Two dollars on a long shot. That was the extent of my gambling this past Saturday at Santa Anita Park. The last time I was there I bet two dollars on a trifecta and won $252 - was really hoping for a repeat but no such luck. Instead, I put those dollars to good use on several beers.
It's amazing what getting older will do to you. When I was in middle school I spent many Saturdays hanging out on the lawn watching semi-known bands play while paying little attention to the races and our general surroundings. We thought we were so cool skipping around in the mosh pits and drinking our ice-cold sodas. We were too young to even care about the beer gardens right next to us.
This time around - with beer in hand - I couldn't help but look up and admire the art deco beauty that is the oldest racetrack in Southern California. On this perfectly clear and sunny day the lines and the colors of the park seamed to mirror the angles and hues of the San Gabriel Mountains that sit directly across from it. It was love at 20th sight and a testament that some things do get better with age.
An interesting fact that Wikipedia or the park's page won't tell you is that Santa Anita was the site of the largest Assembly Center for the Japanese-American internment in World War II. My 11th grade social studies teacher was held there as a little boy with his family. It's a truly sad part of the park's history but that's a whole other blog post. Just felt it important to note.