March 7, 2004 |
There is nothing like coming to Las Vegas and heading for a favorite roulette table or slot machine, where you nearly always were a winner. That must be the feeling Jack Roush has when he brings his NASCAR Nextel Cup team to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, sort of a high speed 1 1/2-mile roulette wheel, where he will have five cars in today's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400.
February 14, 2004 |
Gary Stevens took off his last mount Thursday because of post-race security concerns at Santa Anita. Stevens, a Hall of Fame jockey who portrayed George Woolf in the Oscar-nominated "Seabiscuit," resumed riding Friday after having been assured by track officials that security would be improved. After races at Santa Anita, riders must take a long walk -- part of it through the crowd -- to reach the jockeys' room.
November 24, 2003 |
Although slot machines at racetracks in California are a long way from becoming reality and may never be part of the landscape, some local owners and trainers are hopeful about the possibility. Aware of how slots have resurrected such venues as Prairie Meadows in Des Moines, Delaware Park in Wilmington, Del., and Mountaineer Park in Chester, W.Va.
November 22, 2003 |
Even on good days, Prairie Meadows Racetrack was struggling to draw a few hundred fans to watch the horses. Like other tracks around the nation, this one near Des Moines faced a steady decline in thoroughbred racing's popularity and was about to become "the largest flea market or used car lot in the state," a spokesman said. Then Prairie Meadows found a way out. In 1995, it won approval to become the first U.S. track with slot machines and, according to management, business increased tenfold.
August 20, 2003 |
Rickie Gaunt snaked around the half-mile clay oval at Perris Auto Speedway, moving all the way up from 17th place, took the checkered flag, then jumped out of his sprint car and revealed his Superman-inspired driving suit. "Super Rickie," as he is known, grabbed a microphone and proudly proclaimed over the track's public-address system, "She ran like a monkey with its [tail] on fire!"
August 10, 2003 |
Lisa Sanders was drawn back into the horse-racing world of Seabiscuit when she read Laura Hillenbrand's bestseller in her Modesto book group. She loved it so much she rushed out to see the movie. Then she picked up the phone, called her daughter in San Diego and insisted they go to a track to see the real thing. "I've got to see the horses racing," she recalls saying. Which is how Sanders came to be at Del Mar Friday afternoon.
August 7, 2003 |
When a racetrack draws more than 65,000 fans, as Saratoga did Saturday, that would normally be cause for celebration in the executive suite. But officials from the New York Racing Assn., which runs Saratoga and the state's two other major tracks, are tempering their glee these days. There seems to be no limit to the number of intruders who have put NYRA in their crosshairs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 14, 2003 |
Chastened by a history of aggressive tactics that backfired, Los Angeles police are trying a softer, more sophisticated approach in their latest efforts to crack down on gang-related street violence. They are being more careful about whom they go after, they say, and more mindful of how they are perceived. "The same old stuff with a different twist," said Cmdr. Richard Roupoli of the LAPD's South Bureau.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 14, 2003 |
EL CAJON, Calif. -- It's Saturday night at Cajon Speedway, an aging field of dreams where the air is thick with exhaust and the smell of burnt rubber. Ron Kelly is sitting in his seat at the top of the bleachers, cheering his favorite drivers as they roar around the track. Amber Harmon is in the pits preparing to climb into her Ford Pinto, which she started racing this year after her husband was sent to Iraq.
May 25, 2003 |
The jockeys' racing silks were looted and the betting windows broken. A promising 3-year-old racehorse suffered a nasty shrapnel wound. Unexploded mortar shells littered the ground near the racing oval. Thieves even stole the wheels off the starting gate. In spite of it all, Baghdad's racetrack may be back in business soon, providing what would be for some a welcome diversion from the trials of daily life in the Iraqi capital.