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Old 08-04-2021, 07:09 PM   #76
PressThePace
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It is still there, drive by it on the way to Oaklawn. Still used for training maybe?
Yes, used as a training track. Still lots of good QH breeders in this neck of the woods. The owners of Whistle Stop Cafe, last year's All-American Futurity winner, are Sallisaw natives.
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Old 08-04-2021, 11:56 PM   #77
v j stauffer
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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.
Caliente - I fell in love with racing there as much as Del Mar. We'd go Saturday and hope to make enough to stay overnight and not have to deal with the border. GREAT race track motel right across the street. Las Campanas.

Pomona/Fairplex - Loved gambling on that bullring. Was a 1/2 mile before they expanded to 5/8th's. If you did replays on races run the first week when the horses ran back. It was like free money. Even before Martin Pedroza who IMO is the greatest bullring rider ever. There were jocks that were very special. Corey Black, David Flores, Paco Mena.

Hollywood Park -

Bay Meadows - You're right Friday night was very cool. And it was the only time the drive home to the East Bay wasn't 2 1/2 hours.

Longacres - Captain Condo!!

Ak-Sar-Ben - Called the last race ever run there. Didn't know at the time it was the last. GREAT times. Was like Oaklawn is today.

Woodlands - Called the first 5 years there. Had two separate Grandstands. One for horses. Another across the parking lot for Greyhounds.
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Old 08-05-2021, 11:46 AM   #78
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Pomona/Fairplex - Loved gambling on that bullring. Was a 1/2 mile before they expanded to 5/8th's. If you did replays on races run the first week when the horses ran back. It was like free money. Even before Martin Pedroza who IMO is the greatest bullring rider ever. There were jocks that were very special. Corey Black, David Flores, Paco Mena.

Do you think stewards have different standards for what merits a DQ on a bullring compared to a mile track? Not me, but quite a few people I ran across at Pomona felt a lot of Francisco Mena's success was due to being able to get away with things they would not allow at SA,HOL and DMR. If I recall he won at double the rate at Pomona as anywhere else.
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Old 08-05-2021, 12:27 PM   #79
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Do you think stewards have different standards for what merits a DQ on a bullring compared to a mile track? Not me, but quite a few people I ran across at Pomona felt a lot of Francisco Mena's success was due to being able to get away with things they would not allow at SA,HOL and DMR. If I recall he won at double the rate at Pomona as anywhere else.
I firmly believe stewards have different standards, depending on the size of the track. What jocks could get away with at SPT was a disqualification at AP.
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Old 08-05-2021, 01:36 PM   #80
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I distinctly remember Paco Mena getting berated by fans for a horrible ride at Fairplex, turning to the crowd and flipping everyone the bird while using a Dixie cup of water to simulate pissing along with a hip thrust while he was walking back to the jocks room.

Took lots of balls to ride that track before the expansion, a haven for jocks who were the lesser string on the major circuit.
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Old 08-05-2021, 01:59 PM   #81
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I distinctly remember Paco Mena getting berated by fans for a horrible ride at Fairplex, turning to the crowd and flipping everyone the bird while using a Dixie cup of water to simulate pissing along with a hip thrust while he was walking back to the jocks room.

Took lots of balls to ride that track before the expansion, a haven for jocks who were the lesser string on the major circuit.

Sorry I missed that. I loved the 1/2 mile track days. I worked nearby and went quite often. If I was with friends we were in the grandstands, when I was by myself I was usually in the infield.
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Old 08-06-2021, 01:42 AM   #82
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Ak-Sar-Ben
Beulah
Bowie
Calder
Centennial
Garden State
Hialeah
Lincoln
Rockingham
Santa Fe
Sportsman's
Suffolk
Woodlands
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Old 08-06-2021, 02:50 AM   #83
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So many little one to two week fair meets are gone: Solano, Kamloops (BC), Pomona (first track I visited to bet) Kia Park (BC), Sandown in Victoria (BC). Marquis Downs. MOST of them in Arizona.
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Old 08-06-2021, 08:20 AM   #84
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p.s.

La Mesa
Park Jefferson
Solano

Last edited by cnollfan; 08-06-2021 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 08-06-2021, 12:56 PM   #85
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So many little one to two week fair meets are gone: Solano, Kamloops (BC), Pomona (first track I visited to bet) Kia Park (BC), Sandown in Victoria (BC). Marquis Downs. MOST of them in Arizona.

I think the California fair circuit of 40 years ago has been cut in half or worse.
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Old 08-06-2021, 03:48 PM   #86
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Do you think stewards have different standards for what merits a DQ on a bullring compared to a mile track? Not me, but quite a few people I ran across at Pomona felt a lot of Francisco Mena's success was due to being able to get away with things they would not allow at SA,HOL and DMR. If I recall he won at double the rate at Pomona as anywhere else.
I don't think it's a different standard. The CHRB rulebook is the same at every track. However, Stewards are very aware of the additional danger involved in negotiating very tight turns. Yes Paco Mena did win at a very high rate at Pomona. As did Black, Flores and certainly Pedroza. This was a combination of having special skills on the bullring. But IMO much more that the elite riders would steer clear of the dangers and maybe only ride a Stake or two. With no Shoemaker, Pincay, McCarron, Delahoussaye opportunities were much more available.

Interestingly having worked a couple meets a Fairplex. I found the incidents of dangerous riding were fairly rare. I think it was a result of them all knowing how dangerous the bullring races can be and looking out for each other. Also the fields were shorter. Mostly 6 to 8 horses. I think the limit was 10.

I'll never believe CA Stewards would favor one rider over another. I've NEVER seen any evidence of that. Perhaps the best example of that might be Russell Baze. Everyone respected and admired him. Other riders, trainers, racing officials. But he certainly received his fair share of suspensions.
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Old 08-07-2021, 02:05 AM   #87
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Longacres with Chinook Pass
Hollywood Park with Native Diver and again Chinook Pass
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Old 08-08-2021, 12:48 PM   #88
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Here are the tracks I miss and why. I have probably been to 25 other tracks, but do not miss them.

Old Arlington---The first track I ever bet at.
Maywood---First Harness track I played.
Sportsmans---Was my favorite as I had more success here than anywhere else. Both Harness and Thoroughbred
Aurora Downs---I remember being there one New Years eve when the temp. was 15 below zero.
Washington Park---The home of my biggest DD hit.
Quad City Downs---Easiest track to win at. When they first opened no one there knew anything about handicapping.
You could get $6 pays on legitimate 1/2 bets.

Hialeah---Beautiful track Loved the Flamingos
Aksarben---A unique experience with the indoor auditorium. Nothing like it at the time.
Thunderbird Downs---Went there as I wondered why would you open a racetrack in Vegas.
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Old 08-08-2021, 03:05 PM   #89
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Bay Meadows. Home. First time 1973 with my late Father. Mutuel clerk for a short time. Wrote the notes for the program when BM went briefly to an enlarged program. Though it was home, it was a tough place to beat for me. While full-time in NoCal in order of wager success it was GGF, fairs, then BM.

Stockton. Speaking of the fairs. Went there one time but it was a gold mine for years.

Vallejo. Was times back in the day that this place was so front speed bias that I would "white out" in my program any horse that did not have speed. Many times it was as easy as a simple two horse box.

In regards to bullrings late Ron Hansen was a master.

Now when it comes to the stewards they truly treat me in a negative manner.
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Old 08-08-2021, 04:51 PM   #90
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Bay Meadows. Home. First time 1973 with my late Father. Mutuel clerk for a short time. Wrote the notes for the program when BM went briefly to an enlarged program. Though it was home, it was a tough place to beat for me. While full-time in NoCal in order of wager success it was GGF, fairs, then BM.

Stockton. Speaking of the fairs. Went there one time but it was a gold mine for years.

Vallejo. Was times back in the day that this place was so front speed bias that I would "white out" in my program any horse that did not have speed. Many times it was as easy as a simple two horse box.

In regards to bullrings late Ron Hansen was a master.

Now when it comes to the stewards they truly treat me in a negative manner.

Fairs were definitely gold mines in California before OTBs and simulcasting came around in the mid 1980's for a decent handicapper. Due to all the unschooled money wandering in you could get 5-1 on a horse that would normally be 5-2. If you had a horse the Racing Form or newspaper guys did not like you could hit some real nice prices. You could also catch horses that would take to the bullrings and beat horses they normally could not at the one mile tracks. If a person did not save forums or charts a person usually did not have access to that info.


I just went to the California Racing Fairs site, looks like there are only 4 left.
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