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The ending of an era for Atlantic City Racecourse?

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  • #21
    I wish there was some way to help this track get back on its feet. I grew up in the area, and so many of my fondest horse memories are there; seeing my first live race, going to the barns in the morning with my horse show friend, whose dad was a trainer there, the live racing at night. Even showed there when the old Shore Memorial Hospital show was held there a few years. My OTTB was so excited to be back on the track, it was hysterical. I remember how excited we were to be able to graze our horses on the turf course; it was considered a honor.

    Great course with so much history...fingers crossed it will continue to get dates, or even the much-talked about re-build.


    • #22
      Atlantic City Attendance Thursday 4-16: 3,619
      Atlantic City Attendance Friday 4-17: 5,795

      A pretty decent crowd if you ask me for two respective work days and the last race going off at 6pm


      • #23
        Oh, Atlantic City...(sigh).
        It was the first track I was stabled at as a young, TOTALLY GREEN former 4-H rider/junior whip (for Charing Hounds in Aiken, South Carolina).
        It was night racing and I remember that first summer at the track when everything about horse racing seemed glamorous.
        One evening I was by the paddock clocking a potential claim for my trainer (as if I had a clue what I was doing!?!). The legendary Angel Cordero was put up on his mount and as the horses paraded around the paddock the crowd started booing him. I thought "how can they boo him - he's Angel Cordero?" (it was the year he forced Genuine Risk wide on Codex, thus costing her the Triple Crown).
        Atlantic City was a beautiful track. I haven't been back since the early 80's, but I'll always remember the magic I felt there as a young girl with dreams of Secretariat, and the idea of becoming a jockey...


        • #24
          CH, I was there in 82 and 83... Julie Krone was leading rider, and I worked for Steve Brown who had the second string for Old Glory and was leading trainer... I lived at the beach and shared a house with Julie. What great memories I have!

          Hubby and I took a short trip to AC a month ago and I had to stop by the track on the way... just looking at the barren backside had me tearing up...but I did notice that they had dates up for this year, hopefully it will continue on in some form.


          • #25
            Further proof you can't kill this track or squish the wagering interest for it:

            BloodHorse 5-5-09 "All-Turf Handle Quadruples at Atlantic City"

            Atlantic City raced six days (Thursdays and Fridays) from April 16-May 1, with all 37 races on the grass. For the first time in many years, the track exported its signal, but some betting outlets and account wagering providers missed the first several days of the meet.

            In all, $3,259,953 was wagered on Atlantic City races, up from $809,932 for six days last year, when only on-track betting was available, according to figures from the track’s official charts. Both years, six races were offered each of the first five days, and seven on the final day.

            TVG showed all or stretch calls of the track’s races the last two days of the meet.

            With no turnstiles, reported attendance is a loose figure. The average was 4,278 for racing programs that began at 3:30 p.m. EDT each day.

            Despite having a yielding turf course the first week of the meet, field size increased to 10.46 horses per race, up from 9.92 in 2007, according to The Jockey Club Information Systems. Purses averaged $120,332 this year, down from $133,283 last year.
            Youtube Video: Atlantic City Race Course NJ - April 30, 2009

            Youtube Video: Atlantic City Race Course NJ - April 17, 2009


            • #26
              Thanks for the links! It's almost exactly how I remember it, minus the table with the hotdogs....


              • #27
                Originally posted by Acertainsmile View Post
                Thanks for the links! It's almost exactly how I remember it, minus the table with the hotdogs....
                No problem and it is nice that someone captured the place as it is today without any narration. It looks like a low-key place to go and have some fun. Not a lot of hyper-inebriated folks screaming profanity and scaring away patrons

                Now if only I could find video of that Brockton, MA Fair with the bull-ring hard turns next to the funnel cake stand!


                • #28
                  I'm 15 mins from Atlantic City RC and still praying for a miracle. Thing is, every local I bring this up with, favors the land remaining as a track. They hated the Nascar idea, and the locals know there are plenty of cheap housing developments - one more is just going to crowd up an already over crowded area.

                  My small "Pinelands Riding Club" posted announcements about the 6 day meet this time, and so many people were like "we had no idea we could still see live races there, how cool, we're going!" I think they would get even more attendence if they did more promotion than a few cardboard signs stuck by the highway.

                  Anyway, I made it to two of the 6 days with my camera, I'll post some pics from this years meet soon. I just fell in love with the track all over again, and I wasn't alone. It is very laid back, families every where, just jam packed with happy people from all walks of life.

                  The horses competing look very nice, and the turf is still in prime condition. The funny thing is, no one seems to notice that not a cent has been spent in maintaining the track in over a decade (at least the specators don't) Yeah its pretty shabby, but everyone is so exited about being there and seeing the horses, no one seems to mind. They wouldn't have to put much $$ into it to clean it up a bit, the crowds don't seem to care, you know?

                  Still hoping against hope some investor comes by and is inspired, or some politics blows some good kharma in ACRC's direction,



                  • #29
                    Starting gate?

                    Does AC use Monmouth Park's starting gate? Or ir could have been a total coincidence. But last monday about 10am, I passed (I am pretty sure) the MP starting gate on RT 18 Northbound in Monmouth County. Timing would fit for it being returned to MP.
                    Mighty Thoroughbred Clique - has a Facebook Page!!!http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mig...80739235378806


                    • #30
                      LOL I wouldn't be surprised!

                      They are trying to keep costs minimal, and seem to be succeeding - I saw a lot of "Philadephia Park" emblazoned on the jackets, hats, etc, of the pony riders, outriders, and other officials.

                      Well, heck, for a 6 day live meet, you can't just leave a nice starting gate the whole year doing nada right?

                      Now, the bigger question - were the two John Deere tractors that pulled around also borrowered? Anyone see them on a highway somewhere? LoL TIC

                      But, the turf track is still it's own, and I heard good things about it again from a few who raced there. Anyone here any negatives about the track itself?

                      I myself am hinging my hopes upon that (nice track, turf excellent, dirt okay scraped to the hard stuff right now, but what a perfect place to experiement with a nice new dirt or synthetic surface?) and the locals likeing for having live racing there (another note to that factor, the traffic was loaded to max for the beginning & ending of race days - anyone need any other proof for it's popularity with spectators, in spite of little to no effort nor money directed to drawing them in?)

                      crossing fingers & toes (er, at least the non broken ones hehe) that our track survives


                      • #31
                        Back again for 2011 - their tiny meet of 6-days and 38-races total starts THUR April 28th - with typical six race cards and full fields of 12-runners. Few courses can boast of those consistent larger fields.

                        Press of AC, Apr 27, 2011 "Atlantic City Race Course spruces up for 6-day meet, which begins Thursday"

                        "It feels like a big festival," said Galloway Township's Joseph Trama, who goes to the track at least twice a week (for simulcasting). "It's so enjoyable. I come out with my wife and daughter these (live) days because they like it so much. There is so much emotion here."

                        Ever year, the officials at the racecourse listen to patrons' suggestions and incorporate some of those ideas into next year's races.

                        For this year, there will be a full-service bar for the first time offering mix drinks.
                        Where: Atlantic City Race Course, 4501 Black Horse Pike, Hamilton Township, New Jersey

                        For 2011 they've even gained a minor celeb running this weekend.

                        [The meet] highlighted by the possible start of Eldaafer, the winner of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Marathon, in a Saturday (APR 30th) allowance race.

                        Eldaafer – whose win in the Marathon was overshadowed by a disqualification of the second-place finisher and a subsequent fight between jockeys Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano – was one of 12 horses entered in the $27,000 starter allowance race, a one-mile and 40-yard race that is scheduled as the last race on the six-race card.

                        “We’re thrilled about it,” said Maureen Bugdon, the president of the track. “It’s exciting to have a Breeders’ Cup champion here, and the turf course just looks great.”
                        All 38 races scheduled for six consecutive days of racing from Thursday through Tuesday will be run on the turf. First post each day is 3:30 p.m., with six races on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday cards, and seven races on the Monday and Tuesday cards. Parking and admission are free.

                        On opening day, 72 horses have been entered, the maximum allowed. An identical number is entered on the Friday card. The track’s only stakes, the $50,000 Tony Gatto Dream Big Stakes at five furlongs on the turf, is scheduled for closing day.
                        Last year, daily average all-sources handle was $649,137, an increase of 19.5 percent over the meet in 2009, and average attendance was 5,803. Average field size last year was 10.1 horses per race.

                        Where else can you go to watch racing on turf in the Northeast so close to an urban center for free? You just can't.


                        • #32
                          Does anyone know if TVG or HRTV or both will show AC this year? I've got a good friend with a handful in for the meet and would love to see them run.


                          • #33
                            TVG did air some AC racing in a prior year, but it doesn't appear on their line-up of tracks for broadcasting for APR 28th, 2011. TVG only airs some Parx (mutually owned by the same parent company as ACRC - Greenwood) racing, so I suspect at best stretch runs may be aired on tape delay.

                            As an aside TVG dropped airing from Finger Lakes racing thus far in 2011.


                            • #34
                              Horse racing is dead? No one cares to see horses in the flesh? Really?

                              How about in the land of the casino, flashing lights, endless digital noises, pushes for the one-armed bandit slots and all the gimmicks this news:

                              May 2, 2011 "Atlantic City Draws 9,822 for All-Turf Card"

                              Atlantic City Race Course announced that 9,822 fans attended its live race program May 1, the track's biggest attendance in more than 10 years.
                              ETA: BC Marathon (2010) winner Eldaafer did race on Saturday April 30th and won the 6th race. Not sure why but he paid out $2.60 for the wager which is higher then I'd expect for such a bigger league horse at a smaller track.


                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post

                                ETA: BC Marathon (2010) winner Eldaafer did race on Saturday April 30th and won the 6th race. Not sure why but he paid out $2.60 for the wager which is higher then I'd expect for such a bigger league horse at a smaller track.
                                Well how about that... I wonder who was the last champion to race at AC before him. It was probably a good 20+ years ago.
                                Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                                • #36
                                  Atlantic City....

                                  Hi All,
                                  All I can say is racing needs more tracks that have short meets (it fills in some 'gaps' for people in the industry when one nearby track closes). Also, the turf program puts AC in a niche almost all its' own.

                                  I was honored to have the girl I bred, Rosalita's Wish, run second yesterday in a $25,000 turf allowance. It was such a feeling of history and pride. Great race - tough Allowance fillies and mares going head to head.

                                  Long may Atlantic City reign!



                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by haligator View Post
                                    I was honored to have the girl I bred, Rosalita's Wish, run second yesterday in a $25,000 turf allowance. It was such a feeling of history and pride.
                                    Congrats, Hallie, on the place with your gal.


                                    • #38
                                      Photos: 2011 Atlantic City Race Course in Hamilton Township

                                      Poor weather killed the chance for the attendance numbers of the just eneded meet to surpass last year's meet - although Sunday's huge turnout did boost the tally:

                                      Press of Atlantic City

                                      Grace Kelly’s father, John, used to be one of the track owners. She used to roam the building with her children. Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope were original stockholders.

                                      More than 28,000 fans packed the track in 1946 for its inaugural race.

                                      Perhaps the race track will never get back to those glory days, but racing enthusiasts hope there are still plenty of good days ahead.

                                      “Look at how much fun the kids are having,” said Betsy Jordan, 35, of Egg Harbor Township, as she pointed to her two young daughters galloping through the paddock as they pretended to be race horses.

                                      “This is the kind of place where you like to bring the family,” she said. “It’s not about the betting. It’s about being around the horses and the excitement and seeing something you don’t get to see every day.”
                                      Atlantic City Race Course statistics

                                      Year <> Race Days <> Attendance ~ On-Track Handle

                                      1999 5 <> 8,415 ~ $525,865
                                      2000 6 <> 12,859 ~ $863,008
                                      2001 10 <> 18,929 ~ $992,240
                                      2002 1 <> 1,925 ~ $170,686
                                      2003 4 <> 4,396 ~ $335,350
                                      2004 4 <> 11,639 ~ $458,868
                                      2005 4 <> 8,483 ~ $412,528
                                      2006 4 <> 16,344 ~ $698,856
                                      2007 4 <> 17,239 ~ $731,283
                                      2008 6 <> 25,485 ~ $807,932
                                      2009 6 <> 25,673 ~ $771,243
                                      2010 6 <> 34,818 ~ $957,734
                                      2011 6 <> 32,245 ~ N/A

                                      Source: Atlantic City Race Course


                                      • #39
                                        Once again the track and boutique meet that nobody can kill off and has found a strong following with fans will be back ....

                                        2013 - Atlantic City to Usher in NJ Racing Season

                                        .. begins April 25 with the first of six days of all-turf racing at Atlantic City Race Course, which officials said has been upgraded a bit in response to requests from patrons.

                                        From a facilities standpoint Atlantic City, which opened in 1946, still has the look and feel of the 1970s and 1980s. This year the paddock beer garden, popular decades ago, has been restored to cater to larger crowds.

                                        Bugdon said there will be a full-service bar with paddock-view bar tops, picnic tables with umbrellas, and a new wagering pavilion. There also will be paddock-area restrooms for the first time.

                                        On the first floor of the grandstand, concession stands have been upgraded, and there will be a trackside "hot dog cart," Bugdon said. Handicapping seminars for experienced players and novices will be offered, she said.


                                        • #40
                                          The dirt track at Atlantic City is no longer used, but the turf course is considered one of the best in the country.
                                          Starts with an 'S,' ends with a 'T.' You figure it out.

                                          "Houston, Tranquility Base here, picking up where we left off ..."