Vernon Downs has announced sign-ups for their Handicapping Showdown Contest have begun with the contest beginning on Friday, April 26. Pick a horse in any race on the Vernon card and as long as it finishes first, second, or third you advance to the next day's card. Finish out of the money and you are eliminated. Last handicapper standing wins $1,500 (runner-up wins $750) and enrollment is free. Check out the Vernon Downs website for details.
In the what were they thinking department, Golden Gate Fields announced a brand new promotion, Bottomless Saturdays where $30 gets you unlimited well drinks at any bar at the track; program and admission included. The rationale for the promotion? Many 25 to 35 year olds say they don't have enough money for food, beverage, and wagering so they wanted to make it cheaper for the demographic to attend.
Say what, $30 for unlimited liquor? I don't know how much gambling would be going on as I suspect the vast majority of customers taking advantage of this offer would be either passed out or unable to find the betting windows. More likely, there is a better chance of a mini-baby boom nine months later. Well, anyway, I suspect the legal department finally woke up and put the kibosh on the plans as Bottomless Saturday this week has been cancelled.
All kidding aside, the price of food and beverages has always been a sore spot with track goers, but quite honestly, as long as tracks used concession companies, those expenses will remain high (not to speak of quality). If a track wishes to offer cheaper prices for food, they likely would have to bring the food services in-house, something most tracks wouldn't consider due to the expense of employees. I would suggest instead of trying Bottomless Saturdays, offer a pre-paid food ticket which allows for a horseplayer a meal deal, including beverage for $5.00 or so.