The 2003 McChump ??/365 Racing Tour

Slap Dash and Hap Hazard, my two good friends

24 Exciting Tracks! 17 Exotic States and Provinces! 4 Thrilling Stories! (so far)

  • Rillito Park, Tucson, AZ, Feb 22, 2003
  • Turf Paradise, Phoenix, AZ, Feb 23, 2003

The Red Hat ladies are everywhere. Rillito Park? Check. Turf Paradise? Check. But there's no story yet, just some pictures of Rillito Park ... and the Budweiser Clydesdales. Those horses are everywhere!

  • Hawthorne Race Course, Stickney, IL, Spring, 2003

On the Internet we've been discussing meets that are up vs. those that are down, so I'd like to bring some attention to an organization that is actually doing some positive things to make their live meet/track more pleasant for horseplayers. They're creating quite a positive buzz, and the players are responding, at least last I heard.

  • Arlington Park, Arlington Heights, IL, Spring, 2003

Well, since I made such a big deal out of all the destruction, mayhem, and price gouging that attended the 2002 BC at AP, it's only fair to report what has been done to restore the place to a semblance of normality since then. (That the temp seating and tents are gone is a given.)

  • Multiple Tracks

Ted's a degenerate racetrack buddy who moonlights as a writer for the alternative publication the Chicago Reader. He'd managed to sneak articles about horse racing into the Reader over the years, probably appealing to the hipster "it's so retro and out of style it is cool" crowd. And now all of a sudden he had scammed up a deal to write a book about racing and horseplayers.

  • Fairmount Park, Collinsville, IL, May 9, 2003
  • Blue Ribbon Downs, Sallisaw, OK, May 10, 2003
  • Fair Meadows, Tulsa, OK, May 10, 2003
  • Eureka Downs, Eureka, KS, May 11, 2003

"Dodging the Tornadoes"

This was the now-fabled "southern strategy" of me and Ted's little spur of the moment adventure, where instead of heading west from Chicago to get to Miles City, MT, like most regular people who might wear an occasional python boot would, we headed south, to St. Louis and Fairmount Park, and just kept heading south from there. Into tornado central of the universe, Oklahoma and Kansas in May. I was testing those tornado gods yet again. 

Yeah just pix for now and not that many. I don't know what was going on with me this trip ... I just wasn't taking pix. But did get some of Eureka Downs.

  • Bucking Horse Sale, Miles City, MT, May 16-17, 2003

"Can't Judge a Book by its Cover"

-- Chapter 1. "Baked Potato", Friday afternoon, May 16, 2003

Ted is hungry. Actually, he's always hungry, and today he has been hungry for quite some time. There's been nothing to eat but dust for a long while.

  • Brown County Fair, Aberdeen, SD, May 18, 2003
  • Prairie Meadows, Altoona, IA, May 19, 2003

"The Once and Future Sport of Kings"

Having achieved, even if Ted didn't know it, the possibly-to-this-point all time nirvana of McChump road trips with that quick-hitting three day combo of visit to 'Bad Land', choose-your-potato cafe, neon bars and street dance of downtown Miles City, night time near deer collision, the giant parade, Bucking Horse Sale bucking and racing, the 7th Cavalry band, and whatever else we encountered there in the vicinity of Miles City that weekend, time eventually inched forward as it often does, and we reached that point in the story where it became time to ooze on back toward Chicago.

Ooze we did. We were whipped. Not much more story, but some pix.

  • River Downs, Cincinnati, OH, May 25, 2003
  • Indiana Downs, Shelbyville, IN, May 26, 2003
  • Hoosier Park, Anderson, IN, May 26, 2003

Never quite got much of a story written about this trip, but do have some snappy photos of Indiana Downs. Damn that track is red.

  • Sportsman's Park fixtures auction, Cicero, IL, July 8, 2003

Me and the VP KSFC decided to go down to the big Fixtures Auction at Sportsman's Park, and see if there was anything worth bidding on that was in our price range. VP KSFC kind of had his heart set on maybe the finish line pole, or something from the little farm in the infield.

  • Marias Fair, Shelby, MT, July 20, 2003
  • Montana State Fair Meet, Great Falls, MT, July 26-27, 2003

Here's a teaser: "Gopher Wheel". And wagering thereupon. Read on.

  • Humboldt County Fair, Ferndale, CA, Aug. 16-17, 2003
  • San Mateo County Fair, San Mateo, CA, Aug. 18, 2003

McChump Tour meets Known Gamblers Tour. Hijinks ensue.

This story didn't get written yet. But we do have a nice picture of "Vincent van Crogh", an attraction at the Humboldt County Fair art exhibit. It's hard to believe he only won 2nd. Plus the KGs in a win picture for a race Roxy sponsored.A mule race.

  • Retama Park, Selma, TX, Aug. 22, 2003
  • Gillespie County Fair, Fredericksburg, TX. Aug. 23-24, 2003

Just some pictures of racing at the Gillespie County Fair and simulcasting at the Fredericksburg Race Barn.

  • Canterbury Park, Shakopee, MN, Aug. 30, 2003
  • North Dakota Horse Park, Fargo, ND, Aug. 31 2003 (Track #128)
  • Arlington Park, Arlington Heights, IL, Sep. 1, 2003

Not much of a story yet. Just a few photos of the North Dakota Horse Park, and a possible "North Dakota Whale" spotting just outside RCI.

  • Kentucky Downs, Franklin, KY, Sep. 20-21, 2003

Once again in 2003 Internet correspondents traveled from near and far, and Nashville area friends from not so far, to attend the big tailgate party in the Kentucky Downs Parking lot on Kentucky Cup Day. Thanks much to our hosts Jeff D. and Deb L. And that's it for story, but lots of photos.

  • Hawthorne Race Course, Stickney, IL, Sep. 28, 2003

Just a photo of Perfect Drift.

  • Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA, Oct. 28, 2003

Smoke. Smoky. Smokiest.

Pictures from the fire-darkened Breeders Cup at Santa Anita, 2003.