As everyone knows by now, this week the last of the NYC OTB parlors closed their doors, probably for good. I was never a big OTB player, I had a telephone account with them, but I usually stopped in just to get the Daily Racing Program. Known as the “the book” to the tellers, for 3 dollars it carried each thoroughbred track that was being simulcast that day. Using the “book” is a learned affection (small type, cheap paper, etc) but it does carry 1st timer sire and trainer stats for the preceding 12 months which can be a nifty angle for MSW and MCL races. The book is hard to find now in our neck of the woods, but the magazine shop on Varick next to the old parlor below Houston usually carries multiple copies.
Now onward to the pictures! Last Wednesday (Dec 8th), the first day NYC OTB had closed its doors, I made my way back to the New York Public Library’s Picture Collection. A few months ago I posted here about the popularity of the OTB in 1971.
Here are more from the collection and a few of my own.