Not necessarily in that order.
Gone is Chef Jake and his Cajun Kitchen; in its place is the Dash for Cash Bar. The beloved Blue Bell Ice Cream kiosk, a must on hot days and/or when kids are in tow, has been eliminated - replaced by a gift shop kiosk because said former gift shop is now a bar. And, as mentioned previously, the former Post Time Pavilion is now the wildly popular Bar & Book with more beers and drink specials than Triple Crown nominees.
There are 9 concerts on the schedule. Additionally, there are concerts after concerts at the Bar & Book. It's conceivable that the Bar & Book could end up staying open until 2:00 a.m. Australian racing, anyone?
One can surmise with all the changes at Lone Star Park, including discarding Dollar Day, there is a notable shift toward adult entertainment.
And how does this Mom - a horse racing fan and bettor whose companions, on occasion, are her children - feel about these changes?
Frankly, Global Gaming is calling a spade a spade: horse racing is gaming. And you don't create a small empire on Exit 1, Oklahoma, by being The Family Fun Park.
Opening Night Notes
Almost 9,000 were in attendance last night, up 3% from last year. According to Vice President G.W. Hail, the Bar & Book was "packed because of Happy Hour specials from 4-7 p.m."
The $50,000 Premiere Stakes, shortened from 1 1/16 mi to 6 1/2 f, was won by Gold Element, trained by Bret Calhoun; winning jockey, the up-and-coming Lindey Wade. As a matter of fact, Lindey had two winners on the card last night. And he's still a real cutie-pie and I would adopt him if I could. (Sorry, Mama Wade).
And I made a new friend: The Yard of Margarita!
Purchased at the Bar of the Former Gift Shop for a reasonable $9.75 for 500 ml of pure frozen delight, it presented itself with a couple of minor flaws:
Melts before completion, leaving wino with a short straw
Finally, it was great to have the evening end with our good friend, trainer Dallas Keen, in the Winner's Circle with Hy Lime Time. That would be a horse, not some exotic cocktail served at the Bar & Book.