Montana State Fairgrounds, Great Falls, MT, July 29, 2007

You just never know if this time you visit the races at Great Falls will be the last. This year Montana lost racing at Missoula due to the cost of jockey insurance, and Great Falls was in question, too. Add some bad blood - or so it is reported - between the racing management at Great Falls and senior personnel at the Montana Board of Horse Racing, the usual city/county tension over the use of the fairgrounds, the fact that the races lose a little money on paper each year (but of course, no one has any clue how much positive money - like the horsemen's, or mine for that matter - comes to town in associated business like motels and restaurants and etc.), the uncertainty over what help the legislature really gave the industry when they passed account wagering and fantasy sports wagering laws, and you've got yourself a situation where any day racing might be kaput.

Well, thank God it wasn't this year, and the county kept it alive. Thanks Cascade County! So off I went, on a very hot afternoon to the fair, paying my low, low ~$11 combination parking and admission fee, to visit the fabulous horse racing awaiting me there within.

This stand looked REAL interesting. I could just imagine what a deep fried burger might taste like. And, upon imagining it, I went with pork BBQ sammich instead.

Yup. Still the same. Did I mention it was hot? Shady spots were at a premium. Those sitting in the open sun were bold indeed. I got myself a nice little burn.

Well, as it turned out, it was VERY hot, and mostly, roasting was my day. And oh, I lost money, but I was ever so close to a big score, so many times. But it was live horse racing at the old homestead, and the beer was cold, and priced to please, like about $2 a can. That BBQ pork sammich ruled, too.

Let's hope next year is a live horse racing year, as well!