Monday, November 24, 2014

We Picked a Winner:
Portland Meadows, Portland OR

My pals and I decided to try something different for my birthday this year. Intrigued by a really great case study I found online about a local agency's rebranding of Portland Meadows (not to mention the charming billboards around town – yes advertising does work!) we were lured to the track to check out the ponies.

Vintage jockey portrait at Portland Meadows

Our group thought we’d be mildly amused by this unfamiliar pastime. But not long after arriving, we were completely taken in by the procession of jockeys on horseback dressed in their silks, the thrill of placing a bet, and the thundering hooves of the muscular and sometimes jittery horses. Before long, we were huddled over our racing form, discussing the finer points of exactas, trifectas and daily doubles, aided by a roving Portland Meadows “betting coach”, who patiently talked us through the wagering process.

Portland Meadows race snippet 

And then there’s the lingo! So many of life’s most familiar phrases have their origins in horse racing. (Think about it ... who hasn't said it's a long shot, they're on the homestretch, or that the stakes are high?)

And here are a few more fun ones:

Also-ran: a horse who finishes out of the money (does not win, place or show).

Bolt: when a horse suddenly veers from a straight course.

And my personal favorite…

All-out: a horse that is trying to the best of its ability.

At one point, a friend was concerned that due to a trip to the bar, I missed post time. Bloody Mary in hand, I looked at her and said – without a trace of irony – “It's OK. I don’t have a horse in that race.”

I knew my transition from clueless observer to race-fan-in-the-making was complete.

Portland Meadows
1001 N. Schmeer Road

Portland, Oregon 97217