Rick and I went to the Del Mar Racetrack yesterday. I was so excited to go with him to his first horse race. I try to go once a year. If you have never been to Del Mar during racing season, the place has never looked more beautiful then it does when the Surf Meets the Turf down at ol’ Del Mar.
Now I am not a gambler, by any means. If I go to Vegas, I usually set aside $40 to play in the poker slot machines. All pennies and nickels….if I’m feeling feisty and lucky, quarters. I won’t lie. The “clink-clink-clink” sound the machines make when I win a hand are super cool and the more I hear it, the more I think “Well, maybe one more twenty”. That, however, is the extent of my gambling fever.
Last year, I went to the races with my girlfriend Pam and freaked out when my horse won in the 2nd race!! If only I had actually bet on her. 🙂 I tend to choose my horse solely on how suggestive or naughty their names sound. It’s an art, really. It is. They should write books on my process. 😉
The 5th race is upon us. Rick and I are hoping to feel the electricity of the big win, each of us betting on a different horse than the other person so that if one of us wins, we sort of both win. We went to the newcomers seminar an hour before the first race to learn how to bet. Super boring, and Del Mar Bob seriously needed a teeth brushing. The benefit of it is that I finally learned the differences in the types of bets. I’m a $2 girl. If I’m feeling like I can’t lose, $5. So far, our discarded tickets from the first 4 races found their way into my purse for our scrapbook instead of their way to man who hands out money to the winners.
Race 5 was a big one. 12 horses. Rick studied and studied to decide his pick. He analyzed and eliminated until he was sure he had the one. I sat there irritated because the one horse whose name called out to me; the one horse who I immediately felt a connection with; the one horse who I desperately wanted to choose was the odds-on highest risk to lose. Silver Lightning. Sounds fast, right? I better not, I told myself. I continued to look at the horses and dissect my choices. Rick had been going to place my bets for me since the 3rd race because I had hurt my knee the day before and the stairs were no bueno. He is such a gentleman. 🙂
I chose a favorite of one of the odds-makers who had a cute name and asked Rick to place $5 on her for me to Place. To Win means she had to come in first. To Place means she can come in either first or second. The Show means she can come in 1st, 2nd or 3rd. The winnings get less with less risk. He wrote it down on his book and took my $5 bill. I looked down at my book and my gut was screaming No Don’t! My gut was telling me that Silver Lightning was not going to let me down. Silver Lightning was going to run that whole track and leave the other ponies in the dust. “Babe, wait!” I said. “Change it. Put $2 on the other horse to place, and put $3 on Silver Lightning to win.” I had to. Always trust your gut.
Post time. Out trotted the ponies along side their trainers, jockies astride each one. There was my girl, Silver Lightning. Her dapple gray coat glistened, her mane blew in the breeze, her ears were alert. She was ready to win this race! The horses trotted down the track at a slow pace, the jockies knees bent, seat up and off the saddle. As they made their way back along the Home Stretch on their way to the start gate, I glanced at ol’ Silver. Uh, what was she doing?
Silver Lightning was rearing up on her hind legs and jerking. Jerking until her jockey was off of her and on the ground. Trainers scrambled to get her but hell no…..Hi Ho Silver, away!!!!!!!!!!!!! Off went my horse as fast as she could……..Silver Lightning rounded the first corner. My, she was a sight……tail flying in the wind, no one could touch her!!! She rounded around the 2nd corner to the back straight-away…..everyone was on their feet cheering. Silver Lightning streamed all the way around the track until she returned to the scene of her crime, and was met by at least a dozen trainers. Successfully stopped and saddle removed, she was lead back to the stable, and scratched from the race.
Rick looked at me. “Babe, you were so right! She flew, and no horse ever got near her! hahahaha!”. Hi Ho.