We’ve all driven by this relic from our past sometime or another if you’ve visited San Diego, Los Angeles or Phoenix.

There was a day a couple of years ago when I passed the old trotting race track on Interstate 10 on the way to see, Hailey Tater that I leaned and said to the magnificent Lady Tater who was surely snoring, “I’m going to do a video on that old dinosaur.”  She moved her pillow against the Buick’s window getting a better and more comfortable position.  Well, as usual, I’m a day late and a two-dollar win ticket short.  Someone beat me to it and that someone was Dan Carter, who I must admit, did one hell of a job.

Kudos to you Dan.  Although this video is about, ( under my breath as I hold my fingers in a cross as I say this most unruly word ), trotters, the medicine man Carter found the exquisite brilliance of the 60’s architecture in this five minute video short.  His natural genius to see the best shot and capture it in his film is nothing but extraordinary.  I wish he’d do it in black and white.

I absolutely hate plagiarism but in this case Mr. Carter is unequaled so I’d like to give the credit where the credit is most certainly due.  I tip my Trilby off to you and even do more as to toss it upon the floor in tribute.


Shh, , , the scene with the toilet reminded me a little of the toilet on the backside of Turf.  The owl too use to live in the grandstand of the Jewel of the Desert, Turf Paradise.  Damn, I’ve seen the future and I’m not feeling good about it.  The WiseGuy

|End of The WiseGuy’s words|

| In Dan Carter’s words |

The Phoenix Trotting Park, a horse racing track, was originally built in 1964 in Goodyear, Arizona. It opened in 1965 and was run for about two and a half seasons. The large, futuristic designed structure gave an optimistic look for the 1960s.

Originally planned to be built for a cost of about $3 million, the facility ended up costing around $10 million. Various incentives during the events that were held, such as free parking and admission did initially lead to decent attendance. However, a variety of factors led to the inevitable closing of the track. The hot weather of the desert caused events to be uncomfortable to attendees. The location provided limited means to control rain, leading to floods that caused accessibility problems. The park is also located about 20 miles outside of Phoenix and was built long before any major roads made the area easily accessible to those in the city or its suburbs.

The main building of the park was used in the 1998 Charlie/Martin Sheen movie No Code of Conduct. Part of the feature involved a large explosion occurring at the track. Despite the original assurances by the production staff that no animals would be injured, hundreds of the birds occupying the abandoned structure were killed and injured when the effect went off.

|End of Dan Carter’s words|

What I find interesting is that this majestic wasteland clubhouse has become such a sanctuary and haven for the beautiful desert birds.

I know you didn’t mean it but I have to say a sarcastic, thanks to Charlie and the crew.

And that comes straight from the bird’s beaks you blew up. . .

The End

“The best part of life starts at the top of the stretch.”
The WiseGuy

Click here to read more stories in The WiseGuy Diaries

4 thoughts on “Relic”

    1. For a real look at talent, go to Dan Carter’s vimeo page and watch the best videos today about Arizona. If I could only get him to do Santa Anita, my goals would be met.

    2. Many thanks for your kind words and blog post WiseGuy. I’m honored to hear you’re enjoying the Relic project.

      Like many others, I’ve driven past this structure for 25 years. It seemed like the perfect one-of-a-kind place to document. I was fortunate to have the place to myself for 5 hours while shooting this project. I would have liked more time and an evening, but didn’t want to be one of the many asked to leave by police.

      Kind Regards,

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