Ah, legalized gambling. After working for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (the people who have the lease from the Ag District for 43 days a year) I saw the most amazing things. First off were the amount of gambling addicts that follow horse racing from track to track. Lot’s of them live in their cars. With their kids. It got to be such a problem for the kids that they actually opened a day care in the infield run by the Boys and Girls Club. (though many could not afford it, so they left the kids in the car anyway, it only gets a 100 degrees or so in the parking lot)
People have high expectations for their visit to the track, and they are bent on rubbing shoulders with the “in crowd”. Betting money they can’t really afford to lose, yet when you ask them at the end of the day, they tell you they “broke even”, right. So you park with the Valet and it’s $20, then admission $10, then a program $5, then a burger and beer $15, and you haven’t placed a bet yet. But the HIGH DOLLAR night club atmosphere lends itself to YOU being ecstatic while losing YOUR shirt. That’s how it is designed in the first place, set up every new day for a party, thrown by smiling people who take your money. Oh, and the excitement was set up for me as well. Because they set up a window on the bet line where an employee could cash their paycheck, right next to a convenient betting window, that just happened to be open at the same time. After you have seen a person take money from their check and scoot over one window and lay it all on the nose of a “sure thing”, it takes the shine off things.
I was the lead electrician for years at the track, dealing with everything to do with racing horses around the track. From maintaining the “backside” where 2000 horses come in for the meet, to the timing system that gives the “split” times, but I somehow kept my shirt through all the sure things given to me in “confidence” by those in the “know”. Else my retirement would look a lot worse.
Take a plane, take a train, take a car- (and your paycheck)
When you see how the sausage is made it changes your mind. My shop was behind what they called the “elephant barn” on the “backside”, it’s where they put down the horses after they break down on the track. A 1000 pound animal running on ankles that are as small as your wrist. When they suffer a break, the ankle literally snaps almost off, requiring a visit to the elephant barn where they get a big needle from the track “vet” to end their “career”. Won’t ever get over that, ever. The sport of Kings? I’ll never go back.
On the other side of the track, the trainers will blame everything but their own horse if they lose. “It’s the track”. If their horse breaks down- “It’s the track”. Poly or not. (Bruno DeJulio is the best handicapper, try him, and good luck)
On another note, since you’ll be in North San Diego coast, try Swami’s garden for a little side trip. If you haven’t been, it’s a turn at K St. off the coast highway, in Encinitas. About a block up you can park and go into the garden for a small donation ($.50). The tranquil gardens overlook a famous surf spot, and it is a must. Have a cup of coffee at the Pannikin in Leucadia, Shawn Holder is the owner and a great guy to talk to about local happenings. (Shawn just won the contract for the new San Diego Airport expansion, replacing Starbucks,—- tough competition!)
Don’t know if there is still a $2 window, but on a $10 (to win) horse, your on your way to “break even”. Good Luck!!
Tks. We picked two winners yesterday (including the upset winner in the feature race). Also had a longshot “in the money.” $2 and $5 bets. Up $54. Going to see the morning workouts. $1 million Pacific Classic is today.