"They're At the Post" Horse Racing Game With Records
I don't know what it is about horse racing, but there seem to have been lots of ways to bring betting on the ponies home. Home game versions can't bring you the sights and smells of the track, but the essential gameplay - that of placing bets based on horsey statistics - are easy to reproduce. But what about the excitement? Moving pieces across a board can't equal the thrill of those tense furlongs waiting for the results of the photo finish from the booth.
"They're At the Post" is a kit that brings the stables a little closer to home. You get betting slips, money, odds cards - many of the accoutrements of the sport. The most interesting part of the game are the four LP's that make up the 8 races. The records are manufactured in an unusual way. Instead of multiple tracks across the surface of the disc, the different tracks are all concentric grooves.
Placing the stylus on the platter randomly picks one of these tracks. There is no way to affect the outcome of the race - no one knows how the race will go until the groups is all listening to the sounds of the track and the announcer narrating the action.
There have been other records cut with this concentric groove method. The most famous may be the Monty Python comedy album "Matching Tie & Handkerchief". Known among fans as Python's Three Sided Record, two different programs were recorded on one side of the record. Dropping the needle on the record randomly selects one of these paths, making each playback of the record a surprise.
Back to homebound horse racing, I've seen at-home games designed to use with a VCR, conventional board game, even magnetic pieces vibrated across a metal playing field. Those games can still all be great fun, but the system of random selection on these LP's may make "They're At The Post" the most unpredictable home version yet.