FREEHOLD, NJ – With the Mets running figuratively and literally cold in Denver against the Colorado Rockies – not the hockey team – and the Yankees not worth watching, today’s piece will be about my day at the races…
There’s an old saying that goes, “A bad day fishing beats a good day working.” Well, I don’t do either but I do go to the track from time to time – and did so yesterday. The fish weren’t biting at Freehold Raceway or the simulcasting that the track offers, if you catch my drift. Tickets were trashed to the tune of $68 as I was relegated to playing family names because of the slight hangover from dinner with friends the night before and just didn’t have the energy or eyesight to read through the program.
If any of you are familiar with Freehold Raceway, it offers harness racing like what you saw in Rodney Dangerfield’s Easy Money back in the 1980’s. The sport is hanging by a thread and is as crooked as ever from what I could see with cheap payouts that don’t jive with the odds when longshots hit the board. Since attending the dilapidated Yonkers Raceway as a teenager, a second generation of familiar thieves like Abbatiello, Marohn, and LaChance are on display here in south Jersey.
The smattering of old-timers in the clubhouse section were as entertaining as ever. One raspy-voiced leather lung revealed one of his first jobs was on an ice truck as a young lad. I had a few questions for the old geezer but was afraid to ask. An ice truck? Was it propelled by a horse?
The small group was betting smaller than me, my cousin, and uncle and let every body know as they ripped up tickets just like us. A few of those fellas were miffed at a track acquaintance ignoring/avoiding them. “He sees us,” and “He’s gotta hear us,” were a few of the complaints until the party came over to acknowledge their presence.
It’s sad that this is what you’re relegated to when having absolutely no luck at the track but in essence this is the type of peripheral entertainment you can count on across the country when going to the races. Speaking of track outings, I will be running another Meet The Matts Day at Belmont and am open to suggested dates over the next few months. I just want to gauge the interest among our contributors and our long-time reader JG Clancy.
That’s it for now. Comment below and come back tomorrow for West Coast Craig or DJ Eberle.