Friday, February 20, 2009
Inside the Jai-Alai building on the third floor is a 340 seat Las Vegas style race book to accommodate the fronton's loyal simulcast players. The simulcast facility feature 30 state of the art 65 inch big screen televisions and 340 individual workstations with 9 inch televisions. The racing schedule features simulcasts from the South Florida circuit of Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course, the New York circuit plus race cards from Kentucky, Maryland and Southern California. Personally I was overwhelmed by all the information being broadcast all at once. I didn't know what screen to look at let alone what horse to bet on. But for zero money down, I got to sketch a room full of very excited people.
When a race starts the excitement in the room becomes palpable. The guy standing next to me started screaming "Come on baby, you can do it. Go! Go! That's it, yes! Go! Oh! No! No! Aw S%*t! I never get a break." I only asked one person if they were ahead, he said "Do you know any gambler that is ahead." He then started to lecture me that I shouldn't waste my time sketching in the fronton. He also said "You need to follow the money, the money is in children's books, no one wants to see people betting on the races."