Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Aces Casino Blog "Blast From The Past:" When Hollywood Park Names One Of Their Races After Aces Casino, Something Crazy Is BOUND To Happen

 (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."

Jay Cohen, in the flesh.  The hat tells the weather story.

Jay talks with us for quite some time, answers everyone's questions (including my son's request for info on playing the trumpet, his horn of choice), and wishes us well on our special day.  Lunch comes (It was FANTASTIC), and, once that's over with, another representative of the race track comes to greet us and let us know where we need to go to be a part of shooting the pictures in the winners' circle.  She DOES warn us about the treacherous conditions once we leave the sanctity of the overhang that is currently protecting us from the ever-increasing rain. 

I check out the program that the track supplied for everyone in our party, simply for one reason - I HAVE to place a BET on the Aces Casino Invitational, don't I?  I check out the field, and there are two horses that stand out - Cavallo, who's coming out of the 12-hole and is EASILY the class of this field at 3/2, and a horse named "Gambler's Pick," who looks to go off at about 8-1.  Oops, wait a minute - As I go to the window to bet the obvious selection, Gambler's Pick, I discover that the horse has been scratched, as a result of the weather.  Darn it.  OK, Cavallo it is.  

The track's liaison leads us down the stairs to the area in front of the winner's circle, where we can catch a glimpse of two things... The 6th race itself, and the weather.  As we leave the safety of the track's overhang, the weather hits us, full-force.  It is COMIN' DOWN out here, and there's no way to escape the weather as the race is being run.  Hey, it's on the house, gotta go with the flow.

The race starts, and we've got a pretty good view of the backstretch, and from where I'm standing, I can heasr the track announcer's call perfectly.  It sounds like Cavallo has the race well in hand, and as the horses appear to our view as they near the finish line, it's Cavallo by six lengths.  Winner!  (Ed. Note: He paid $3.  Hey, I'll take it.)

So, it's still raining pretty hard as Cavallo comes back into view, and heads towards us in the winners' circle.  The track liaison helps us get into position, and before we do that, I snap another candid picture.  Oh, by the way, Rafael Bejarano was the runaway winner of the leading jockey's award for the session (by a mile and an eighth).   Class guy, took a few more pics with us before he had to go and get ready for the 7th race.

Cavallo, the winner of the 6th race.  Rafael Bejarano aboard.

There's another picture of us with Cavallo, Bejarano, and the Aces Casino gang that we need to make available to the masses (all 5 of you) as we posed in the winner's circle after this rain-soaked blast of a race day.  Once we get it, we'll post it here.  All of us here at Aces Casino would like to thank that many members of the staff of Hollywood Park Race Track on a super-fun day at the races, a day where we witnessed the "Aces Casino Invitational."  (Ed. Note: In the rain.)

And, as quickly as it appears, the "Blast From The Past" 4-episode teaser is done.  But, fear not, my friends of The Aces Casino Blog - We have more "interesting" info coming your way.  The Blog has announced that the month of September will now be known as "The Month Of The Alternate Endings."  Simply stated, the Aces Casino Blog team has been working hard to find alternate endings for some of our favorite films.  This will make for some good stuff, starting with the alternate ending (Ed. Note: And a DOOZIE of an ending!) for the movie, "Little Shop Of Horrors," Starring "Audrey II."   Check it out, it'll be here on the Aces Casino Blog on Monday!  See you then!

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