Winter is the best time of year for horseracing, and we’re lucky enough to live within biking distance of an incredible, old-fashioned racetrack. It’s truly got everything you need for a perfect afternoon: old wooden bandstand, cheap drinks, lots of ponies, and cashiers who don’t get mad when you place your bets out of order. A bunch of us went the other afternoon, and we left giddier than kids on Christmas.
Call it the old-timeyness of the races, the generous rounds of drinks, or even the unbeatable experience of spending an afternoon in an altogether different era, but this was truly one of the most memorable things I’ve done in a while. All that, plus the races make for excellent people watching, whether you’re on the hunt for someone to share your racing form, or simply enjoying the view with your current sweetie. Basically, betting on the ponies is damned sexy.
Definitely check out the Daily Racing Form for tracks in your area, but to really study up for an afternoon at the races, you’ve got to get some Bukowski:
One of Bukowski’s best short story collections, The Most Beautiful Woman in Town also features some of his most useful advice on horse racing. It’s called "Non-Horseshit Horse Advice" and the title doesn’t lie — it will teach you everything you need to know to have a successful day at the races, and we’re talking success on all levels: betting, flirting, and getting drunk.
That’s a trifecta I’ll put my money on any day of the week.