Netty and I went to Santa Anita Racetrack with friends recently. The moment we entered the gate and approached the paddock, an array of images and memories (real and imagined) came rushing at me.

The grandeur of the graceful architecture, the beauty of the San Gabriel Mountains, the elegance of the Turf Club, and of course the thrill of the horses down the stretch, all made the day a brilliant outing.

There’s an endless bounty of experiences to live and relive at the track, experiences recounted in hundreds of movies, thousands of books, and now even in an HBO series called Luck. The treasures, bright and dark, are vast and complex.

It seems that everyone who’s come to the track has a memory to share. I have a friend whose father won a $67 thousand dollar Exacta and lost the winning ticket. He searched for hours and hours amid the two-foot deep detritus of discarded mutual tickets that cover the ground by day’s end. The track was ready to close and force him to go home when unbelievably he found his lost ticket in the men’s bathroom moments before giving up all hope!

A memory that has never left me is the time I saw Mickey Rooney interviewed on TV and he said he’d lost $2 dollars in 1931 on a long shot horse and spent over $2 million dollars in the decades since determined to win that $2 dollars back.

My older brother, Peter, was for many years a professional handicapper at Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, and Del Mar racetracks. He’s retired now in Las Vegas; and with the advent of Internet betting, he’s playing the ponies around the country quite actively. I called him on the morning we were driving to Santa Anita for a few tips…

Yes, we had a great day at the races. A splendid day! Oh, you may be wondering, did we win or lose on this day? We won a few, we lost many…and we’d do it again anytime!

Rather than trying to capture the day through words of recollection, I thought it best to let you experience some of it by taking a look at selected photos I took.

Click this photo for the slideshow of A Day At The Races.

 

 

 

One Response to A Day At The Races

  1. Alan says:

    Frank,

    Great to spend the evening with you and Netty last night, which prompted me to check out your website, read the last posting on Santa Anita, and get your work into my internet mindset. I’ll be checking out your writings as time allows, and enjoying I’m sure.

    Hope to see you again, soon. Best regards,

    Alan (and Charlene)

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