January 11, 1987 |
Several Saturdays ago, I met this fellow I call Dan the Man at the Agua Caliente Race Track, a few miles south of the Mexican border in Tijuana. He was sitting at the end of the bar in La Cupula, an indoor area from which he had a bird's-eye view of the closed-circuit TV screens in the room.
August 29, 1998 |
High noon, Friday. More than seven hours before post time at Los Alamitos Race Course the buzz of activity is dizzying. Tote machines in the grandstand click with wagers on races in Canada and Australia.
March 26, 1994 |
The sound of roaring engines returns to local race tracks as Saugus Speedway opens its 55th season of auto racing tonight and Ventura Raceway begins racing next weekend. The schedule for Saugus' six-month season is similar to those of years past.
January 17, 1991 |
The battle for control of Hollywood Park has been a boon to people in the paper-product business. A bevy of lawsuits and countersuits have been filed in the past three months, all accompanied by volume after volume of documents. R.D. Hubbard, the race track owner who is trying to gain control of Hollywood Park, bought a half-page ad and then was ordered by a judge to buy another ad to correct the first one.
October 28, 1986 |
It has been said that the best way to make an enemy out of a friend is to become partners with him in an important race horse. When John Gaines, the dog-food heir and Kentucky breeder, began developing ideas in 1981 for what has evolved into the $10-million Breeders' Cup, his raison d'etre was to pump fresh blood into an anemic game. Gaines' brainchild has been surprisingly fruitful.
August 12, 2011 |
"Senna" is a documentary with the pace of a thriller, a story of motors and machines that is beyond compelling because of the intensely human story it tells. Brazil's Ayrton Senna was the boy genius of Formula One racing, winner of three world championships before dying in a crash in 1994 at age 34, a driver current and former Formula One racers recently voted the greatest who ever lived. But if all Senna could do was race, this wouldn't be much of a story. Though he could drive like the devil, Senna was a spiritual person who believed deeply and profoundly in a higher power.
April 29, 1990 |
They're off and running. And this time, say the people who have opened up their wallets, they'll be running in the black. "The previous owners were so burdened," said Bill Bork, vice president of Ladbroke Racing Corp. and acting general manager of Ladbroke at Canterbury Downs. "They were paying $5 million to $6 million every year in interest alone. No track can handle that." The original owners, which included the Santa Anita Realty Corp.
January 19, 1990 |
The phantom fog jockey of the Delta Downs race track, accused of hiding his horse in a fog bank and then rushing to victory, has been charged with felony theft by fraud and suspended for the rest of the track's season. Sylvester Carmouche, 31, was taken into custody Thursday by the State Police criminal investigative division and taken to Lafayette. He was freed after posting $1,500 bond.
September 3, 1987 |
The last time Wes Cooley Jr. rode in a professional motorcycle race, he ended up crashing head-first into a dirt wall, breaking his neck, the femur--the large bone in the upper leg that connects the hip and knee--in each leg, five vertebrae and two fingers. He also gave his lungs and kidneys a severe shaking. It was May 18, 1985, at Sears Point Raceway, in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco. The question at the time was whether Cooley would live, not whether he would ever race again.
January 5, 1986 |
Ever since speed handicapping came into vogue a decade ago, students of racing have sought more and more refined ways to translate horses' performances into numbers. Traditional methods have dealt with the final time of a race. If a horse runs six furlongs in 1:11, he will earn a speed figure that depends on the condition of the race track. How he runs--whether he is a front-runner or stretch-runner--is irrelevant. Yet this time-honored approach glosses over a lot of complexities.