(Ed. Note: When Hollywood Park Race Track announced that they would be closing their doors forever back in late 2013, it hit Aces Casino especially hard, since there were so many degenerate horse players associated with the 1994 inception of this crazy casino party company we now call home. To that end, we thought we'd pay our respects to the track that left us too soon by re-playing one of our blog entries that chronicled the very first "Aces Casino Invitational." Enjoy....)
We here at Aces Casino (also known as the top Orange County casino party company in southern California) thought we had hit the BIG time about 15 years or so ago, when none other than Bruce Willis tossed one of our storied Aces Casino blackjack tables over the side of the Queen Mary in Long Beach. (Ed. Note: It's a long story, here's the link.)
Well, yeah, actually, that WAS big for Aces Casino Entertainment. That one toss put us on the map, and sent our team of casino crazies and our spectacular casino equipment right to the top of the lists of nearly every major event planner ans coordinator in the southland. Yes, The table is still there, sleeping with the fishes of Long Beach harbor. Frankly we might not be where we are now without that incidental outburst by one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood - But, every once in a while, another golden opportunity for corporate stardom and the chance to make more headlines makes itself known to the powers that be here at Aces Casino.
And, if you know us, you KNOW we just can't pass up a chance like THAT.
It started with an unassuming phone call from the brass over at the now-defunct Hollywood Park Race Track, long known for displaying a lot of my torn-up tickets from the past. Their catering division was looking for some group discounts on some future events at their facility, discounts that were so huge that they were told by the powers that be here at Aces Casino that "the only way we could contract for events that low was to have the track name a race after us."
To which they replied, "No Problem."
I suppose that comes under the heading, "be careful what you ask for - you might just get it."
We were soon notified at our main offices that, yes, in fact, this was something that was already in the works, and scheduled for the 6th race of the last day of the meet that year, on Sunday, December 18, 2012. Yep - The 6th race on that date was officially "The Aces Casino Invitational," and Hollywood Park Race Track would pull out ALL the stops to make this day a true event. They told us that they had free admissions for our team of crazies, reservations for ALL of us in their upscale Turf Club seating, and even lunch right before the race. And, for the piece-de-resistance, all of us were invited down to the winners circle to have our picture taken with the winning horse and jockey after the race!
Wow, sounded great to all of us. We couldn't WAIT. It was going to be a blast!
And it was.
The day finally comes, and we travel on out to the track. As we ENTER the parking lot, we get what we'd call "the good news and the bad news." The GOOD news is, the paperwork that Hollywood Park sent us to expedite everything in regards to our big day at the track was perfect. The parking attendant showed us where to park, and where to go once we entered the turf club.
The BAD news was out of the hands of the execs at the track. It started to rain. And rain HARD.
No problem, we thought..... We'll hop inside the Turf Club, and under the overhang that normally shields everyone from the elements. So, we take the elevator up, and boom! Right to the Turf Club, where they're expecting us. The Maitre'D (Wow, total class for the customer) personally escorts us to our reserved table in the Turf Club Restaurant. OUTSIDE, in the viewing area. The cold, rainy, and now WINDY viewing area.
OK, no prob. Hey, It's on the house, what's a little chilly weather?
Soon, the very nice waiter takes our order, and informs us that our timing is perfect. The REASON for this is quickly apparent -- The track's bugler/trumpeter, Jay Cohen, is walking right toward us. The waiter leaves, and Jay takes his place, and has a seat right at our table. VERY cool moment for me, because I've frequented both HollyPark AND Santa Anita for many years, 25 of those being the time that Jay Cohen has been the the man that signals the "call to the post."