The 2004 McChump ??/365 Racing Tour

14 Exciting Tracks! 7 Exotic States and Provinces! x Thrilling Stories! (so far)

  • Turf Paradise, Phoenix, AZ, Jan 17, 2004

This is It: The End of An Era. Probably.

After many years of living in Phoenix, McChump #2 is hitting the trail. Sold his business, put all his junk in storage, and will be living out of the groovy red 'Bird in a grand Tour of America for the foreseeable future, till he decides on a new place to settle.

  • Manor Downs, Manor, TX, Mar 27, 2004

McChump #2 was staying in Austin for awhile, scouting out that town as a possible future home. "Come on down!" So I did.

Never wrote too much of a story about it, but I seem to recall it was fun with much late night stumbling around 6th Street. Plus I spent all of $8 on a quarterhorse superfecta when we went out to Manor Downs, and I ended up taking down like 1/3 of the pool. A princely $478 or something. McChump #2 was mighty impressed. That day, I was the King. And of course we got pix!

  • National Jockey Club at Hawthorne Racecourse, Stickney, IL, April 3, 2004

128 racetracks I've been to, and not a single one, save old Sportsman's Park, have I ever been told I couldn't take pictures. Breeders' Cups, Arc, Preakness, Irish Derby, All-American Futurity, Pacific Classic, whatever, never, except at Sportsman's. Until today.

  • Fairmount Park, Collinsville, IL, May-sumthin', 2004

No story yet. But it was a fun time.

  • Montana State Fair Race Meet, Great Falls, MT, July 3-4, 2004

Unbelievable. Clydesdales are everywhere. Although I think these might be some local off brand of Clydesdales as opposed to official Crud Clydesdales.

So much good stuff happened this trip. And the mermaids down at the Sip n' Dip, who were out fighting forest fires last year, were back in the pool this year. Woo hoo. Mermaids.

  • Claiming Crown at Canterbury Park, July 17, 2004

Oh sure.

You never believed I was legit press. So maybe one of these days I'll write this story properly just to prove you wrong, and the folks at Cby who issued me this badge right.

But meanwhile ...

  • River Downs, Cincinnati, OH, July 24, 2004

Yeah I don't know what the hell happened here. I don't even have pix. But we went to River Downs. Gambled some. Drank some beers. Had fun.

  • Arlington Park, Arlington Heights, IL, August 14, 2004

Last year Arlington Million it was the heartbreak of Maury losing that $5k wager on Storming Home when that one was DQ'ed for inexplicably ducking out at the wire and tossing Gary Stevens unceremoniously to the ground. And this year they topped that DQ, when they took down Powerscourt for ducking IN in deep stretch. Though it was kind of my opinion this one might have been more jockey Jamie Spencer's fault. Kind of a bummer, two years in a row like that. And yeah, I lost money on this one. But I got some assorted pix!

  • Cumberland County Fair, Greenup, IL, August 23, 2004 (Track #129)

Now who said you must have wagering to run a horse race? It's just not so (though it isn't quite as fun.)

And so, early on a Monday morning in August (a day which apparently some people had off), you would have found me and Dave Z. from Arlington meeting up in the parking lot at the Oakbrook OTB and switching to just one rig for a long, long 3-1/2 hr. trip from Chicagoland to visit a track Beyond Podunkville, down in Greenup, Illinois. a little town in downstate Illinois farm country, on the road between St. Louis and Indianapolis. For fair racing. With no wagering.

  • Yellowstone Downs, Billings, MT, September 5-6, 2004

A week in Montana got me another visit to Yellowstone Downs, and too much time in keno "casinos", and a drive through of the big "What the Hay!" sculpture contest up by Utica. Unfortunately, or fortunately if you swing that way,  there's really only pictures.

  • Beulah Park, Grove City, OH, Sep 23, 2004
  • River Downs Racebook, Cincinnati, OH, Sep 24, 2004
  • Turfway Park, Florence, KY, Sep 24, 2004
  • Kentucky Downs, Franklin, KY, Sep 25 & 27, 2004

It was that time again, Kentucky Downs time. So the McChump party duly set out on the drive from Chicago to Nashville. We went the long way.

  • Breeders' Cup, Lone Star Park, Grande Prairie, TX, Oct 30, 2004

Photographers block the view

The photographers get an early start on blocking our $200 view.
This is a post parade. Some race. I'm not sure which. I couldn't see any of them.