21 August 2008

I Found A Few Queen's Plate Programs From Yesteryear

I knew I had some old programs somewhere. They were hiding in a closet. Queen's Plate programs from 1959, 1960, 1962, and 1963. I know I have the Northern Dancer program from 1964 too, and I think I know where it is, but I'm too lazy to dig for it right now.

I was born in 1961, so I didn't collect these programs firsthand. I am missing the 1961 program though. Blue Light won that year. The name had nothing to do with the beer.

So how did I get my paws on these programs? I used to sell Racing Forms at Woodbine and Greenwood when I was in my teens to early 20's (my great uncle had the concession rights). Actually just before I was a teen, in 1973, I sold them prior to the first race on Secretariat Day. I wound up watching the race in the dining room (my mother had a table there).

When form guys came in from selling, we would go to the "program room." "Pinky" ran the program sales. Always had a cigar in his mouth. He seemed all business, and I don't think he bet. It took me what it seemed like years just to talk to the guy. Eventually, I got the nerve to ask him for a few programs that were stashed away under the counter (they were all Queen's Plate programs). I don't know why he was saving them. I think old unsold programs were usually just eventually trashed. But maybe he just couldn't get himself to throw these ones out. I took one of each. To be honest, they didn't mean much to me back then, but I wound up saving them.
People at the track were characters back then. Working for Pinky back then were guys with names like Philly (his brother), Nookie, and Herbie (actually, Herbie is now the main owner of California Stables. He had the Daily Star concession at the track as well for many years. Who would have known you can get rich selling programs and newspapers?

I don't think I ever found out Pinky, Philly, or Nookie's real names.

CLICK TO ENLARGE The program on the right is a very familiar one. I'm sure they used the same cover throughout much of the 60's. This one is from 1963. The one with the Queen is dated 1960:

Interestingly, the only exotic bets that existed back in the early 60s was one daily double (and if you didn't bet it by 10 minutes to post in the first, you were shut out) and one quinella. The quinella was really an exactor. Click and enlarge the rules to see what I mean (it looks like the track had the option to allow the bet to either be exactor-like or quinella-like):

One reason people kept coming back was that the track didn't get all your money most of the time, because betting was pretty much restricted to win, place, and show.

I tried to find track takeout info, but none of the programs printed that. I'm pretty sure it was around 12-14% back then, if memory serves correctly.

I'm reading Steven Crist's book "Exotic Wagering," and it is amazing how young most exotic bets really are. In the first Breeder's Cup, they put a minimum on exactor bets at $5, because the powers that be wanted to save the bettor from themselves. In other words, they wanted to sway the people who couldn't afford to get wiped out from exactor bets from playing them.
Nowadays, the powers just don't care. Not only are there dime minimums in many jurisdictions, but the takeout rates for many exotic bets are unconscionably high.

When was the last time Jen Morrison made the morning line of a horse 1-5. I'm sure Jen wasn't the one who made the odds on Victoria Park in 1960:) Check the purse out in the 8th race too(less than $2000). That is what Woodbine would be giving out without slots today (OK, I'm exaggerating a little):

How dare they "shakedown" Sadler's barn? Doesn't matter if they found all kinds of illegal substances or not. (sarcasm off)

They should shakedown just about every trainer who hits at around 22% and higher. No trainer is that good, I don't care what his or her excuse is.

Religious trainer won't race his horses on Saturdays, no matter what is at stake. I didn't know that the Seventh-day Adventists had their Sabbath Day on the same day as the Jews (Saturday). Doesn't this guy know that God Is For Suckers?

Will Fort Erie end up on this list?

NY backing off increasing takeout on bets made with NY state on out of state tracks. Still going ahead with their moronic 1% increase on NYRA tracks. We'll see how that works out for them. I won't bet a NYRA track, so they lost me.

Shizuka will make her lifetime debut today at Woodbine in the first race. Why care? She is the first foal of Ginger Gold. Remember her? She won the Oaks and wound up with over $1 million in earnings.
5 and a half will probably be too short for her, but she is worth watching.

Spirit of Seattle should be real tough in the 5th at Woodbine today with Chantal up. How about Dubai Gold in the 6th? At Ellis Park today, To Order should take the first. Yikes has a great shot in the 4th and Annie Dugan will be tough to beat in the 5th. Tomorrow at Woodbine on the turf in the last, I like slight longshot, Agon Bon.

Harness Racing Blog has a neat post up where they have run a program to display words most used on certain blogs.

Looks like the my most popular words are "race" "track" and "takeout." Who would have guessed that:)


Anonymous said...

Once again I have to comment on the clown who is making selections here...Five picks and not a winner to be had!!! My blind dog could do better!!!

Anonymous said...

Besides Agon Bon, tomorrow, I like Bear It's True at 3-5 in the first, and Do It Anyway in the 7th.

O for 5 qualifies me to take over Bannon's job. And I can easily be a handicapper on The Score as well.

Anonymous said...

Great post Cangamble. Do you have any old Greenwood programs to scan? What about race replays from Greenwood? There isn't a single one on youtube. I have only one program from Greenwood, one of their final days in 93.

Brings back great memories of when I was a kid with my dad.

Anonymous said...

I have numerous racing programs from the 60's and 70's, including Secretariat's Derby, also the Racing Form from Northern Dancer's Queen's Plate...Do these have any monetary value?

Anonymous said...

Those old racimg form's have more value than you think,if ever a real cold canadian night passes through and your fire place is lacking wood,chuck em in!

Anonymous said...

Did you take the last train to clarksville today? Ah yes Chad Beckon and Cory Clark are tying the knot today! Best Wishes !

Anonymous said...

I'm looking for August 11,1920 Fort Erie and October 12,1920 Kenilworth programs. Will pay in Can$.


Anonymous said...

Chantal on the turf. AGAIN!!!

Anonymous said...

I collect some Cdn programs, like the old Plate ones, but have no idea of value. I know Derby programs have value. I buy Plate programs if I like them, will pay 10-20 depending...