And Away They Go

“The profession of book writing
makes horse racing seem
like a solid, stable business.”
John Steinbeck

Santa Anita Track

Santa Anita Thoroughbred Race Track located in Arcadia, California.

Every once in a while, I find myself watching horse racing on “TVG”, our local horse racing channel. It’s fun to pick a horse and not be emotionally involved with actually winning or losing. I guess I’m more mesmerized by the beautiful horses than anything. To be honest, I really don’t like the business of horse racing. Having worked briefly in the industry with the horses, I don’t like how the thousands of discarded race horses are treated. Unless they are one of the few and fortunate horses that become successful and famous. This is an entire story in itself.

The closest track to us is Santa Anita Race Track. It is a beautiful old track built in 1934, just six years before Seabiscuit won the Santa Anita Handicap. It is also where Affirmed and Laffit Pincay Jr. won the Santa Anita Handicap to set them on their run towards the 1978 Triple Crown title. Affirmed would go on to claim all three Triple Crown races that year — being the last horse to do so.

The first time I visited Santa Anita race track it wasn’t to see horse racing. It was during the 1984 Summer Olympics. They held the dressage Olympic events there. I was fortunate enough to witness Hilda Gurney, along with other US dressage athletes win sixth place for the US Olympic Dressage Team.

Watching the horses race on TV is easier than going to the track, but not quite as exciting. Often after my husband and I have got the racing bug, we’ll drive over to Santa Anita race track for some live action. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose, but we always have a great day at Santa Anita win or lose.

No matter how many times I see the horses race at Santa Anita, I still get goosebumps when I hear the track announcer, Trevor Denman say, “And away they go.”

Shine On