McChump & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Ted is a friend of mine who writes for the Chicago Reader. Somehow he scammed up a deal to write a book about racing and horseplayers. He'd been meeting, greeting, and interviewing horseplayers from all walks of life during Spring 2003 at Hawthorne and Arlington, but thought he might want to take a look at life outside the confines of the Chicago tracks' "horse racing as purely business" atmosphere. So he asked me if I was heading out to visit any podunk tracks in the near future. As it happened, I wasn't, but I could rig something up in a jiffy, especially since I knew the Miles City, Montana, Bucking Horse Sale was coming up pretty quick.

A drive all the way out to Montana just to see one meet seemed kind of a waste of a potentially valuable travel opportunity, though, and there was a couple spots I'd always wanted to re-visit, plus a few I didn't but were on the way, so the trip quickly took on epic proportions. Ted was going to see enough podunk tracks to keep him satisfied for a good long time, if there was anything I could do about it.

So, funded by the ill-gotten gains from the recent coups at the Hawthorne handicapping contests (Thanks, Haw!), not to mention a portion of the book advance, off we went, in a mighty Rent-A-Chumpmobile, on one of the most quickly-constructed and under-planned McChump major tours in the history of major tours. I have no idea what Ted thought of the whole excruciating affair, or what he is going to write about from all this, but I had fun. Mostly.

Part 1. "Dodging the Tornadoes"
Fairmount Park, Blue Ribbon Downs, Fair Meadows Tulsa, Eureka Downs

Part 2. "Can't Judge a Book by its Cover"
Miles City Bucking Horse Sale

Part 1. "The Once and Future Sport of Kings"
Brown County Fair, Prairie Meadows


Mosey on back to the McChump Tour main page or to the 2003 Tour.