Let me start out by saying that of the many times I have visited Northfield Park, I have never won big or even small for that matter. Gambling is a serious hobby and can turn into an addiction if unchecked and, therefore, should not be taken lightly. My key to it is, I go there thinking I won’t win and I am never disappointed. Since I don’t have a lot to lose, I don’t have a lot to bet; the idea for me is more about having fun with friends although winning once in a while would be nice.
With that serious stuff said, onto the fun stuff. Northfield Park Live and Simulcast Racing (www.northfieldpark.com) is located at 10705 Northfield Road in Northfield, Ohio and is just 15 miles southeast of Cleveland. Here you can expect an exciting night of harness racing, good food and lots of fun. I have gone several times and really enjoyed myself each time.
There are several admission and parking fees, hope this makes sense. Grandstand admission is free most times except for Friday and Saturday when admission is $1.75. Clubhouse admission is $1.25 on Monday and Wednesday, Tuesday is free and on Friday and Saturday admission is $3.00. General parking is free except after 5 pm on Friday and Saturday and then it is $1.00. A grandstand carrel (workstation) with a TV is $3 while a clubhouse carrel with a TV is $5. Their website has a complete listing of admission and parking fees.
The track statistics are: the track size is ½ mile, speed rating is 2:00.1, the length of the homestretch is 440′, the width of the homestretch is 80′, starters behind the gates are 8, there is no hub rail and there is a passing lane. Other than the obvious items, I have no idea what the rest of this means or the implications of such information. Just thought you might be interested in knowing this.
There are two dining options available to Northfield Park. One is the Track Side Lounge which offers munchie foods and bar service with TVs broadcasting other major sporting events. You can watch the Cleveland Browns, Cavs or Indians play as well as Ohio State games. Larger events such as March Madness, World Series and Super Bowl games are also played here.
If you are looking for a fine dining experience, you can try Lady Luck’s at Northfield Park. Their menu includes a wide range of appetizers that range from $5.99 to $9.99, salad options starting at $6.99 and soups from $3.29 to $4.99. Their sandwich offerings include burgers, chicken, fish, roast beef and more at $9.99. Dinner entrees include steaks, fish, chops, chicken and meatloaf and range from $11.99 to $22.99. Pasta dishes include lasagna and spaghetti with meatballs starting at $12.99. You can end the evening with quite a few dessert options ranging from cake, to cheesecake to ice cream from $2.99 to $6.99. There is a kid’s menu available also. If you visit on Friday or Saturday, you can enjoy the buffet for $18.99. Wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages are available also. These prices are per order and are subject to change.
Northfield Park hosts several large events throughout the year. I was lucky enough to attend the Battle of Lake Erie one year. The energy level was very high and it was exciting. The special events are quite a bit of fun to attend, but if you are not able to attend one, you can still have a lot of fun on a regular racing date. The energy levels have always been high, no matter what day I was there.
Which brings me to the betting part of this article. As I stated before, I have been to Northfield Park several times over the last few years. I have had knowledgeable people try to explain to me how the betting sheets work and just how much information is available on them. I still don’t get it. If you really want to learn, there are people there who can help you. I ended up just picking a name I liked and betting that way. Also, as I stated above, I never won anything, so there must be something more to it. Their website has a “Wagering” tab (northfieldpark.com) and there is a lot of information there to help you understand it all. Since I was not taking the whole betting thing too seriously, my way worked for me. That is the beauty of Northfield Park, you can just come to eat, watch and bet or take it very seriously. Either way, you will have fun.
Northfield Park is a great side trip if you are traveling to Cleveland or if you live in the area. They offer several different ways to watch the races, as well as other activities and even have a gift shop. There seems to always be something going on even if they are not racing at that particular time. I have enjoyed my visits to Northfield Park and am looking forward to returning there soon. Happy racing and Happy Travels!!