Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Big Screen at the Big A

Tucked away in the southwest corner of Aqueduct Racetrack is the Big A Grill, a tranquil spot that is one of my favorite places. Obviously, the New York Post's John DaSilva likes it, too.

You don't go to the Big A Grill for the food, although the rotisserie chicken with one side ($6.25) is always tasty. Clam chowder ($4.75) and egg sandwiches ($2.25) are popular, plus they offer cans of Dr. Brown's Cream Soda ($2.75) in both diet and regular varieties.

Ralph, behind the counter, is always pleased to take your order, after which you can settle in at one of the tables and look out to the west, or better yet, feast your eyes on a collection of horse-themed movie posters from back in the day.

Several of the movies star Gloria Henry, who made her film debut in the 1947 "B" film "Sport of Kings" and later went on to fame as Jay North's mom in the hit TV series Dennis the Menace.

"The Fighting Chance," a 1955 flick about a jockey and a trainer who fall in love with the same girl (amazingly, complications arise) stars Rod Cameron, the tall in the saddle actor who counted among his many credits such films as "Woman of the North Country,"Santa Fe Passage, "and "The Plunderers."

You have Don Ameche in "That's My Man," about a horse trainer who loses sight of what's important once he becomes a success; "Pride of the Blue Grass," a boy meets girl-boy loses girl-boy gets girl back story starring Lloyd Bridges and Vera Miles, and "The Great Mike," wherein the kid who used to play Alfalfa in the Our Gang comedies says "gee willikers" about one bazillion times.

So with live racing cancelled tomorrow because of Arctic cold, perhaps a movie fest is in order. Armed with a quarter rotisserie chicken and a can of diet Dr. Brown's cream soda, inbetween the simulcast races from Gulfstream Park, I'll be watching -- in glorious Technicolor! -- images from a time when racing was king -- even in Hollywood.

1 comment:

Ernie said...

I predict that, by this time next year, DaSilva will be earning Jim Carrey-type money in Hollywood.

I also see Aqueduct getting the Breeders' Cup in 2010.