A Day at the Races


Stakes contenders racing to the finish

I love the Marx Brothers. My family may or may not own two box sets of their movies… Kathleen did not get the reference when we had our day at the races last weekend.

Shame on her.

Anyways, Kathleen, Molly and I set out last Saturday morning on a journey back to fair Nassau County. Kathleen and I had a previous journey to that far land once before.

Due to LIRR budetary issues, the train system does not usually go to the Belmont Station. Instead you have to take the train to a neighboring town and then catch a shuttle to the track.

What utter nonsense.

No such rubbish for Stakes Day. On Stakes Day the LIRR thankfully runs special service all day to the Station at the track, which interestingly feed directly into the facility. I mean, you end up right in line to buy tickets and enter the stands. It’s kind of magical.

We moseyed over to the trackside grass, staked a spot with our blankets and hunkered down for the day.

In case you didn’t know, unlike other tracks (such as Saratoga apparently), at Belmont general admission attendees get access to a strip of lawn that runs along the end of the track in front of the stands seating. So you know, later in the day we were standing about 20 feet away from the Stakes contenders.

I know.

Here’s the thing about the race track, it’s a basically a picnic with live but intermittent entertainment.

At the baseball game last weekend we missed things because we would be chatting and socializing. At the track, you only have to pay attention for brief pockets of time. Very exciting ephemeral moments of madness.

Race 10 on the turf, just before the Stakes

I said it.

The day started well for me. I had never bet on a race before, but dear Kathleen showed me the ropes and I won the first race I bet on, “Whoooot!”

I went on to win for the win two races in a row. If only I had bet that I would win on two consecutive races, right? So shout outs to D’Funnybone and Proviso for winning their respective races. It was very exciting. I was hooked.

Proviso parading before race 7

You know who I hate? Roommate Molly won $40 on a longshot. Yes. She bet one dollar on a horse chanced 40-1. And she won on Champagne D’Oro.

I know, right?

This was also her first time betting. Her first time at a race track in fact. Quite the day at the races.

Then, another friend showed up, another one who had never been to the races before and he put down a random bet for the Stakes on one of the most unassuming horses in the field, Drosselmeyer.

He won.

This was after he had bet on a long shot when he first arrived and won with 20-1 odds. Lucky people I roll with, no?

Anyway, it wasn’t all a loss for on my end. A horse I had selected to show came in second, so I made back some cash on that. Thank you to Fly Down for placing. You’re a star.

All in all, I think I broke about even, which is fine. Plus Molly decided to treat everyone to a tall boy with her winnings, so that was kind of a win-win situation right there. And Sam drove us all home so we didn’t have to face the LIRR full of drunken trackies, so again, a win-win versus their actual cash winnings.

Furthermore, I know have all these people hooked on the race track and I plan to go back all the time. There’s twilight racing next week—who’s with me?

***

Buddy Horse

Oh, and new Word of the Week: “Buddy Horse” is my official term for… the buddy horses that accompany the racers during the parade to the gate. I don’t see a better term for designating these supportive friend equines.

I love buddy horses. They support the racers and I like to support them. I like the grey and the paint ones best.

I am a child.

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Filed under Adventures, Commenting, Obscure Summer Sports, Out & About, Word of the Week

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