OK -- a few notes about the pics. The original board was built in 1983 by my father and it looks really nice. The board in the pics was made by me and my best friend in 1986 -- I was 14. So, I know it looks rather shoddy but keep in mind that the board has been through several moves, long stints in the garage, etc. I'm actually surprised it's still in working condition.
For the actual prototype I'm going to make a smaller board -- and ditch the felt. The board here is WAY too big. This can be blamed on my buddy Dave, who drew the lines way back when. The goal was to make a mile-long track. His calculation was a bit "off." The picture with the horses set up in the top right corner? Follow the track around to the last pole -- that's a one mile race.
Also, you'll note that on the turns, it's the exact same number of spaces on the inside as it is on the outside, which goes against:
B) Every other racing game design I have seen
There is a reason for that, though. I'm not a fan of forcing players to take the outside lane arbitrarily like in WP&S and I also don't like that the outside is ALWAYS a bad place to be. If you know racing you know that is not always the case. Sometimes you want to be a few lanes wide.
So with the game cards it is a bit of a risk to stay on the outside (some of the events will nail you for it) but it is NOT something that will automatically cost you several lengths.
This pic is of the horses we created. The models are taken from Win Place and Show and we hand painted the silks. We also painted the horses that were red, blue, and green and made them colors that represent actual horses. No green horses in my game.
Also, each horse has its own specific silks so it will always be the same horse every time it hits the track. I need to find more of these horses if I can or a suitable replacement.
A close up of the horses just to show off some of the silk designs. Mostly basic stuff like hoops, dots, etc.
The outer track is for dirt races, the inner for turf. Six horses are ready to race in the upper right corner. The white pole is the starting pole. The green poles are the markers for when you use the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd base moves for the horses. The red pole is the finish.
Next up I'll provide some sample horses as well as a session report of a sample race going 1 mile on the dirt with Class Grade I horses.