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Author Topic: How did everybody get involved in horse racing?  (Read 974 times)
Mike Bozich
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« on: January 24, 2006, 01:56:08 PM »

My favorite story of all is how I got involved in harness racing. My grandfather dabbled in it somewhat betting a few horses every once in a while but nobody other then him had an interest. One day, a friend of my grandmothers bought her a police scanner. She asked my dad if he could set it up for her so one day we came over my Grandparents house and were idolizing her new find. Then all of the sudden, we pick up these 2 guys talking and one says to the other , I have this horse at Hawthorne that absolutely can't lose. Me and my dad look at each other and I asked him (i was 8 at the time) what is a Hawthorne? My grandfather (who must have heard everything) come running into the room and said Mike, your about to find out!! So we drove like a bat out of hell to Hawthorne Race Course and My Grandfather bet a few bucks, my dad bet a few bucks, and the horse won and paid $45 dollars. Thats how my Dad became a life long horse racing fan and I was along for the ride. Funny thing is, my dad and grandfather would camp out night and day by that police scanner hoping for another tip. Never again.
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njhorseman
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2006, 02:15:31 PM »

My favorite story of all is how I got involved in harness racing. My grandfather dabbled in it somewhat betting a few horses every once in a while but nobody other then him had an interest. One day, a friend of my grandmothers bought her a police scanner. She asked my dad if he could set it up for her so one day we came over my Grandparents house and were idolizing her new find. Then all of the sudden, we pick up these 2 guys talking and one says to the other , I have this horse at Hawthorne that absolutely can't lose. Me and my dad look at each other and I asked him (i was 8 at the time) what is a Hawthorne? My grandfather (who must have heard everything) come running into the room and said Mike, your about to find out!! So we drove like a bat out of hell to Hawthorne Race Course and My Grandfather bet a few bucks, my dad bet a few bucks, and the horse won and paid $45 dollars. Thats how my Dad became a life long horse racing fan and I was along for the ride. Funny thing is, my dad and grandfather would camp out night and day by that police scanner hoping for another tip. Never again.


Horses seem to be part of my family history. My paternal grandfather came to the US supposedly while being chased by Russian authorities because he was a horse thief. My father was a "regular" at Yonkers and Roosevelt, and introduced me to the races almost 50 years ago when he took me to Freehold one summer afternoon. My father had a brother named Milton, who was even a bigger horse player than my dad, and as fate would have it, a horse named "Milton's  Boy" was racing at Freehold that day. It was my first bet, and although it was a loser, I never looked back.

Like many bettors, eventually just betting on the races wasn't providing enough "action," and I became an owner.

Somehow this degenerate life style has led me to spend far too much time on internet harness racing groups. Cheesy
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mgriffin
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2006, 02:21:39 PM »

Well, not sure if if interesting but what the heck. My father worked at Foxboro Park in Massachusetts counting money in the money room back in the late 70's early 80's. My older brother who was 20 at the time was in charge of babysitting me for the night. I was 8 years old and he took me to the track with his buddies. He told me if I see dad, to bolt behind someone or something. Sure enough, he caught me there and my brother was in trouble. I loved it. I was always rooting for a horse every race, made me feel part of the excitement. I started to go more and more when I was 15 with my brother. When i got my license, I went down every Friday and Saturday night until I was 24. What was cool about that night too was that I got the chance to have my picture taken in the winner's circle on the sulky. Bert Beckwith game me his whip until I whipped my father like the drivers do and that was the end of that night. I enjoy the races very much and what is fascinating is that you would see the same people everytime you went, it was like being part of a club.

MG
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bigdaddy
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2006, 01:52:11 AM »

I love the old story's I started going to the track at the ripe age of 11. My uncle was involved in the business for years, He took me to the track a few times and I thought it was cool. Then my father was involved in a fatal boat accident on fox lake in 1974, and my mom decided to buy some horses with my uncle because she knew I liked them. She did that to keep me out of trouble, which was great. Then I figured you can bet on these things. My first winning bet was at balmoral about 1976, I had $2WP on mountain dave driven by dave white, at 40-1 since then I have been hooked. I love the sport with the up's and down's I'm sure everybody has a story to tell.

Thanks for reading mine.
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nextbonus
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2006, 08:59:52 AM »

May 1963. I was 16. Dad was a casual horseplayer. He asked me if I wanted to go with him to Sportsman's Park to see the Illinois Derby which was being resurrected following a 35 year hiatus. I said yes.

Sportsman's was normally only a twenty minute drive away.  Dad planned on getting there after the sixth so we could get in free.

We got stuck in traffic and missed the Derby. Got there about 10 minutes to post for the last race, an 8.5 furlong claimer. I bet $5 to win on Challenge Ship. Challenge Ship ran 4th to Ruby Baby.

Despite losing, I found that watching those majestic creatures carrying tiny men wearing brightly colored shirts amid the swirling, discarded pari-mutuel tickets and hot dog wrappers was curiously intoxicating.

We railbirded the race and the electricity in the air as the horses charged down the stretch for the final time (Spt was a 5/8ths oval at the time) was palpable. The large crowd rose to its feet as the field approached the finish line.

The crowd noise grew louder the closer the horses came. I could see the small men pushing on their mounts' necks while they yelled at and whipped the animals. As they got closer I could see the look of determination in the horses' eyes, their flaring nostrils, their pinned back ears.

The rhythmic sound of their flying hooves striking the ground grew louder and louder. da-da-dump, da-da dump, da-da dump, da-da dump!

I was hooked for life.  Both harness and T-breds.  It's been quite a ride these past 43 years. Lots of highs and lows.  Many great memories and few regrets.

Looking forward to as many more years of racing as the good Lord sees fit to give me.

Thanks for the topic, Mike.
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off stride
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2006, 09:22:48 AM »

        mom and dad got a divorce in 1968...dad got visitations for the weekends..pick me up friday evening and bring me home on sunday... one day dad said to me...'if you promise not to tell your mom' we'll go and have some fun.. we took off and ended up at hazel park i was awestruck by the huge plant as i had only been to raceway park before as a child
        as we sat and enjoyed times as only fathers and sons can my father handed me a 50 dollar bill...quite a lot of money in the early 70's.. told me(all of 12-13) to go down and bet it on 'hasty ed' nervous as hell.. i went down to the teller and said put this on hasty ed... the teller knowing i was underage saw my father in the distance nodding yes and proceded to punch me a ticket for 50 on hasty ed... clayton faurot sr. put on his white racing boots for the day and my dad said he only wears  'those boots' when he is going to get his picture taken.. needless to say..hasty ed left like a bullet..right to the top..wiring the field and paying 16 dollars and change
         still full of nervous energy i go back to collect my(dads) winnings watching the clerk count out all that cash and saying to me..congratulations and welcome to the racetrack .. hooked me from that time on and from that time until last year when dad died we always had that story as a 'secret' until i finally told my mom last xmas about it.. she said.. its still your secret but you should have taken your losing tickets(ones that i had picked up off the ground) out of your pockets before i did your laundry...
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Kenneth J. Chadwick
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2006, 10:35:46 AM »

My wife of 36 years and my 3 children think I am addicted to the horses.

I used to play parlay cards in college.  I was good playing the college football games and but it was never that exciting.

It was back in college and I had a friend who did some work at Maywood Park (1963).  I went with him to assist him and see how the construction worked as the crowds would roar when the horses would come down the stretch.  

Hello Horse Racing.  I love the process of doing the Math and the excitement of winning.

I do love the T-Breds but I have never been anywhere near successful with them.

I love being live at the tracks.  It adds to my excitement.

I do have one lifelong ambition concerning horse racing.

I want to be appointed to the IL Racing Board.

That's it for me.


Kenneth J. Chadwick

 

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It's a Wonderful Life, let's live every moment like its your last.
potrasalve
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2006, 10:54:10 AM »

I grew up watching my father every Friday night like clockwork getting ready to go out about 6 o'clock.
Finally I asked my mother where he would go and she said to his other love.  When I was about 8 he brought me along and from then on I was attached to his hip for many years. I was the runner for his friends  when I was young for the coffee and cokes. And they would tip me a few bucks. Later I would run and place there bets for them, save them the walk. When I wouldn't show up on some Fridays they would be upset because they would have to place there own bets. They would say to my father where's the kid ? They became like uncle's to me. As the years went by they slowly all passed away and then I lost my father. There are times when I look at certain sections of the racetracks and can remember all of us standing in the same place many years ago. It created a bond with my father as we would drive out to Washington Park in the summers and talk about all sorts of things. Or those long drives out to Balmoral on winter nights. These posts should be placed in a single book. in many instances we all lived similar lives.
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