The Windy City Rounder

Horse Racing Archives

Wrapping Up the Derby and the Capital Bill

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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It was quite a weekend for horse racing here in Illinois.

On the one hand you had the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby, which is obviously the biggest race on the horse track calendar. But, you also had, just before the big run at Churchill Downs, major developments in the campaign for video gaming machines at Illinois race tracks.

Basically it was a busy weekend, so I decided to write something up to make sure you readers didn't miss anything important.

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Kentucky Traditions

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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This Saturday--May 1 for those of you who didn't bother to look at the introductory picture--Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky will be abuzz will all sorts of activity, thanks to the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby.

Horse racing is just a small part of this big weekend, however.

Yes, plenty of quirky...some might say asinine...

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Hey, I never said I thought it was dumb...

...traditions litter the Kentucky Derby's weekend festivities.

So in honor of the 2010 Kentucky Derby, here's a list of some of the more interesting race traditions that only a 136 year derby could come up with:

Gallery sneak peek (5 images):

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The Capital Bill Revisited

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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Those of you who have been following my twitter know that last Wednesday a meeting between the Illinois horse track operators and the horsemen representatives led to a tenuous agreement on a bill proposal dealing with video poker machines coming to the state's horse tracks.

The general proposal is to have the excess machines that were opted out of the Capital Bill come to the horse tracks in order to help save the bill's funding.

The horse track's bill has yet to be introduced into the state legislature, but is projected to be on the congressional floor sometime within the next two weeks.

In order to help refresh some of your minds about this situation I'm republishing "Savior for the Capital Bill?," an op-ed dealing with why the horse tracks should get the Capital Bill's excess machines.


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A Day at the Races: Recap of the 2010 Illinois Derby

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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I've said this before, I don't think a whole lot about horse racing. The whole degenerate culture surrounding the sport gives horse racing a distinct smell of illegitimacy.

I can't tell you when or where I engendered this idea--for I've managed to stay away from horse tracks for much of my life--but I do know my perceptions of "the sport of kings" are strong and feel legitimate.   

However, a gambling blog without horse racing seems, weirdly, illegitimate as well. So with one of the biggest races on the Illinois racing calendar, the Illinois Derby, set to run this past weekend, I decided to give thoroughbred racing a fair shot.
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Hawthorne Celebrates 100

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Although it might not resemble your typical corner store or local deli, the Hawthorne Race Course is a regular family business.

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Just like the family owned corner store down the street


In spite of the race track's mammoth size and hundreds of employees, one can tell immediately upon entering Hawthorne that there's something different about this race track.

"Everyone who works here is treated like family," stated president Tim Carey. "Many of our employees are second or third generation Hawthorne workers, it's a really unique situation."

Unique probably describes Hawthorne the best. For in an industry dominated by corporate ownership and constant expansion, Hawthorne this year is celebrating its 100th anniversary of being family owned, the oldest continually family run race track in the United States.


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