Thursday, January 27, 2011

Traveling Thursdays: Horse Racing, Del Mar, and Secretariat

My grandmother was really into horses and the track; therefore, as a kid, I spent a fair amount of time with her at the races. These first two shots were taken at the Brandywine Race Track in Delaware, Summer 1968. My grandmother is here with my parents, enjoying a summer day while betting on her favorite picks—and boy was she secretive about who she picked!

This next shot shows my dad (2nd from left) at the same race track, same year, standing with the jockey and horse that won the fourth race. Most likely his radio station was doing some promotion with the track at the time.

Every summer, I enjoyed visiting my grandmother in San Diego, and a highlight of the trip was accompanying her to Del Mar Race Track...where the surf meets the turf. Sitting with her at The Turf Club was always a treat; I never knew what movie stars I would see. Some of the ones I remember included Angie Dickinson with current hubby Burt Bacharach, Desi Arnaz Sr., Desi Arnaz Jr. (with current girlfriend Linda Purl), Jimmy Durante, but most memorable to me was Cary Grant. I remember his thick brilliant white hair and that million dollar smile. He was kind enough to write his autograph in my little notebook (and I'll be damned if I know what happened to it!) and made quite an impression on me as a young kid.

The track at Del Mar is still there today, packing ’em in every summer and giving folks a great place for a day of fun.

The excitement of two (or more) horses pounding it out to the finish line is like no other thrill.

Naturally, I was excited to see “Secretariat.” Although there was definitely some dramatic license taken with this famous tale, it definitely does not detract from the story or the performaces. Diane Lane is outstanding as Penny Chenery, who fought against all odds to help her horse Secretariat become the winner that is known by all.

It is also a remarkable story about the humanity of a horse, and the relationship it had with its team.

This is one of my favorite scenes:

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Follow my updates on Twitter. To see more Del Mar photos, visit my regular Del Mar web page.


The Viewliner Limited said...

WOW! These are truly wonderful pictures. My dad and I visited Del Mar many times. He was a big fan of the horses. Awesome memories.

Major Pepperidge said...

Your Cary Grant autograph has to be around somewhere, doesn't it? Nobody would throw something like that away! Not even a comic-book trashing mom.

Kyle said...

Hey Dave! Great pics here, especially the ones of your parents & grandmother at Brandywine. I can certainly see features of both your parental units in you; you seem to have your dad's smile. Your mom looks so chic & relaxed; looks like they were having a good day! Summer of 1968, I wasn't even 6 months old yet, living in Princeton Junction, NJ.
I haven't been to a horse race since around 1978, when I went with my family to the old Centennial Downs here in the Denver-area a couple of times. I remember watching some of the races but I also brought along "A Cricket in Times Square" to read when I got bored. I think I read the entire book during one visit. My parents did manage to win a little, though they weren't big gamblers. It was something fun to see & do. As always, thanks for sharing Dave!

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