1 May 2006
Sonja came down with a cold so after I did what I could for her this morning and took the dog for her walk I headed down to the racetrack. It was one of those days where just about everything went right. It will be confident money being gambled with on Kentucky Derby Day.
For those of you unfamiliar with the big cloud of smoke that is Dope City, the racetrack is in the fabled East End of the city - my end of town. There is a wider cross section of Dope City's smokin' citizenry to be found at the track than any other venue in town. On any given day you can hear dozens and dozens of different languages and dialects spoken at the track. The customers also range from guys I have seen collecting bottles to the richest capitalist motherfuckers; from small time dealers to international arms traders.
The crowd at the racetrack was light. By next weekend, when the weather is predicted to be bright and warm, there will be loads of people there. The light crowd today allowed me easy access to the walking ring where my eye confirmed the one bet I made on the home track and had me pass on several other races because I figured the horses looked more like routers than sprinters. The home track begins each year with a few weekends of sprints before they let the horses run long.
The relatively small numbers in attendance also allowed me to odds shop - waiting until the last possible moment before judging whether a gamble be worth the possible pay off.
My gut told me to bet a 13-1 horse down in Washington. Gut bets are one of the great mysteries of gambling. Nailing one like that to the motherfucking floor is what betting on the horses is all about.
I made no further wagers, having exceeded my expectations for the day. As I drove home I listened to Elvis and Lucinda Williams sing "Wild Horses." As I sang along I thought of how good the cold beer in the bottom shelf of the fridge was going to taste if I made it home alive. As usual lots of people died on the highways around here this weekend - look out.
I cooked up apple pancakes sprinkled with hemp seed hearts when I got home after I caught up with the hockey scores of the day on the tv. A couple games were being shown on screens at the track but I paid them no attention. Both New Jersey and Colorado are through to the second round of the play-offs so it is not like I know nothing about hockey. Picking New Jersey was easy - the Rangers are a bunch of boobs. Picking Colorado required several beers worth of imagination.