A Day at the Races

When the OLLI Shutterbugs SIG gathered for a photo outing at Tampa Bay Downs on a bright December day, we dug into our memories for what this reminded us of.  Rich Edwards (pictured below) talked about growing up within sound of Roosevelt Raceway, the former harness racing track in Westbury, Long Island. He would fall asleep to the voice of the announcer calling the races. The track, he related, began as Roosevelt Field, famous for  Charles Lindbergh’s takeoff on his nonstop flight to Paris in 1927. In the end it became Westbury Plaza, a shopping mall.

Like Roosevelt Raceway, Tampa Bay Downs has had more than one name, but since  opening in 1926 has always been a track, except when the army used it briefly in World War II. After the war it reopened as Sunshine Park. The present name dates from 1980.

Returning to memories, I remembered that across the street from my middle school in Queens was Aqueduct Racetrack, and one fine day I decided to go explore its grounds during lunch break. But I took so long about it that I had to cut school in the afternoon.  Kathy Coniglio told us about learning a little handicapping at Arlington Park in Chicago.

By then, the exercise boys were walking the horses for the first race down the track to the paddock area to be saddled, and we settled in to the day’s real business of taking pictures.

Shutterbugs wait for the first race.  Rich Edwards, front, in red–Sylvia Fernandez
Walking a horse in the paddock area – Rich Edwards
Jockey mounted up in the paddock area – Sylvia Fernandez
And they’re off! (Kathy Coniglio had a bet on the winner) – Shelly Belzer
Coming around the turn into the home stretch – Dave Lockwood
Nearing the finish line – Jaime Bonilla
The front runner – Rich Edwards
Jockey after the race.  She’s mud spattered – Jaime Bonilla
An improver of the breed – Shelly Belzer


Do you like to take pictures of people, places and things?  If so, OLLI Shutterbugs is for OLLI members like you. We will make picture-taking outings to places like farmers’ markets and crafts fairs in and around Tampa Bay once or twice a month, maybe more, depending on what members want. An important part of our activities will be sharing and discussing the pictures we take. OLLI Shutterbugs will be very much a participatory SIG, with outings chosen jointly and led by members. For information, please contact Shelly Belzer, shelly235@tampabay.rr.com.


4 Replies to “A Day at the Races”

  1. Hi, Darlene Choe, you’re welcome to make copies as long they’re not for commercial purposes. If you post copies on the Internet, please credit the photographers. To copy, drag the picture to your desktop, then into Photos (on Apple). Best wishes, Shelly Belzer

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