This is probably the worst time of year for Tailgaters. Football season is over. Even the Super Bowl and the Super Bowl parties are now a distant memory. Baseball season is still two months away, unless you are one of the lucky ones to go down south to Spring Training. Basketball and Hockey, well they’re inside sports which fans seem to come to, watch and leave. No tailgating there. What’s a Tailgater to do?
Let me suggest Horse Racing.
Yes, the one time “Sport of Kings” can be a fun, exciting, and even profitable way to pass a Saturday, Sunday or even Weekday afternoon with your royal and not so royal buddies. And, if you are lucky, or a little careful with your betting, you can even come home a few dollars richer, or not too many dollars poorer!
Most Racetracks feature both live, on-track racing and betting and simulcasting of races from other tracks, which you can also bet on. You and your buddies can grab seats at the bar or at a table and watch the races on banks of large screen TV’s while having a beer and a burger or some other beverage or food. There are even some areas that allow smoking, so you don’t have to keep your stogies locked away until Baseball season. You can even find tables with individual TV monitors, so you can pick which tracks and races you want to see.
Betting is easy also, with ATM like machines all around which accept cash, credit cards or winning ticket vouchers from previous races.
On a recent Saturday afternoon, after one of the big snowstorms, we went over to Philly Park, just outside of Philadelphia, to sample the fun, and it was almost like walking into that iconic TV bar, Cheers. There was a whole array of distinct, wacky and wonderful characters from the inveterate gamblers and handicappers to guys like us, just looking for someplace to go and something to do when there was 30 inches of snow on the ground.
Like Cheers, also, everybody seemed to know everybody’s name, and were friendly and willing to share stories and advice on jockeys, horses and betting. Personally, I just picked by numbers and names. I won one race betting on “The Cat’s Meow”, since we have 4 cats at home. But a lot of the guys do the whole handicapping thing, studying the charts and the races won and lost against other horses in the race. Whatever works and is fun for you!
Anyway, for a change of pace and a fun day out, grab your wallet….you don’t really need a lot of money in it, there’s no parking or admission charge, and you don’t even have to bet….and come out and enjoy a day at the track!