14 July 2008

A Day At The Races

I still prefer playing from home, but I just needed to go to the track yesterday.

A few pictures from Prince of Wales day at Fort Erie. Thanks go out to Jeff "Hollywood" Packer for sending me the pictures:

Harlem Rocker in the paddock before the POW:

I don't see too many empty seats as the crowd anticipates the big race:

A very happy Eibar Coa doesn't seem to realize which hand has the trophy and which hand has the bottle of water so he displays both of them proudly on his way to the jocks room:

This dude looks like he can gamble:

Fort Erie has the feel of a racetrack. Especially on Prince of Wales day where the crowds are large (at least in today's standards). I always felt that since Woodbine got slots, that the feel there got a lot colder (like a state of the art business atmosphere). The same isn't true of Fort Erie.

The people seemed to be enjoying themselves from what I saw. And being a small town, friendly familiar faces are everywhere.

I watched the race from the clubhouse side (note: there used to be clubhouse admission way back when, now there is no admission or parking fees at Fort Erie. The way it should be at all tracks.) on the ground level. Most of the race I watched the big screen. I'm not that big on watching races live anyway. I'm so accustomed of watching races on TV or the computer.

Still, I wish they would open the upper grandstand again. Screw the idiotic idea of a theme park and hotel and condominiums. The upper grandstand reopening should be Fort Erie's number one renovation.

I couldn't hear the call live very well, but afterwards watched a replay from home. Announcer Peter Kyte loves to anticipate the race (and he usually does a great job of it). Unfortunately, his ESP didn't work well when, at the top of the stretch he said, "the favourites are beaten." He got it half right at least.

I have to add I'm glad I bet on the computer before I went to the track. The lineups many times were beyond brutal. Here you have a day when many new people come to the track for the first time, or perhaps the 2nd or 3rd time, and these people had to endure abnormally long waits just to have the right to lose their money.

Lots of chalk came in. I noticed it was going to be a chalky card and bet very low on it (just $280). I picked 7 first choice winners, including 6 straight from race 4 through 9. I don't remember ever doing that in my life. I don't bet flat though, so I wound up hitting piddly Pick 3's and a Win 4. In the Win 4, I invested $18, I could have gotten away with investing $1 and cashing the way it turned out.

My big hit for the day came in the Prince of Wales. Besides a $16 Pick 3 bet (2X2X4), which I cashed ($27) after the tenth race, my only other bet in the race was
a $4 box of Harlem Rocker and East End Tap, and another $4 straight exactor with Harlem Rocker on top. With the scratch of my original selection Took The Time, I decided to throw Not Bourbon out so that the race could become worth betting for me.

I did bet $6 on track. In the last race super.

All in all, I made around $95. Pretty ugly considering 7 first choice winner. The triactor wagers I made in most races were my downfall. I didn't cash any of them.

Before I left for the track, I thought I heard on the Score that there was going to be an important announcement made regarding the future of Fort Erie racetrack with respect to the government of Ontario. The only news that I heard on the proposed project is that there is a miniature model of the project sitting in the dining room.
I wonder how much of the $2 million feasibility budget the model cost:)

I did hear some news/rumour. Agent David O'Connor left Fort Erie yesterday morning to book mounts at Woodbine for jockeys Constant Montpellier and Dean Deverell. No word on who is going to take over Kris Robinson's and Christopher Griffith's book.

Bob Summer's article on the Prince Of Wales, including a short video.

I'll be mentioning more about this in later posts, but HANA (Horseplayers Association of North America) has a web site up and running.
It was started by a bunch of horseplayers who met at the Pace Advantage Forums and even though the membership is small right now: "HANA members represent tens of millions in yearly racing handle."

Read HANA's Mission statement. And by all means if you are a horseplayer (not so much a fan, but a horseplayer), you should join us. It doesn't cost anything.

Instructions on becoming a member is located at the top of the right sidebar of the website.


Anonymous said...

I don't live in my past---but it was pure enjoyment to be up top at the Fort, feeling the wind off the river, smelling the burgers cooking, looking out back and watching the parking lot fill up.
All the while handicapping the next race. Sure would be nice to be able tp get up there again someday.
Thanks for the on track POW report.

Gene Kershner said...

Super post...maybe next year we can hook up. How many people do you think were there...I was guessing 2,500-3,000 not that I'm good at that sort of thing!


Anonymous said...

6000 at least at the fort this year,but last year were more.

Anonymous said...

I'm terrible at counting people too. But 6000 sounds high. I have no idea how many were in the casino though.

Anonymous said...

I was in the casino as well .because it is air conditioned and you can bet at two self serve machine'si stated 6000 inclusive.