Have Game? Will Travel!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Horse Racing at Arlington Park

Recently, I started thinking – why do I never consider watching Horse Racing? Although I check for events at each arena and stadium within the Chicagoland area it never occurs to me to check the racing schedules at Chicago’s two main horse tracks: Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, IL and Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero, IL. You could also go to Balmoral Park in Crete, IL to see live harness racing.

This morning as I was driving to work, I noticed a sign that read "Arlington Park This Exit" at my exit. That got me thinking. Could I take in a few races over my lunch (2) hour(s)? Could I leave work a little early and check out a few races while waiting for the evening rush hour to disperse?

Thus, I checked out the distance between my new office and Arlington Park. 8.31 miles, about a 10-15 minute drive. I shoot straight down Willow Rd; turn left on Wilke Rd; drive a little further and bam; Arlington Park. This could be a definite possibility – especially on Friday evening’s during the summer when the Chicago construction crews replace the winter’s foot of snow causing traffic to slow to a crawl.

Next, I checked out the post times for Friday afternoon races. The first post time is at 2:30 pm CT – a little early. But there are 10 races and about 30 minutes in between each race. Race #6’s post time is 5 pm CT and race #10 posts at 7:03 pm CT. Thus, I could see 4-5 races after work and still make it home at a reasonable hour.

I want horse racing to hit my radar of sporting events to attend more often. It has not in the past because:

1) The tracks are normally not in a close proximity to where I live or work.
2) The races begin in the afternoon on weekdays.
3) Weekend post times have too much competition with other sporting events.
4) Regular racing days are generally not that prestigious of events.

As you can tell, I have attended horse racing sparsely throughout the years – mainly attending the more prestigious horse racing events. But when you consider I look up events at the smaller venues, like the Sears Centre, and drive to the suburbs to see Minor League Golf, Basketball and/or Hockey, Horse Racing should definitely be added to my repertoire.



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