Nightlife

Takin' It to the Track: the Sports Bar at Isle Casino in Pompano

Night Watch is a regular feature about bars and clubs by nightlife columnist Tara Nieuwesteeg.

The Isle Casino & Racing in Pompano proved a good place to erase a bad day.

After sampling $1 happy hour specials at the bar inside the casino, my friend Beard and I made our way to the Sports Bar:

Past the poker room was the betting room-- featuring a degenerate sight of mostly middle-aged men clutching pieces of paper and tiny pencils, and staring at screens, all of which were projecting a different horse race, dog race, or some other bettable activity.

We wandered out the glass doors to the deck above the race track, and watched as harnessed horses--which actually are cart-pulling horses, each attempting to out-trot the next--whipped around the track. The audience included businessmen clutching betting cards and massage girls out for a cigarette break.



More booze was necessary.



We made our way to the large, rectangular bar and settled down in a

booth just beyond it, next to a 12 x 12 TV showing four different

races. We sipped bourbon. A tall, blue-eyed man who wore a tank top and

a blue "Duncan Racing" cap was standing nearby, looking as though he

knew what he was doing.

"How often do you have to play to win big?" I

asked him.



"Horse racing?" he asked.



"Whatever can make me some good money, quickly," I said, my expression

ultra-serious.



"I was born into betting on horse racing," he said.

"You gotta get

this." He waved a piece of paper under my nose.

"Tells about the horse, its last six races--you can use this to figure

out which is gonna win."

"Ooh." I said. "It's all about the literature,

eh?"



"Yup," he said. "And make a lot of small bets, but don't be

disappointed if you lose. It won't be long before you win big."



"Do you win big?" I asked.



"Sometimes," he said. "The best part is, the house has no advantage in

horse racing. It's all about the horses doin' their thing."

I turned to my friend Beard, who'd been having a bad day, and for whom I had hoped to win a jackpot today.  "Well, I wanted to win you some money to make your day better,"

I said. "But looks like it's too much trouble to try."



Beard appreciated the sentiment. "But this bourbon's making my day

better plenty."

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Tara Nieuwesteeg