Skip to comments.Hialeah Beckcons!
Posted on 02/11/2012 4:05:32 PM PST by ml/nj
I'll be there tomorrow! I post this on the off chance that some other Freeper(s) will also be there and want to get together.
I'm not exactly sure what I will find but this was, at least at one time, among the most beautiful man-made places on earth.
Link to Previous Post about Hialeah Photo-essay here
You have fun getting there with all of those "really good" Miami drivers!!
Try parachuting in, it's safer!
I pass it all the time when in the area. Just never went in.
It’s funny, but my Dad just pulled out old photographs and two pictures were of my grandfather and his brother at Hialeah in the 50’s. I wish I could post them but I haven’t uploaded them yet. Anyway, they were two short Italian guys dressed in suits and fedora’s. THOSE were the days!
I’ll be there with you in spirit. Have a drink on me, tell your spouse it’s ok . . . you’re simply being polite.
Two bucks on Beetle Bomb in the third.
But seriously, enjoy!
..grew up around the west coast tracks... great memories.
I remember one of the classic comedians of the 50’s (can’t remember their name now) during one of their shows in Miami, he says “you can always tell when it’s Christmas or Easter in south Florida, everyone is singing the “HIALEAH CHORUS”!!
Thanks again for the photo-essay thread link, ml/nj. I posted to you on that thread. Wish I was there with you tomorrow.
I decided to copy and paste it here also because it contains my tremendous betting tips :)...
WOW! What a TREMENDOUS photo essay by Barbara Livingston! Thanks for posting, ml/nj.
I wish I was there with you to enjoy the quarter-horse races. I was at Calder once in the early 70s when I was on vacation. I was at Pompano Park once 96 or 97 while on vacation. Ive been to many tracks, harness and thoroughbred. Ive bet on quarter-horse races on the local simulcast tracks in Michigan, mostly Northville Downs (harness). Its fun watching/betting live racing on a warm day. Great entertainment. Ive never bought a program on those races (Ive just bet the odds), but I do favor post positions 1&2 and the outside 3 in many of the fields. Its tough to go with anything other than the top 3 favorites, unless youre betting pers/tris/supers Have a great day.
ping to the pics in the photo-essay.
The race will be over before you blink, Lol....I guess the strategy is the usual, the horse with the best time at that distance and carrying the least weight. Good Luck, and please post some pictures!
We need an after action report.
This was a lot like getting together with an old girlfriend after a thirty year lapse. There might still be a lot to like but she isn't going to win any beauty pageants any time soon.
Which isn't to say that they haven't done a great job restoring the things they've restored. But no one would now suggest that Hialeah ranks among the most beautiful man-made places on earth.
Almost all of the restoration has been done in the Clubhouse. The old grandstand isn't even open. I'd forgotten how large the place is. It's much bigger than Saratoga. Of the places I know, only Belmont, the Big A of 30 or more years ago, and Santa Anita are larger. There's still much to do. This includes a lot of the peripheral landscaping which was formerly magnificent and is now ragged.
It was much more crowded than I expected. The Clubhouse Box area was nearly full as was the Clubhouse parking lot I was able to observe. (There is no Grandstand parking lot, and there may be more than one Clubhouse parking lot. I don't know.) There were lots of people watching down on ground level, and most areas that were accessible had at least some people using them.
But it was like being in a foreign country. 90% of the people I heard seemed to be speaking Spanish. I asked a question of one of the track employees and he had no clue what I was asking him.
Everything was free or nearly so. Nothing to park. Nothing to get in. There was free entertainment. (Nothing I wanted or liked, but I talked to some other old guy at the end of the day who said that the entertainment was what attracted him. The most amazing deal was the Clubhouse restaurant where I had lunch. Linen tablecloths and napkins. I think the silverware was silver plate. They had a small filet mignon for ten bucks. I didn't get that. I had a large hamburger cooked rare the way I wanted it with all the trimmings, and a not small glass of semi-decent Merlot served in a real wine glass for eleven bucks and change before the tip. (Everyone's English in this room that I heard was flawless!)
I got a free hat for filing out a form with my name, address and email info. Then I bought another hat for twelve bucks in the gift shop. They wrapped the hat in Hialeah Pink tissue paper and then put it in a sewn Hialeah tote-bag for me to carry out.
I bet on six races, and had one winner (and a couple of coulda-shouldas). I lost $9.50 The flamingos flew. It was a nice day.
I should also have included Churchill Downs here. But Churchill seems larger only in a strange way when one visits it in November and most of the place is entirely unused. Hialeah used to be regularly full of people in a way that I doubt has ever been the case at Churchill.
(See also the posts from #17 if you haven't already.)
The pictures I took are at http://photobucket.com/Hialeah2012. Note that many of these were taken two hours or so before Post Time which is sometimes the reason that there aren't many people in the pictures.
With the stills, I tried to get a mixture of the old elegance, and unfinished business. The videos mostly try to give an idea of what my eyes could scan from wherever I was standing, except for the last two which are a race and the Flight of the Flamingos. (I recommend watching these videos in "full-screen" mode. The race video is 34 seconds. The Flamingo video goes on for 2:35. The "ragged peripheral landscaping" to which I previously referred is clearly visible in both of these videos.)
Among the stills, I thought this one was most encouraging.
It shows the nearly full Clubhouse Parking Lot taken from an overpass just beyond the most remote extent of the parking lot. This picture was taken just prior to the running of the day's final race.
Also encouraging is the view of the crowd in the stands and on the apron visible during the brief runout visible on the race video. (Remember that attendees are virtually restricted to Clubhouse areas which means from the Finish Line to the Clubhouse turn.)
One other thought ... I was disappointed that they don't have even a simple infield toteboard. I know the infield screen mostly gives similar information, but I don't think I've ever been to a racetrack before that didn't have an infield toteboard. Even Berkshire Downs had one!
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