After a week or so with no posts (no applause please) I'm back in the fold. I hope everyone is enjoying the extended summer here in the north east. It sure is nice considering August was in the dumper for most of us.
Anyhow, here's a quick recap........
I decided I needed a little break from wagering and working the last week so I traveled around a little bit. We truly are fortunate to live in such a nice set of countries. Working through Maine I was struck by its reserved beauty, 75 mile per hour speed limits south of Houlton, and its laid back people. I didn't make it to a racetrack (Scarborough Downs) but did see the casino. I guess nowadays we all see casinos instead of racetracks.
People in Maine probably have little time to bet horses. I figure half of them hunt, fish and camp (judging by the license plates) or shop. In fact, I think outlet malls have taken over the Earth. One of them, in a place called Freeport, was quite nice, except for a non-shopper like me it was hellish; people shopping everywhere. It felt like I was in the middle of an ant hill, but the ants were people from Maine, and I was a little stick they wanted.
New Hampshire is another kick butt state I spent some time in. It's a place where you can get a 66er of Jack for $33 and fill up the car for $65. In Canada that costs us a mortgage payment. New Hampshire has outlet malls, too, but near one of them there's a machine gun shooting range, which probably can pass the time for non-shoppers.
Vermont is a state I had never been in. It was pretty and very sparse. I wiki'd it and found out there are barely 700,000 in the entire state. I think I saw about 11 of them, and traveled most of it. Maybe they all live in Burlington, or in the hills, probably near an outlet mall.
Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont all voted for Obama, but from the four people I spoke with who were talking local stuff (n=4), they don't like him now. So I will conclude New England does not like Obama anymore. Racetrack execs do that when they talk to three old ladies in the stands who "don't even know what takeout is", so I'll throw my statistical hat in the ring.
I'm probably the only horse racing person on Earth that goes through Saratoga two days after the meet ended, but that's what we did. It just worked out that way. I wanted to make it to Tioga for the Cane on Monday, actually, but I didn't even time that right.
I can't believe that in New York, where taxes are prolly as high as Canada, it costs you $12.95 to get from Albany to Buffalo on the Thruway. New York state is pretty much as I remember it. I had not been there for awhile. I was a bit bummed I could not stay in Schenectady because I would've liked to have hooked up for a beer with Mike MacAdam (@Mike_MacAdam), but it was early, so Syracuse was the target.
Back towards Hogtown, traffic gets worse, gas goes up. You know the drill. Southern Ontario is an absolute sea of people; people going nowhere in particular but a lot of them doing it.
I spent a day at Woodbine, and have not done that for quite some time. I am so used to playing on the computer, I forget what the place is like. It is such a nice racetrack and the crowd (on a cooler, slightly overcast day) was large. The finish line bar was busy, as was Champions upstairs (there was no cover, or you did not have to show your ORC to get in). For those who do go to Woodbine for the first time, check out Champions and sit outside if it's nice. It's a super spot to watch the races.
I ran into Keith McCalmont (@tripledeadheat) who does Woodbine's marketing on the web (among other chores) and chatted for a bit. I have always liked Keith but had never met him in real life. If Jamie Martin is reading this, Keith did not stay long because he was busy with work. Give the man a raise!
I also ran into Normie (@normf66) at the rail with his camera. Nice to see Norm again.
I had an awful betting day and they were off the turf with the thunderstorms the night before, but it is so nice to enjoy a day at a beautiful racetrack like that. I did not make it out to Mohawk that evening for a double header, which is what I do like to do when I am in live racing mode. Maybe because I didn't cash anything but a place ticket on a (hanging) 14-1 shot at Gulfstream. I still can't believe that horse didn't win.
I hope everyone had a good week. I'll be back spewing some racetrack drivel on the blog this week.
Have a nice Tuesday everyone.
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