I am far from a horse racing officiado. In fact, it is a sport in which I know very little of – other than enjoying watching the ponies run.
Wagering is a huge part of the game, and I know nothing of how to pick a winner. I have bet on a race once, in Oklahoma City. I placed a $2 wager for a horse to place. It did not place, show or win.
Omaha’s Horseman’s Park is an offshoot of the old AkSarBen (Nebraska backwards) race track. In its heyday, the Ak was one of the country’s premier horse racing tracks. As with many things, time and new methods of gambling took their toll. Now, where once a grand race track sat, now sits a shopping center, other businesses and part of the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
The great race horse, Omaha, is buried on the shopping center’s grounds. The horse was the sire of Gallant Fox, which won the Triple Crown in 1930. Omaha won it in 1935. They are the only father-son team to win the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes and Preakness to grab the Crown.
Omaha was relocated to Nebraska to stud in an effort to improve the state’s thoroughbreds.
Among the AkSarBen race track’s most popular horses was Who Doctor Who. I remember his winning a lot in the early 1990s. It was during this decade that the decline of AkSarBen and horse racing in Omaha started. By the end of the 20th century, the Ak was history.
Up sprouted Horseman’s Park. It was started by a group of horsemen to keep racing alive in the city. The park is open daily and offers simulcast racing from tracks around the nation, as well as keno gambling.
The wife and I took in racing on the first Saturday of the two-weekend race schedule.
In order to keep its tax deductions or something like that, it needs to offer live racing once a year. Thus, the park hosted six days of racing scattered over the past two weekends.