It is hard to believe but the most exciting thing happening at the Hawthorne Spring meet was watching Sportsman's Park get demolished next door. Didn't even get in a hassle this year with the security guy for taking pictures at the Illinois Derby because I didn't even bother bringing the camera. There was real corn tamales at the food court. $1.50. Those were pretty good.
But the real problem this Spring was no horses. Oh sure. In the past the Sportsman's Spring meets were all a little short, but this year was awful. Six and seven horse fields out the wazoo. As a result, not much in the line of prices. Playing horses was exhausting. I was at the track the second to the last day of the meet. A Monday, I think. Bet well and made a good amount of money. But I'm walking out to the car and thinking to myself: "I didn't have a bit of fun here. And haven't in awhile." Time to take a little break from Chicago racing, I think.
But hey here's a little slideshow of Sportsman's Park coming down.
Sportsmans Demolition Spring 2005
Click large image to start full screen slideshow with any captions
Grandstand Feb. 26. Note the poor lonely abandoned horse racing finish line marker is still there.
Car stands Feb 26
Car stands March 20
Old grandstand March 20
Car grandstand April 2nd or so
Car grandstand April 9. Out front at Hawthorne, it was Illinois Derby day.
Car grandstand mid-April
Howling void where the car grandstand used to be, May 1. So much money wasted.