Chicago's Horse Racing Venues (Images of America Series)

Chicago's Horse Racing Venues (Images of America Series)

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by Kimberly A. Rinker
     
 

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The popularity of horse racing in Chicago has yet to be rivaled in any other metropolitan area. Since the 1800s, the Windy City's enthusiasm for both harness and Thoroughbred racing led to 10 major racetracks being built in the Chicago area. Four of those raceways--Balmoral, Maywood, Hawthorne, and Arlington--are still racing and thriving today. From Washington

Overview


The popularity of horse racing in Chicago has yet to be rivaled in any other metropolitan area. Since the 1800s, the Windy City's enthusiasm for both harness and Thoroughbred racing led to 10 major racetracks being built in the Chicago area. Four of those raceways--Balmoral, Maywood, Hawthorne, and Arlington--are still racing and thriving today. From Washington Park, Lincoln Fields, and Worth Raceway on the city's South Side, to the Near West Side venues of Hawthorne Race Course and Sportsman's Park, to Arlington Park's northwest locale and Aurora Downs to the west, Chicago's racing community has enjoyed a long and sometimes scandalous history. Chicago's Horse Racing Venues provides insight into Chicago's rich racing history and a behind-the-scenes look at the people and horses involved.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Title: Racing Book Launched Today

Author: Staff Writer

Publisher: The New Harness Edge

Date: 6/8/09

Chicago's Horse Racing Venues, a book written by The Harness Edge's contributor Kimberly Rinker, hits the bookshelves today.

The Windy City has been home to 10 major racetracks with four still thriving today. From Washington Park, Lincoln Fields, and Worth Raceway on the city's South Side, to the Near West Side venues of Hawthorne Race Course and Sportsman's Park, to Arlington Park's northwest locale and Aurora Downs to the west, Chicago's racing community has enjoyed a long and sometimes scandalous history.

Chicago's Horse Racing Venues provides insight into Chicago's rich racing history and a behind-the-scenes look at the people and horses involved.

Rinker hopes that people will to turn to the book as a point of reference and entertainment, and enjoy the photographs selected and the history provided about racing in Chicago over the years.

Title: Willowbrook author tracks history of local horse racing

Author: Marie Wilson

Publisher: Daily Herald

Date: 6/15/09

Kimberly Rinker believes everyone has a story. And the story of how she got her fourth and most recent book published is a quick read -- not nearly the saga many writers go through to find a willing publisher.

Rinker wrote a letter to one publisher spelling out why she was the perfect person to write a historical book about horse racing tracks near Chicago. She got the job and began writing "Chicago's Horse Racing Venues" for Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series. The book went on sale June 8 for $21.99.

"Honestly, this is the easiest book I've done," said Rinker, who lives in Willowbrook. "I was so excited to work on it simply because I love the sport. I love racing -- harness racing, thoroughbred racing -- and it makes it very, very easy, again, when you're immersed in the business as I am."

Rinker's immersion began when she started working in the press box at the former Cicero racetrack Sportsman's Park in 1984.

"One thing about Kim I found out early on was sit down, tell her what you want, and she would deliver," said Mike Paradise, former publicity director of Sportsman's Park and Rinker's former boss. "I found out early on that she was a person you could depend on."

Over the years, Rinker, 48, has trained and driven Standardbred horses for harness racing, written for magazines and newspapers including Illinois Racing News, and become content editor for three racing Web sites.

Her research and writing skills came in handy as she searched for historical information to fill her book with 127 pages of photos and captions. Rinker said she visited historical societies to help her tell the stories of tracks that have shut down, such as Aurora Downs in North Aurora.

"There are so many tracks in Illinois that no longer exist and sometimes people are surprised to find out that there was a track in their town or in their suburb and they had no idea," said Joan Colby, a longtime colleague and friend of Rinker's and editor of Illinois Racing News.

Learning the complete history of existing racetracks - such as Arlington International Race Course in Arlington Heights - also proved challenging.

"The tough thing about Arlington was that Arlington Park burned down in 1985; they had a really bad fire. So all the photographs prior to that were in their archives and got burned up," Rinker said. "They still put on their signature race which is the Arlington Million, and I was there that year for that and they did a fantastic job."

Arlington's signature race began in 1981 as the first million-dollar race for thoroughbred horses in the world, although the track itself has been a part of suburban history since 1927, said Dave Zenner, senior manager of communications for the park.

Rinker now trains a stable of five Standardbred harness racing horses at Maywood Park - a track that holds races Thursday and Friday nights year-round, allowing her to divide her time between training horses and writing.

"It's tough when it's 10 below and you've got to come here and you still have to exercise your horses," Rinker said. "Those are the days that I really prefer to stay inside and write. But it's a way of life and I'm a very lucky person in that I can do both."

Rinker said she has no plans to stop pursuing either of her passions anytime soon.

"I'll probably do this until I'm 90 or 100 or whatever because if it's in your blood, it's in your blood, you know?" Rinker said. "I'm just a horse person and I was since day one."

Title: Meet Brower And Rinker

Author: Staff Writer

Publisher: Standard Bred Canada

Date: 6/10/09

Recently published authors Dave Brower and Kim Rinker will be on hand for a book signing and meet-and-greet as part of the Hall Of Fame Day celebrations at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame on Sunday, July 5. They will be available at the Museum from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (post time next door at Historic Track) and from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. before the induction ceremony.

Dave Brower has been a harness racing fan since his childhood, growing up five minutes from New Jersey's Meadowlands Racetrack. A graduate of St. John's University, Brower is currently morning line oddsmaker and track handicapper at the Meadowlands. He also hosts the track's nightly television show, Racing from the Meadowlands on SportsNet New York. He is also a regular guest on TVG's Friday-night Drive Time, providing on-site analysis and interviews. His book, Harnessing Winners: The Complete Guide To Handicapping Harness Races was published by Daily Racing Form Press in May of this year. It includes a detailed tour through the more complex methods of analyzing standardbred races, highlighting the importance of watching replays and qualifying races, and teaching racing fans how to spot good and bad value when identifying wagering opportunities. Other topics covered include: driver changes/choices, tote-board action, class drops, warm-ups and barn changes.

The book also includes an in-depth interview with one of the sport's top drivers, Brian Sears, showing how he prepares for his night at the races, and how he deals with the decisions he must make as a sought-after catch driver.

Kim Rinker, a graduate of Ohio State University, has been involved with Chicago horse racing since 1984 - both as a writer and as a participant. A licensed trainer-driver of standardbreds, Rinker is also an award-winning journalist whose features have appeared in many harness racing publications. Her new book Chicago's Horse Racing Venues, is published by Arcadia Publishing.

The popularity of horse racing in Chicago has yet to be rivaled in any other metropolitan area. Since the 1800s, the Windy City's enthusiasm for both standardbred and thoroughbred racing led to 10 major racetracks being built in the Chicago area. Four of those raceways - Balmoral, Maywood, Hawthorne, and Arlington - are still racing and thriving today. Its racing community has enjoyed a long and sometimes scandalous history and Chicago's Horse Racing Venues provides an evocative glimpse into Chicago's rich racing history and a behind-the-scenes look at the people and horses involved.

Both publications are available online or by calling the museum's gift shop at 845-294-6330. Signed copies will be available on July 5, Hall of Fame Day, at the Museum. Don't miss your chance to own these books. They're a must-have for any serious harness racing fan!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738560809
Publisher:
Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date:
06/03/2009
Series:
Images of America Series
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
1,327,412
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.30(d)

Meet the Author


Kimberly A. Rinker, a 1983 graduate of the Ohio State University, has been involved with Chicago horse racing since 1984--both as a writer and as a participant. A licensed trainer-driver of Standardbreds, Rinker represented the United States in the International Drivers Championship in Moscow, Russia, in 1995. Rinker is also an award-winning journalist whose features have appeared in the Horseman and Fair World, the Harness Edge, Sports Eye, the Chicago Tribune, Illinois Racing News, and Hoof Beats.

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Chicago's Horse Racing Venues (Images of America Series) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"My place?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We will be having a competition today at 6:00 centeral for the team leader
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