Our gal pal Jennifer Starr breaks it down - hot times, cold beverages and what the hey - just try it. You really will have a good time at the track.
It's that time of year. The days are longer, the trees are emerald and the two-lane blacktop winds like a corkscrew through coal country. Perfect roadtripping to Pocono Downs.
Here's your weekend itinerary to the goofy joints, the great sites, a good pint, a peck of pickled peppers and an awesome bed in a beer baron's mansion. Why not?
So download and drive. And we'll see you along the back roads to the racetrack rail.
After sleeping in till a comfortable hour, get on I-95 until you see a billboard for something enticing, let’s say: Parx Racetrack.
The trick is to not crash your car when you’re taking a picture of an awesome vanity plate:
Now, if you’re a true PA Racing fan, you’ll know by heart which tracks are running every day of the week. Today’s Wednesday?
No one at the track gives a damn if your jacket’s covered in dog hair (which mine was). Dress comfortably and warmly. It’s perfect hoodie and boots weather. Chicks can rock boots, too.
Personally, I enjoy listening to jazz music at full blast while at the track. Makes everything seem like a Woody Allen movie. Although, you do end up looking like this:
Remember: It’s okay if by yourself, as the track is the perfect hangout for people playing hookie. It’s like the 7-11 parking lot behind your old high school, but much more fun and you don't need Kevin's older brother to buy you beer.
If you’re more of the gregarious type, feel free to chat up a jockey when they’re coming off the track. You’d be amazed at how calm and collected they are after being in such a high-adrenaline situation. Here are some pics I snapped of jockeys Eriluis Vaz and Kristina McManigell (who, was rated in the 10 hottest female jockeys by BleacherReport).
There's always good conversations popping up at the track. I heard a triumphant female trainer proclaim: “When your energy is good and you’re feeling positive, everything will be right.” I turned and said “Amen,” but she didn’t hear me. I said it again, but too much time had passed and I looked like I was just preaching for no reason.
Bet lightly on every race. You're bound to see a great one and get swept up into the energy of it all. We here at TrackPackPA wish you the best of luck, and hope you spend all your sick days with us. We'll leave you with a video of me practicing my "Yips!"
Why doesn’t anyone sing about horses anymore? Seems like it was recurring motif that got phased out by songs about G6’s and shufflin’ (kids these days).
We here at TrackPackPA revere horse-tracks of ole. It's not that we’re horse-crazy, but we feel like they’re a powerful and beautiful subject matter. Plus they’re relatable. Who doesn’t wanna run free like a horse? (I should really start jogging more.) Anyway, here it is- 20 tracks of riding wild, and wild riding!
TrackPackPA Presents: Horse Tracks!
Music to Get Your Giddy Up
America - "A Horse With No Name"
The Beatles - "Dig a Pony"
Van Morrison - "Slim Slow Slider"
Rolling Stones - "Wild Horses"
Paul Simon - "One Trick Pony"
The Byrds - "Chestnut Mare"
Jethro Tull - "Heavy Horses"
Bruce Springsteen - "Ponyboy"
The Osmonds - "Crazy Horses"
Iggy Pop - "The Horse Song"
Johnny Cash - "Tennessee Stud"
Michael Martin Murphy - "Wildfire"
U2 - "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses"
Bob Dylan - "All the Tired Horses"
Johnny Cash - "My Old Kentucky Home"
The Cardigans - "A Good Horse"
Neil Young - "Cowgirl in the Sand"
Aerosmith - "Back in the Saddle Again"
Randy Newman - "Rider in the Rain"
KT Tunstall - "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" (Thanks Karen K!)
George Jones - "The Race is On" (Thanks TJ B!)
Fluff piece? Who you callin a fluff piece?!
We’ve all heard expressions “elephants never forget,” and “dogs are a man’s best friend,” but what about horses? Turns out that they may be a combination of both!
“Equid social relationships are long-lasting and, in some cases, livelong,” say ethologists from the University of Rennes in northern France. Horses involved in the testing reacted kindly to friendly trainers after being separated from them for up to eight months at a time. They also showed disinterest and were unruly with stricter trainers after being separated after similar stretches of times.
They also discovered that horses recognize and memorize human words, and, in fact, have better hearing than dogs!
So what’d we learn here today, class?
Check out the Discovery article that inspired this post!
If you've been following us on Facebook, you'll know we deal a lot with used horseshoes. Suffice it to say, this would be a very difficult medium to create art with. And yet, 26-year-old sculptor Tom Hill exhibits a mastery over the steel, molding it into unique shapes and animals. He is the Edward Scissorhands of horseshoes. What? We’re not art critics.
Check out some of his work in the slideshow:
In 2009, Animal Planet launched a reality series under their “Surprisingly Human” branding initiative called Jockeys. One could label it as a 'sports-drama,' but it has its fair share of lighthearted moments. The show lasted for 2 seasons with 19 total episodes- but unfortunately it has gone into hibernation.
We’re specifically calling it a ‘hibernation’ because we believe there’s a bright shot at it coming back. If HBO’s Luck does impeccably in the ratings, it would be a wise decision on Animal Planet’s part to make another season. Plus, reality shows are dirt cheap to make- so there’s not much risk involved.
Good news for now is that all seven episodes of the second season are available online for free! Wanna watch it with us? Perhaps we'll recap an episode on a weekly basis.
Cameo's inlude: 2011 Cotillion winner and Plum Pretty rider Rafael Bejarano, 2010 Breeder's Cup winner and recent Pennsylvania Derby participant Garret Gomez, and the one and only Zenyatta.
Let's all write to Animal Planet asking for the show back! After all, how many Pawn Shop-Antique-Bidding shows do we need?
Last night HBO aired their first teaser trailer for the upcoming horse racing drama “Luck.” It looks… well, damn good. Check it out:
The show focuses not only on high stakes racing, but the tension and distinct personalities that accompany the sport- kinda like we do. Of course, elements are going to be embellished and dramatized (a jockey falls off his horse in the trailer), but that’s show business.
Check out a behind the scenes featurette here.
Simply put: It’s exposure to the sport. So, regardless of the inevitable exaggerations, this is going to be a good thing for racing. It’s HBO, after all- so we know we’re not gonna get some hackneyed premise with a pun for a name. For example:
Oh, what's up, Sean Astin? Life been treating you good after Lord of the Rings? Yeah? You look happy. Congrats. By the way, you're leaning on that horses ass.
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