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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not Exactly the Twin Spires

Our field trip to Fort Erie Racetrack resulted in the following: Fort Erie Racetrack 1, Geno 0. While that may have been the score at the windows, the enjoyment of being at the track versus the office with a fun group of gents made the day all the more enjoyable. If we had a guess the attendance pool going, the over/under number would have been somewhere around 500, even for a perfect weather day across the border from downtown Buffalo. My border crossings took less than 5 minutes on both ends and with the new passport rules, that's a huge accomplishment. My only disappointment was answering the border agent that I was not bringing back any significant amount of currency.

While not a lot has changed over the years at old Fort Erie, we spent the day in the Turfside Lounge enjoying the air conditioning, being served all day, two personal tellers with no wait times, and a great view of the course just before the clubhouse turn. Our group was diverse, some harness guys, a DRF handicapping contest two time qualifier, and several other delightful gents who knew how to handicap and play multiple tracks at once. Our host and my Toga opening day co-pilot G-Money organized an awesome day bringing together some of his worlds into this Canadian wonderland of the polar opposite of Royal Ascot. Dr. Beck (our contest guru) even brought the Sheets (for Fort Erie, are you freakin' kidding me), and educated us all on the blessings of Len Ragozin. Just what I need, something else to preoccupy my obsession. And if you think you can't hit some big ones here at the Fort, check out the prices on the winners: Urn in the 1st ($12.20), Just Like Perry in the 4th ($36.50), Costa Cat in the 5th ($13.90), Greater Peace in the 7th ($81.40) and Vikrant in the 8th ($39.20). Holy cow. We had some big winners in the group, the names are being withheld for reasons that don't need explanation.

Some wacky stuff in the PP's too. In the 7th (a 1 1/16th turf race), Folio was coming off a 4 1/2 furlong race at Los Alamitos. Huh? After racing at SA, GG, SR and BM all in turf or synthetic route races. How about Vikrant, the winner of the 8th, who had run at 17 different tracks according to the Sheets, and his last 7 tracks since September were Fairplex, GG, Turf Paradise, Hollywood, Santa Anita and Los Al....try reading those PP's and figuring out what to do. Hopefully they were getting some decent frequent flyer miles. We had a ton of laughs, and there certainly weren't any bridgejumpers on site.

We also figured out why there was such a delay in between the last two races. Word was that a horse had overheated in the 7th, but in actuality the Fort at 5.15EST was the only track currently with a race in NORTH AMERICA. It had to be the only show in town on the big screens in the Vegas sports books. There was a good 45 minutes between the races and I'm sure the signal percentage rake was growing as it was the track in bizness during that time frame. Don't ever say the Canadians don't know what they're doing. The only downside of the day was that some of our group didn't realize the new rules as to only being able to wager with Canadian coin, so a few scrambling moments ensued. We weren't exactly under the twin spires, but you couldn't tell us any different....

A few random pictures from our day follows....

I took this one for Fran over at the Hoof Blog...there was a guy under the doorway who thought I was taking his picture and I told him it would be on the interweb thingy. Oops, looks like he'll have to wait for his 15 minutes...


Ernie, Ernie, Ernie....get your passport ready....



Our view from the Turfside Bar & Grill, notice the standing room only crowd at the rail.



A shot of race 2 approaching the clubhouse turn where Woodbine shipper Brienanna Cat has the lead, only to be out done by none other than Lucky Day for his second win in a row after heading south to our lovely B track (check out that infield!).

Looking forward to our next trek to the border oval...

5 Comments:

Anonymous said...

wow what a day I'm jealous....BTW about 20 22 years prior I was A border agent up there. can you so cold and boooooooring.

Glenn Craven said...

Looks like a pleasant place for a day at the races. Clearly plenty of elbow room at the rail.

SaratogaSpa said...

Great pics--remember a day at the track is better than a day at work!

Mike D. said...

I have nothing but the fondest memories of Fort Erie. I was there the day in 1963 when a colt named Northern Dancer broke his maiden ... first crack out ... under Ron Turcotte. And I was there many many days thereafter.

EquiSpace said...

Anon: I never mess with the border agents, I just wish I could have told him i was bringing back a wad of cash!

Glenn: It was as good as it gets.

Robt: Right on!

Mike D.: Just so you know the decor in the Turfside lounge hasn't been changed since 1963. And great story about N.Dancer!

Thanks all for reading.

 

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