Rumors have been circulating for awhile ... updated Silks dining, new racing surface, a state-of-the-art infield jumbo-tron that's capable of bringing tears to your eyes. Changes! Improvements! A return to the original (and correct!) color of frozen margarita!
One glance - it's love at first sight!
The infield tote board and its accompanying brand-spanking-new 17 x 60 foot video screen is a monument to every techno-geek and couch potato everywhere. The jumbo Jumbotron - or the Dak RT, as I was corrected earlier this evening - has the ability to show two video feeds at the same time. For each live race, we're treated to a head-on view and a pan view.
Dak RT: First winner of the evening! Additionally, they should name a drink for it, too.
"I'll have a Dak RT!"
Another change: All the apron box seating is gone. Personally, I like having a a wide open apron; perfect for milling around and pushing oneself up into a myriad of people along the rail. The seats worked well as reserved seating at the 2004 Breeders' Cup in October. But let's face it, in June and July in North Texas, when it's like 218 F, you can't sit on those hot tamales on racing days! Talk about Butt Burn! Ouch! Instead, there is a smattering of new picnic tables adorning the prime real estate by the rail. And probably quite moveable; get them out of the way for their collections of concerts when the apron is packed with 428,334 Randy Rogers Band fans [Friday night].
However, more than one person grumbled about the lack of free outdoor seating. I mean, everybody needs some place to set down their beer and/or nachos to look at their racing program. So, as a concerned racing citizen, we need to launch a campaign for said individuals:
Those little fold-up camping chairs are dirt cheap. So to my rail-folk compadres: Keep a camping chair handy in the trunk of you car. Much like you would an umbrella. Or spare tire.
Outdoor seating: Still schooling in the gate.
And yes, there was a horse race or two. The first race of the card - nay, the season - in the $50,000 Premiere Stakes. Triumph and Song, a 4-year-old gelding trained by local-boy-done-good Bret Calhoun, won his first stakes race easily under jockey Jamie Theriot. I even won a couple of bucks, which I plan to put towards my camping chair. Or beer.
Horse racing: Win! Place! Show!