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A Night at the Races – Horse Races that is

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Losers.

Losers.

Do you know where I’m going with this? Roller derby? Nope. Horse racing. We went. Should you?

Jockey Debbie sitting in a sulky. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Jockey Debbie sitting in a sulky. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

I didn’t really think that New Jersey would have horse racing – in JANUARY – at night, no less. But they do, at the Meadlowlands Race Track. We went a Harness Meet. Those of us not “in the know” called chariot racing or cart racing. Why?

Okay, so this is after the race and they're going the opposite direction back to the stalls.

Okay, so this is after the race and they’re going the opposite direction back to the stalls.

The jockeys sat in a two-wheeled contraption harnessed to the horse. They totally looked like Roman gladiator carts. The little seat swiveled with them as they leaned back and sat up during the race. Where were their feet, you might ask (we all asked)? In a stirrup, much like when you women go for your annual physical.

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The stirrup. So men know what it feels like to stick their feet in and lean back.

The stirrup. So men know what it feels like to stick their feet in and lean back.

When you arrive, you can pay your $2 and sit outside, or hang out inside watching it on the television.

The depressing bet booths inside.

The depressing betting booths inside.

The bank of TVs indoors

A bank of TVs indoors

We were with a group and opted for one of several restaurants where you can watch the action from the large windows, as well as from the television screen at your table. This is Terraces, a $30/person buffet full of mostly treyf food (the cheese platter was delicious). The company, however, was excellent.

At Terraces, where every table has a good view of the action, and a personal TV.

At Terraces, where every table has a good view of the action, and a personal TV.

A blurry view of the food at Terraces. Don't worry, you're not missing anything.

A blurry view of the food at Terraces. Don’t worry, you’re not missing anything.

My friend Adrienne had a system down for betting, where she looked at the horses’ placement in the last race and its placement in this race. I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but I couldn’t follow it.

Learn to read a new language when you open the program.

Learn a new language when you open the program.

She didn’t do so well. Mark and I picked our favorite name or two and bet that way. We came out ahead – not by much, but enough to cover our $2/person entry.

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Adrienne did win the first race.

You could place your bet at one of the booths, or from the person wandering around in a loud yellow shirt.

This guy can help you. Just tell him how.

This guy can help you. Just tell him how.

Place your bet at the booth inside the restaurant. This was taken from our dining seats.

Place your bet at the booth inside the restaurant. This was taken from our dining seats.

Though we left the kiddies at home, we saw plenty of kids there, both in the restaurant and in the interior. I think it would be fun for them.

Would we go back? Of course. Next year. It was a cultural experience to be sure.

This was a winner.

This was a winner.

the parking lot

the parking lot

 

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