- Always encouraging when we see the occasional outbursts of interest in our sport, especially those other than at Saratoga, Oaklawn, or Keeneland. Atlantic City opens its ultimate boutique meet today - six days, Wed - Friday this week and next. With virtually no promotion - not even an active website - the meet drew surprisingly well last year.
Last year's four-day meet drew a total of 18,442 fans, which was the highest of any track in the country during that time period. The final day's attendance was just less than 6,000.Really? I'm skeptical about that, but guess we'll take their word for it. All the races will be on the grass course, still recognized as the best on the East Coast.
Only Churchill Downs, which was hosting the Kentucky Derby the same day, had a bigger crowd. [Press of Atlantic City]
It is so plush that course officials are planning to stage a promotion sometime during the meet that allows fans to walk the turf barefoot, much like groundskeepers at other tracks do to get a feel for what a state-of-the-art grass surface should feel like.I'd like to hear a similar offer for a Polytrack venue, though I suppose we'd be picking various and sundry debris out of our toenails for weeks!
On Friday, Mr. W.B. will run at A.C. in a 5 1/2 furlong sprint for Kasey K. Yeah, I know I wrote that he would get a break. But he's done well since switching to Keith Lebarron at Philly Park, and is ready to go. And a week from Friday, Primal Peak gets a shot at a sprint stakes there. Lebarron has done quite a job with that one and Foolish Bid. "He's Todd Pletcher to me," Bob told me. Whatsmore, he's the Toddster at about half the day rate, and at a track offering outsize purses, moderate competition, and middling field sizes - bad for bettors and handle perhaps, but good for the horsemen there indeed.