22 May 2007


When I spend a day at the track I often watch the horses spin around the track with Moe and Teri. Moe and Teri are Pierre's mom and dad. They are the only old-timers from my old neighbourhood I have seen on a regular basis over the last many years because of our mutual hobby of gambling on thoroughbreds.

When Moe and Teri were younger they used to wander the racetrack grounds much as I do but for quite some time now, after they have parked their car and picked up their programme, they slowly climb the stairs to the best cheap seats in the house high above the finish line. Moe's declining athletic ability has been a relief to Dope City's jockey colony. He only ran onto the track and half-strangled one jockey he felt certain had stiffed a live horse once but his explosive outrage left a lasting impression when he did so. For a while now Teri has climbed up and down the stairs to make their bets.

When I first said hello to them at the racetrack I hoped they might be able to share some wisdom about horses with me when I learned they had been attending the races for decades. When I asked, Moe looked with disgust at my Racing Form and spat, "Throw that shit in the fucking garbage." Turned out Moe and Teri were numbers players who liked to play the exotic bets. I am still trying to learn enough about the game to make a living betting horses on the nose. But there are lots of days when I wonder if I should have taken Moe's advice and thrown the piece of shit Racing Form in the fucking garbage long ago.

When I did not see Moe and Teri in the wooden seats they make comfortable with one of Teri's home made cushions on opening day this year I gave Pierre a call. Pierre said, "Dad's ok. Just a little infection he's dealing with. I'm sure you'll see him at the track in time for the Kentucky Derby." When the old pair were not there to bet their hard earned pension money on Derby Day I felt certain Pierre was being economical with the truth.

When I was at the track today one of the old security boys took me aside and told me Moe had passed on the day before this year's running of the Preakness. Before he did so the wise old Scot gave Pierre a bundle to bet on his informed hunch in the second leg of the Triple Crown. "Put it all on Curlin to win." Ain't nothing like going out with a win.

No comments: