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Author Topic: racetrack customer base going to hell  (Read 1561 times)
honest & balanced terry
formerly plain old clockerterry
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« on: December 28, 2012, 04:23:11 PM »

This just in from a correspondent:

"The one thing that attracts the most attention at the Monmouth Races is the number of disreputable people who are permitted to enter the gates. Men and women of no character are permitted to enter the grounds.

Women who have never seen the light of day, except as it comes into their windows early in the morning, unless they may go to Monmouth Park track were present yesterday in great numbers. Decent people were crowded off by women and men who were evidently the familiars of the bookmakers. Their behavior and language were indecent where late in the afternoon empty champagne bottles gave silent evidence to their drinking habits."


-- Published in the New York Times, July 16, 1893.


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"There are no $7500 maiden claimers, state-bred or otherwise, at Arlington."
Mick
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2012, 05:15:00 PM »

That sounds about right for me.   Them thar Ladies that never see the light of day, they are the backbone of racing.    sarcasm
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I may not always be right, but I am never wrong.  Sam "The Genius" Lewin
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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2012, 10:00:50 PM »

 Sounds like the Balmoral simulcast area . 
 
 Worst foul mouthed ,no accounts, outside of jail. 

  Management, if there is any, ignores, tolerates , or maybe encourages. 

  Complaints fall on deaf ears.

  Good facility ruined by bad operators and disgusting patrons driving people away.

  (Give us slots - we need help -  ought to be a cold day in Hades- go bribe Rod )

 
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tapetea
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2012, 12:11:47 AM »

This just in from a correspondent:

"The one thing that attracts the most attention at the Monmouth Races is the number of disreputable people who are permitted to enter the gates. Men and women of no character are permitted to enter the grounds.

Women who have never seen the light of day, except as it comes into their windows early in the morning, unless they may go to Monmouth Park track were present yesterday in great numbers. Decent people were crowded off by women and men who were evidently the familiars of the bookmakers. Their behavior and language were indecent where late in the afternoon empty champagne bottles gave silent evidence to their drinking habits."


-- Published in the New York Times, July 16, 1893.




Yeah, but at least they were all nicely dressed back in those days.  Wink
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Earl Sande
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2012, 07:42:41 AM »

From a southwestern correspondent:

     Bitter cold as it was Wednesday there were about 1500 persons on hand to watch the 'dogs' dash around the little eliptic and contribute to the coffers of Mr. Foster and his associates. No admission fee is charged for women and there were a hundred or more members of the fair sex present. Few of them had escorts and fewer still had a sufficient absence of ugliness and toughness to justify any man in being seen in public with them. Here and there, however, could be seen a woman whose face and manner indicated that she still retained that virtue the absence of which nullifies all others. These women were poorly dressed and hard of hand and evidently victims of the gambling fever. They knew the game was practically imposssible to beat, but they had to get money and they were prepared to risk their savings and housekeeping funds and the price of new shoes for their babies. The men were almost without exception the dregs of the racing world --- touts, broken down jockeys, stable boys out of a job, carpers of every variety and young fellows burdened with a fashion for gaming that did not permit them to keep away. There were five bookmakers. The Sportsman's Club took 50-cent bets and did the bulk of the business...This is the character of the "short" that St. Louis is afflicted with...a means of support for an army of people, who are ordinarily classified as vagrants, and a means of destruction for men and women who are weak enough and silly enough to patronize it.
    --- St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 21, 1895, describing racing at Sportman's Park in north St. Louis
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 07:44:48 AM by Earl Sande » Report to moderator   Logged
Epsom Derby
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2013, 11:36:24 PM »

Maybe horse racing was the self fulfilling prophecy. ??

This letter could easily substitute Goodwood for Monmouth Park.

The Mayan's are being mocked, but they may have only underestimated by about 50 years or so. Fossil Fuels don't last forever.

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Yimmy
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2013, 12:55:03 PM »

It's a funny point, but just because it's ridiculous in retrospect doesn't make it ridiculous now.  Anyone who's been at Yonkers Raceway in the last 30 years can attest to the fact that of the 12 people who are there, at least eight will be extremely scary individuals, six of them arguably demented, and four of whom don't even have the program and are simply picking numPerz out of the Daily News. 
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RacetrackRailbird
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 09:21:55 AM »

Anyone who's been at Yonkers Raceway in the last 30 years can attest to the fact that of the 12 people who are there, at least eight will be extremely scary individuals, six of them arguably demented, and four of whom don't even have the program and are simply picking numPerz out of the Daily News. 


I went to Yonkers once, about ten years ago, and it was exactly as you suggest.    (although the most intimidating person at the place was the thug working in the parking lot).

(I stayed for 3 races, and left $180 to the good)

The best kodak moment was standing by the rail and turning to look up at the pitch-black grandstand (in which nobody had been since about the 1980's) with the only light up there having been on the roof, in the announcer's booth.

However, don't they now have slots?  And with it the money to have fixed much of the eye sore by now?


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SandyLoam
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2013, 12:46:28 PM »

Those long-ago musings may seem humorous now, but these stereotypes exist today, to whatever degree you want to measure it by. Today's racing industry has done absolutely nothing to market its way out of this perception, all the way from purging the drug culture to explaining the challenge and satisfaction of picking a winner to the relatively pastoral ambiance of sitting trackside. Even the mainstream TV networks maintain the stigma by downplaying the existence and influence of wagering.
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Louie Weedelbaum
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2013, 01:21:30 PM »

I don't see how a man can take a young lady on a date and walk through the ground floor of any racetrack without her or both of them being offended.  The cursing, dirtbags trying to talk to you, stoopers, beggars and other dregs of society  make it bad.  I know at the Meadowlands as you go up higher in floors it gets better and the trackside dining is comparable to many casual restaurants.

Security guards are standing right there and nothing is done.  Complaints to management in the past have gone unanswered.

Same goes for Aqueduct where west indian men catcall anything that walks by and management does nothing.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 01:23:21 PM by Louie Weedelbaum » Report to moderator   Logged
Earl Sande
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2013, 03:13:23 PM »

Come out to Fairmount, nothing but normal people at the track there.
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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2013, 05:20:59 PM »


I went to Yonkers once, about ten years ago, and it was exactly as you suggest.    (although the most intimidating person at the place was the thug working in the parking lot).

(I stayed for 3 races, and left $180 to the good)

The best kodak moment was standing by the rail and turning to look up at the pitch-black grandstand (in which nobody had been since about the 1980's) with the only light up there having been on the roof, in the announcer's booth.

However, don't they now have slots?  And with it the money to have fixed much of the eye sore by now?

They cleaned it up a bit, but it's still a shithole; I haven't been inside for ages, but you pass it on the Thruway.  If you want to see something scary, watch a YR RACE, not for the race itself, but for the winner's circle photo... the cameraman necessarily shows the track apron behind the winning horse, and it's a bloody moonscape... utterly deserted.  I grew up a few blocks from the track, and in the 70s, even on the coldest nights, that apron would have scores if not hundreds of people on it; on Satturday nights it was PACKED.  Now it's the Gobi desert.
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Earl Sande
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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2013, 08:50:14 PM »

Sounds depressing. Why do they keep on?
Used to love the sulkies at FP & QCD, it was sad to see it go away.
Another report from the good old days:

"The new track is situated in St. Clair County..it may be reached by ferry...the boats ran every fifteen minutes. Perhaps 500 people made the trip. Among them were seven women, who looked woefully disconsolate standing around in the deep sand in the betting ring, for there was no other place for them to go. It is no more than 100 yards from the levee to the entrance to the track.
     The betting ring is not yet finished. Men were busy putting on the roof yesterday, but that did not interefere with the book-making, only with the comfort of those present. Six bookmakers were on hand to do business. Bets were taken on the Latonia and Hawthorne races and on the St. Clair races as well. Business however was not particularly brisk. The gang in attendance was anything but well-heeled. It was composed largely of touts and the old poverty-stricken pool alley contingent. Race track crowds are never a choice lot, but this was the toughest one brought together in many a day. There were no bright spots to relieve it. There were any number of chaps around to relieve you, however. The bookmakers were a sorry looking lot also. Most of them were youngsters scarecely out of their teens.

 --- St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 23, 1894, describing the races at the St. Clair Turf Association track across the river in Illinois.
Today you can come to Illinois and see all the pretty girls at Fairmount. No racing in St. Louis since 1905. May not be any at Fairmount after 2013.
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Yimmy
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2013, 08:55:17 PM »

FP was a cool harness track, though it had the worst night camera work in human history.  Head-on shot in the stretch, track illuminated by what appeared to be several fireflies.  The fractions there were always fun... 30, 1:02, 1:33... 200.2.  The final quarters were demented.

I was from Yonkers... every few months or so, a horse would ship in from "EMDn5/8"; of course, no one knew what or where it was.  Cheesy  Hell, there are guys in NY who've been watching football for half a century and still don't know where "Green Bay" is, even though they do know it's cold.  Might even be a Canadian province.
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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2013, 10:48:31 PM »

The decline of the sport in general may elude to some of the previous comments regarding taking your girlfriend/wife, etc.... to the track.

Every track in the States used to have a designated area deemed, "THE CLUBHOUSE". The Clubhouse was the place where you didn't have to deal with the drunk guy asking you for a racecard and the rest of your beer.

Now everyone is together due to low attendance. The tracks need bodies.
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Earl Sande
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« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2013, 08:07:38 AM »

FP was a cool harness track, though it had the worst night camera work in human history.  Head-on shot in the stretch, track illuminated by what appeared to be several fireflies.  The fractions there were always fun... 30, 1:02, 1:33... 200.2.  The final quarters were demented.

I was from Yonkers... every few months or so, a horse would ship in from "EMDn5/8"; of course, no one knew what or where it was.  Cheesy  Hell, there are guys in NY who've been watching football for half a century and still don't know where "Green Bay" is, even though they do know it's cold.  Might even be a Canadian province.

The lights are still terrible. The difference between night racing at FP and PrM is pretty much the difference between night and day.
That FP winter meet was a pretty good one in the 1980s and early 1990s, but it really went to crap the last few years.
When I think of harness racing and New York, all I can think of is John Stark, Jr. He killed them for a while at FP.
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Yimmy
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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2013, 07:41:02 AM »

Never even knew he was out there.  My favorite FP memory is of old Simcoe Hanover running in a cheap race against one of his own sons.  When does one ever see this?  Cheesy

But even though it was a through-a-glass-darkly experience watching the races there, it was still a place at which closers actually had a chance, unlike so many blatantly speed-biased harness tracks.  Miss it.
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