Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Day One at the Races

I know. The photo above is not all that inspiring. I forgot how distracting and tiring the track can be. You only have about 20 minutes between races (after cursing the previous result and moping for a couple of minutes) to handicap the next one, and given the amount of information to ingest, that's not long enough. I'll try to do better (as both photographer and handicapper) as the week progresses.

It was cool and cloudy this afternoon, which is a rare opening day for the eight years I've been coming up here. We've had gloomy weather before, but hardly ever to open things up. The horses were a bit more friendly than the skies -- I had two winners (including one at 14-1), but lost overall on the day. Still, cashing two tickets is good practice for the rest of the trip.

My first winner of the day, Tejida in the third race, was more satisfying than the 14-1 shot (Love Cove in the fifth) because I had picked him out yesterday in the form and stuck with him, despite the presence of a big favorite in the race. (Also because, unlike Love Cove, Tejida's name doesn't sound like a frat boy's nickname for his apartment.) The big favorite beaten by Tejida had what I thought was the best name of the day -- Wingspan. I also liked the name Stunt Man (but wasn't smart enough to bet him; he won).

I'm talking about names here because, frankly, I'm almost certain that if I started talking about speed numbers and past performances, tumbleweeds would start blowing across the screen.

Normally, we'd all be off to dinner at a restaurant called The Wishing Well right now. It's a Wednesday night tradition. The other guys -- and to bring you up to speed, I make this trip with my father and a few of his friends -- have been going there every year for decades. But last summer, the food seemed to drop in quality, the place wasn't nearly as crowded as usual, and it seems like we're all in for the night. Or at least not headed to the Wishing Well.

Before I put you all to sleep, I'm going to work on some other posts now. These daily wrap-ups will improve, I swear.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that's a great photo, John. Brings
back memories of our days as a family
in Toga way back when. Hope the
weather gets better and, more importantly,
your handicapping. "Sammy"

9:36 PM  

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