there was to bet at their foreign book


Pomona/Fairplex -Only went there a few times. The meet was sandwiched between the Del Mar and Oak Tree meetings so it was a good meet to avoid to get some R & R.


Hollywood Park - For some reason HP was my best track for betting. Loved the Friday night racing.


Bay Meadows - Loved the Friday night racing there, too.


Longacres - Only went there 1 day, closing day for the track. It seemed like it was about an hour and a half between races but all-in-all probably one of the funnest days I have spent at a racetrack.


Santa Fe Downs - My brother was getting married in Albuquerque so couldn't resist the temptation to drive up to Santa Fe.


Centennial - Was able stop there while on on a post-college graduation trip. Don't remember much other than drinking great quantities of beer.


Aksarben - Been to Nebraska many times visiting in-laws. Probably the nicest most pleasant people I have ever experienced working at a racetrack. The tellers would thank me every time I made a bet.


Lincoln Race Course - Learned here that a racing form was worthless. Just follow the tote.


The Woodlands - Can't say anything memorable about this track.


Jefferson Downs - a second track visited on my post-college graduation trip. Can remember a 2 hour delay in racing due to a big thunderstorm that I thought would surely cancel the card. A very social atmosphere where betting horses seemed secondary.
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Old 08-02-2021, 09:09 PM   #67
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As a kid, my grandfather took me every year to see the horses run at Three County Fair in Northampton. Apparently I bore witness to the 'down years' before they shut it down, but I didn't know any better, playing the horses while at the fair was great fun. It still seemed like pretty good crowds to me, so I can only imagine what it was like in its prime. The fair itself still exists, it hosts demolition derbies, horse shows, concerts, etc. It was a quaint place to take in some racing-- good memories there.
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Old 08-02-2021, 09:40 PM   #68
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I didn't know Michael Wrona ever called the races at Caliente? Are you sure? Seems to me like that track was closed before Michael ever came to the United States. I think he's a contributor here. Perhaps he'll see this and respond.
I found an old Tweet from Michael regarding it. I have to admit that I thought he was calling a whole meet, but he only called a couple days and I happened to catch one of those days. The exterior sound system however was the absolute pits. LOL

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Old 08-02-2021, 10:22 PM   #69
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I worked at Blue Ribbon for a short time in the mid 80's. They ran a lot of TB races back then.

Left one off my list

Garden State*
Blue Ribbon Downs was located where I grew up. Raced nearly every day of the year in a town with a population of 8,000 people. It was just run into the ground, really. It was already floundering when the tribal casinos gained a foothold. The general manager was murdered in his house (on site). Lord only knows of the corruption going on. Could have been a gem if managed properly.
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Old 08-03-2021, 12:10 AM   #70
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Hollywood Park
Fairplex

What is weird, I moved to the Bay Area a few years ago, and would drive by what was the defunct Solano Race Track in Vallejo that you could see right off the freeway. In the last couple years or so, they demolished the grandstand and any remnant left of the bullring itself. I'm sad I never got to see it in its racing days, which ended back in 2009.
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Old 08-03-2021, 12:43 PM   #71
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Blue Ribbon Downs was located where I grew up. Raced nearly every day of the year in a town with a population of 8,000 people. It was just run into the ground, really. It was already floundering when the tribal casinos gained a foothold. The general manager was murdered in his house (on site). Lord only knows of the corruption going on. Could have been a gem if managed properly.
It is still there, drive by it on the way to Oaklawn. Still used for training maybe?
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Old 08-03-2021, 04:20 PM   #72
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As a kid, my grandfather took me every year to see the horses run at Three County Fair in Northampton. Apparently I bore witness to the 'down years' before they shut it down, but I didn't know any better, playing the horses while at the fair was great fun. It still seemed like pretty good crowds to me, so I can only imagine what it was like in its prime. The fair itself still exists, it hosts demolition derbies, horse shows, concerts, etc. It was a quaint place to take in some racing-- good memories there.
This is my #1 All-Time Favorite racing venue!!! Unfortunately 2005 was their last year of racing, and it would take a miracle for racing to ever return.

Not sure what year was the first time I visited. Perhaps 1997? Initially I was only able to go up for 1 weekend. Shortly thereafter I made it a top priority to be there every single racing day. For a few years they even added a 3rd weekend of racing (making a total of 10 days). Ah the racing crowds, 4-H booths with loaded baked potatoes, the $5 Italian sausages sold at the far-end of the racetrack, the evening oxen pull contests, and going thru the underground tunnel to watch the races up close from the infield. Then there was the makeshift simulcast area where one would always find some very interesting characters. And remember the under-grandstand wagering booths were one could look thru to the back walls where someone had recorded the daily wagering handles for each race day over the past 15 years or so. Finally, an old fashion chalk board on the one side of the grandstand entrance on which the day's scratches were written out. After the day's racing card the routine was to drive up to the Hinsdale NH dog track for evening T-B simulcasting, a delicious bowl of clam chowder and nachos grande, and a few live dog races if they were running.

Were you there any time the infamous Zippy Chippy raced? In one of his best races (before he got even older and slower, Zippy at Northampton almost graduated from Maiden, losing by about 3-6 inches.
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Old 08-03-2021, 09:29 PM   #73
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OK, here are the horseracing tracks that I have been to during live racing that are basically defunct as we speak:

Thoroughbred/QH tracks:
AZ --> Duncan, Flagstaff, St. Johns, Safford, Douglas
CA --> Solano, Bay Meadows, Hollywood Park, Fairplex
FL --> Hialeah, Calder (Gulfstream West)
ID --> Les Boise, Sandy Downs, Ruppert
KS --> Anthony, Eureka
MD --> Marlboro
MA --> Suffolk, Great Barrington, Northampton, Brockton
MI --> Great Lakes Downs, Mount Pleasant Meadows, Hazel Park
MT --> Western Montana Fair (Missoula), Kalispell
NE --> Lincoln (older version not to be confused with newer version on a different site)
NH --> Rockingham
NJ --> Garden State, Atlantic City
OH --> Beulah, River Downs (not Belterra, which is on a slightly different site)
OK --> Blue Ribbon Downs
SD --> Brown County Fair
TX --> Manor Downs
WA --> Walla Walla, Waitsburg, Dayton
Canada --> Northlands Park, Stampede Park, Kin Park, Sunflower Downs, Desert Park

Harness:
OH --> Lisbon
ME --> Scarborough Downs
VA --> Oak Ridge Estates

While not every track can be your most favorite, those bolded above had special appeal.
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Old 08-03-2021, 10:10 PM   #74
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This is my #1 All-Time Favorite racing venue!!! Unfortunately 2005 was their last year of racing, and it would take a miracle for racing to ever return.

Not sure what year was the first time I visited. Perhaps 1997? Initially I was only able to go up for 1 weekend. Shortly thereafter I made it a top priority to be there every single racing day. For a few years they even added a 3rd weekend of racing (making a total of 10 days). Ah the racing crowds, 4-H booths with loaded baked potatoes, the $5 Italian sausages sold at the far-end of the racetrack, the evening oxen pull contests, and going thru the underground tunnel to watch the races up close from the infield. Then there was the makeshift simulcast area where one would always find some very interesting characters. And remember the under-grandstand wagering booths were one could look thru to the back walls where someone had recorded the daily wagering handles for each race day over the past 15 years or so. Finally, an old fashion chalk board on the one side of the grandstand entrance on which the day's scratches were written out. After the day's racing card the routine was to drive up to the Hinsdale NH dog track for evening T-B simulcasting, a delicious bowl of clam chowder and nachos grande, and a few live dog races if they were running.

Were you there any time the infamous Zippy Chippy raced? In one of his best races (before he got even older and slower, Zippy at Northampton almost graduated from Maiden, losing by about 3-6 inches.
Mine too...but it would be more than a miracle to race there again, they built exhibition buildings over a part of the backstretch. That is when you know the fair board wants to move on---even worse than when they sell the rails or starting gate.
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Old 08-03-2021, 10:20 PM   #75
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Anthony Fair (Greyhounds and Horses on same card!)
Apache County Fair (St. Johns, AZ)
Atlantic City
Bay Meadows
Cochise County Fair (Douglas, AZ)
Eureka Downs
Exhibition Park (Calgary, AB)
Fort Tuthill Downs (Flagstaff, AZ)
Gateway Downs (Holly, CO)
Gila County Fair (Globe, AZ)
Graham County Fair (Safford, AZ)
Greenlee County Fair (Duncan, AZ)
Great Barrington Fair
Hualapai Downs (Kingman, AZ)
Humboldt County Fair (Winnemucca, NV)
Les Bois
Lincoln (Original)
Marias County Fair (Shelby, MT)
Marshfield Fair
MetraPark (Billings MT)
Navajo County Fair (Holbrook, AZ)
Northampton
Northlands Park
Northwest Montana Fair (Kalispell, MT)
Rochester Fair (Harness)
Suffolk Downs
Western Montana Fair (Missoula, MT)
Yuma County Fair (Yuma, AZ)
Geez I forgot a few...
Brockton (MA)
Dayton (WA)
Playfair (Spokane, WA)
Waitsburg (WA)
Walla Walla (WA)
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