For those of us a bit older, horse racing has a different image. It was a family event, that was fun and had something for everyone. It was a time when “A day at the races” was filled with excitement and adventure.
When I was little maybe 11 or 12, i went on a family outing to the races. It was funny because it wasn`t my family that I went with, although my family had been involved in the horse racing industry for more than half a century. This was back when going to the track was a real adventure. You could get a haircut, or shave, or shoe shine, decent meal, see a live band or watch your kids play on the playground. So many things to see and do at the track, unlike today when most of the track involves OTBs and simulcasting, and casinos. Not that I don`t like these things but i think as much good as they do for racing, it also leaves an empty feeling for those of us who remember what racing used to be.To this very day i remember that trip to the track, I had a few snow cones, some pizza a hot dog, lots of cotton candy and about 2 gallons of soda…. then proceeded to get car sick on the way home and was sick al over my friends parents front yard.
Now back then as I said before things were different. Going to the races was a family get together, and people dressed accordingly. Dads wearing fancy suits, little old ladies wearing their sunday best, even kids got dressed up then. The whole atmosphere was different. Todays racing is a bit different, most people don`t go to the track to gamble, some don`t even leave their home. Everyone wants to pull a slot machine handle or play a card game, nobody is willing to wait the 25 minutes for each race. Each race was something special. The rumble of the ground when the horses come down the stretch, the screaming and cheering from the crowded stands, watching your grandmother in her church clothes get on a bench and yell “WHOOP THAT F”#$”& “desperately trying not to laugh. You don`t get that kind of entertainment at OTBs or on some kind of pays tv horse gambling site.
The entire experience was different back then, and I hope someday we get the chance to see it again.