The 2002 McChump ??/365 Racing Tour

McChumping on the Cheap

15 Exciting Tracks! 8 Exotic States and Provinces! 12 Thrilling Stories! (so far)

  • Zippy Chippy on the 'Net at Penn National, Jan 31, 2002

Watching Penn National on the Internet at 56k
(The picture is a spankin' 2 inches across. Maybe. We are tuned in
to see if the immortal Zippy Chippy can better his already
legendary record for futility.)


  • Sportsman's Park, Cicero, IL, Mar - Apr, 2002

Without the scratch to mount a "McChump in Exile" tour this year to get the hell away from Sportsman's Park, it was either visit Sportsman's in March and April, or go without racing entirely. The latter wasn't really a viable option, so I held my nose and went on in.


  • Kentucky Derby Day, and the Great Lakes live card that evening
  • Great Lakes Downs, Muskegon, MI, May 4, 2002

A poem by by McChump Wordsmith Lazyfellow


  • Hawthorne Race Course, Stickney, IL, May, 2002

A magical event occurred while I was away at Great Lakes Downs watching the Kentucky Derby: The Chicago racing season changed over from Sportsman's to Hawthorne.

Blessed relief!


  • Preakness Day, Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, MD, May 18, 2002

Bonus Feature! McChump's Travel Tips (tm)

Volume 163: Air Travel Etiquette:

Some say there is no such thing -- many say -- but I beg to differ. I hereby offer up McChump's Air Travel Tips (tm) to help you become a better and more pleasant companion for your fellow travellers.


  • Arlington Park, June 5 and 8, 2002

Arlington made a big deal out of promoting "Opening Week" this year, probably because they opened on the Wednesday afternoon right after Hawthorne closed on Tuesday. (Uh oh. Will they blame Hawthorne for over racing the horses if there's bad fields the first few weeks?)

However, that big deal was made until about Tuesday night, when I first started seeing some TV ads and hearing radio ads. Before that had been an absolute void, and I wasn't the only horsplayer in town who'd noticed. Luckily for them, I knew when it was anyhow, and headed on out on a cold, wet afternoon.


  • Canterbury Park, Shakopee, MN, June 14, 2002
  • Prairie Meadows, Altoona, IA, June 15, 2002

Ooops. This story isn't written yet. Not even any pix. Sad.


  • Hamilton County Fair, McLeansboro, IL, July 11, 2002
  • Ellis Park, Henderson, KY, July 12, 2002
  • Fairmount Park, Collinsville, IL, July 13, 2002
  • River Downs, Cincinnati, OH, July 14, 2002
  • Arlington Park, Arlington Heights, IL, July 15, 2002

This entire story isn't quite written yet, but suffice it to say the main excuses for this trip were a visit to an Illinois county fair track and a meetup with some Internet correspondents at River Downs. It also involved the tragic first ever flat tire on a McChump outing. So that was fairly exciting.

I do have a short report on the fair, and pictures from the other tracks.


  • Gillespie County Fair, Fredericksburg, TX, July 20, 2002
  • Bandera Downs, Bandera, TX
  • Trinity Meadows, Willow Park, TX
  • Luckenbach, TX

Not too much of a story, but we got some photos.


  • Van Wert County Fair, Van Wert, OH, September 2, 2002

 Winner! The McChump Tour's 2002 "Podunk Track of the Year! 

A "new" track? In Ohio?

Hey chump! If this thing is so close to you, why haven't you been there before? Well, that's a long story, but that's what this site is all about, isn't it?


  • Arlington Park, Arlington Heights, IL, October 3, 2002

Geez. It is something about this time of year, I think. Thank God they won't be running in October next year.


  • Breeder's Cup at Arlington Park, October 26, 2002

I had no real intention of attending the BC at Arlington this year. The whole seat selection deal, where the real grandstand was never available to the general public, and then a whole bunch of seating areas that had no paddock access, just rubbed me the wrong way.


  • Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY, November 29-30, 2002

I had mentioned on the Internet that I'd decided I needed to play CD and see how that "0 mtp" betting cutoff business (which had been implemented to "ensure integrity" in the wake of the BC "Fix 6" Scandal) was working out. So many questions on all the Internet forums and in the press about what it might accomplish, pro and con. What better place to play CD than in Louisville, was my thinking. Of course, the fact that I'd long ago planned this trip to see the Clark Stakes, and the Jockey Club race for the 2yo's, didn't figure into the decision to make the drive down to Louisville at all. Nope. Not a bit.


  • Kentucky Downs, Franklin, KY, Sept. 21-22, 2002

Yah just some pictures of the 2002 Kentucky Downs bash, including some of Chicago jock Zoe Cadman.