Friday, April 9, 2010

Santa Anita Race Track

As Kentucky Derby approaches in the homeland, I was in the mood to see the ponies run. For many years in my youth, my Dad worked at Churchill Downs, so I went pretty regularly to see the races. My Mom would take my little brother and me, and she would let us pick the horses then make our bets. We went with the coolest names and usually did fairly well.

Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia is a closer alternative than Louisville, and it was good to be back at the track. Because it was a “Free Friday” promotion, admission and box seats were free. That meant I was in the hoity-toity seats in the shade, with the monitor to watch the races up close and personally. Dad always got us into the boxes, but the monitor was a new feature!

Being a low-risk taker with my limited funds, I went with $2 bets to show. My “winners” were Ida of March, Sea Rascal, Magic Lantern, and Dark Islander, all selected by their names. My only “loser” was Uncle Jeep – inspired by my red Liberty – but my winnings covered that loss.

Between races, it was cool to walk the grounds and see the Seabiscuit statue, take a looksie at the horses and jockeys gearing up for the next race, and check out the crowd. It was also interesting to watch the logistics of the races. In the picture you see they're running on the grass, which was a totally different set-up than running on the regular track. That's Dark Islander pulling off the second place finish on the grass. Yes, entertainment in all directions.

And they’re off! Sorry for the short notice, but Santa Anita’s season ends on April 18, then Hollywood Park in Inglewood kicks off on April 23. Pick your track and pick your horse, because it’s a guaranteed good time!

Click here to go to Santa Anita's Web site.

Click here to go to Hollywood Park's Web site.

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