Baltimore City Paper

Oh No, Pimlico

Hi Ho!

I just got back from the Pimlico racetrack of parimutuel wagering on horse racing and, boy, is my wallet tired, hiyo! All seriousness aside, I had my first winning day at "Old Hilltop" in like three years, to wit; I walked out of the track a Winner, with (after Reasonable Deductions for beer) more do-re-mi in my pocket* than when I galloped in!


I don't have a gambling problem or anything, seriously. I know, that's what they all say (and you know who They are: me), but it was really starting to get to me, not having a winning day at the track, I mean, I had a System and everything, but I finally figured out that was my problem-not the gambling, c'mon, man-especially now that I'm back in the win column! It was the lack of winning on my System that shoulda tipped me off, right? I only realized this after I won and noticed it was simply by picking the winning horse, all by itself, and not doing any "Exotic" wagering such as an "Exacta" or a "Trifecta," or a "Superfecta," or a "Wheel," or a "Daily Double," or "Boxing an Exacta," or a "Part-Wheel of a Trifecta." No more of that! All I do from now on is pick a horsey to Win, Place, or Show! Hi Ho! My new System! Wait, I just jinxed myself by acknowledging I haz new System, crap!

Meanwhile, I'm at the track the weekend before The Preakness, the "Middle Jewel," if you will, of the "Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing" (first of all, shouldn't it be the "Middle Crown," if it's a "Triple Crown?") anyway, I gotta tell you, it was a depressing scene, the place looked deserted, there were maybe a hundred people outside near the rail, and this is the weekend before the biggest race of the year! What the hell is going on here?


OK, right away, anybody who goes to Pimlico will tell you parts of the neighborhood around the track are kinda run down, and that keeps a lot of people away from the track, because they think it is a Bad Neighborhood. I think it is the responsibility of Pimlico, the track, to beautify and visually improve the neighborhood. Developers do that all the time, they will give money to local business for them to improve their storefronts and stuff.

Wikipedia teaches us about the people who are at least partially in charge of Pimlico:

These guys are all kindsa crazy Vertically Integrated, man, figuring all the angles (including Bankruptcy) to suck dollars outta horse racing! The problem is nobody's looking at Pimlico as a place to do Development, they are looking at it as a thing to Squeeze, the racetrack, Squeeze, Squeeze, Squeeze the money-juice outta the track! Keep the overhead down and do very little to make the area an Attractive Destination for a Family Outing. Yeah, a Family Outing! You could build a parking garage on the parking lot and then with the space you save, create a picnic area with grass and trees and stuff for families to hang out in. They do it at the track at Saratoga, N.Y., man, they have picnic tables and grass and trees and you can walk over to the open-air paddock and let the kids help you pick a winner. Or you don't even have to bet! There's all kinds of nice restaurants and bars and shops and stuff within walking distance of the track in Saratoga.

Plus, inside the track, right now the paddock at Pimlico, the place where you can go look at the horses up-close and personal as they get saddled up, is indoors and bleak, like a holding cell at the county jail. It's super-depressing to be at the track on a bright sunny day and go into this dungeon to look at the horses.

Speaking of sunny days, why don't they have lights on the track? Then instead of doing weekday racing beginning at 1 p.m., some days it could start at like 4 p.m., and the last few races could be under the lights. You'd get more people after work that way, as opposed to people like me, who are there because they don't have a day job! Bring some paychecks to the track!

And do better with extracurricular activities, man, during the racing season, and offseason, there should be music events, outdoor movies, and other kinds of non-wagering stuff. Get the guy who has done all the big shows for the Arena involved in this, and do food trucks and shows that start right after the horse racing. Of course, I think they should also have a casino at the track, so maybe make that a possibility, but only after some serious Development-type improvements are accomplished. Pimlico right now is a depressing Bus Terminal Toilet, so there's lots of opportunities for Improvement! Hi Ho!

How to bet: Wheel California Chrome with the field for a 10-cent Super and Partwheel Chrome and Ride on Curlin to win with them, and Kid Cruz, General a Rod, and Bayern to place, and all those plus Social Inclusion and Pablo Del Monte to show for Triple. It's my new System! Shh!!!