08/25/2009 11:59PM

Dark Day 4: 8/25/09

Mike C More than 1 year ago
What no visit to SPAC for Bruce?? If you are still in need of good Chinese make a trip down to YIP's right outside of Albany (actually Renselear)
don Reed More than 1 year ago
Since Harvey Pack has "hit the board,", here's a cautionary tale of how not to end one's broadcasting career: HP - God bless his soul - had reached the end of the line as the NYRA TV guy. (In the tribute montage in his final program, the photo of HP at age 20 in his class "A" Army uniform was & still is my favorite.) Monmouth Park - back in the days when they actually knew how to get on TV, imagine that, & then the world was discovered to be round - quickly hired him as a color commentator. His first MP on-air appearance, I believe this to be correct, was also his last. Pumped up, he started by telling us how important racing had been to him for so many years. "OK. Not bad. And?" He choose to illustrate his point by telling the story of how, despite being hit in the head by a screaming golf ball while on a course in the morning prior to a big race day, he checked into a hospital - & then somehow still made it in time to attend the first race at Belmont. "Well, what's wrong with that?" "Well...he provided every gruesome verb, every single detail of the blood..." [The Driver & I are now cringing in our seats - barely able to continue watching this meltdown - silently pleading, "Please! Harvey - Stop!"] Well, stop he did not. This went on for a full three minutes. You could have passed your medical exams after having listened to just that one broadcast. And that was the end of Pack TV at Monmouth Park.
Tom D. More than 1 year ago
Steve, I hit the harness track simulcast room Sunday. My tab was half of what I had been paying at the track. I'm 43 and was by far the youngest person I saw all day. Kind of reminded me of a library.
Thomas Raymond Kuzdal More than 1 year ago
Maybe the 5:1 ratio of slots-to-horse players is being repeated at too many tracks, including the thoroughbred tracks. It really doesn't bode well for the long-term, does it? Once upon a time, a day at the races meant a drive, 30 minutes between races and, maybe some sunshine and fresh air. Maybe handicapping's too tough for the majority and today, it's easier to "Play Max Credits" than it is to risk $25 to win on any horse. Wish I had the solution. Unfortunately, there's only one Saratoga, one Keeneland, one Santa Anita. Maybe this whole thing will come down to a national "Bring A Friend To The Races" campaign. Tracks are doing what they can to maximize safety and control costs. Without more money being wagered, this sport's in trouble in the United States.
Brian More than 1 year ago
Alan says that visiting Saratoga himself will be a letdown after Steve's blog posts. I had that happen, on a small scale, in my trip earlier this summer. I had never gotten a Hatties sandwich. In fact, I had always liked and looked forward to the grilled chicken sandwich served across the way from the Hatties stand. Nevertheless, on the recommendation of Steve and others, I waited in a long line (and then waited longer as they didn't have any ready) for Hatties and found myself very disappointed. I really didn't like it that well at all. The rest of the trip was a big hit though. On the dining front, we had breakfast at Comptons as well as the place down next to Hatties (took forever, but that was fine) as well as a trip to the new Mexican place (Cantina?) on Broadway that used to be a brewpup, I think. And of course, a late night doughboy from the pizza joint on the street with all of the bars (Caroline?). Any racing fan that has never been to Saratoga really owes it to themselves to make the trip someday. Whether or not you get the Hatties is up to you.
Hammer More than 1 year ago
I like this blog entry, too
yuwipi More than 1 year ago
Been going to Saratoga since 1975 and have never once set foot in the jug track. alan: If you like thoroughbred racing do yourself the biggest favor possible and get yourself to Saratoga. There have been years when I went for a week, had it rain every day, and when I drove out didn't care if I ever saw the place again. That lasts about 2 weeks, and you spend 10 months looking at a calendar waiting for the chance to get back. Don't deny yourself the experience, it's special. Steve, Since it's a dark day entry, ever since your mention of Coxsackie on the last downstate trip I've been chuckling. Goes back over 30 years. Shortly after Richard Nixon sacked the Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Driving up to the Spa and a car cruises by with a bumper sticker: "Nixon Is A Cox Sacker" Every time I drive past that road sign I remember that sticker! Non-political post, please!
jcp More than 1 year ago
"Rise and Shine" at Noon?
Angelo Patalino More than 1 year ago
Steve, you are the best!! Also, I have system that beats the Horses for Courses machine at the Racino! Its a 3x2x4 bet!
Rich_P More than 1 year ago
awesome, Steve, just awesome.