11 June 2007

Rags To Riches

Saturday meant a trip to Dope City Downs to watch the horses make their way through the mud at the local oval and to make a large bet on the Belmont Stakes. I prefer attending the track when the weather is off. It forces people together in the covered areas instead of allowing them to move all around the facility comfortably.

You would think people would drink less at the track when the clouds are so low and the rain so heavy the millionaire cities across the inlet from the racetrack have to be conjured from memory and not with the naked eye. You have never closely observed the addictively inclined if you would think that. It was like New Year's Eve after every one has taken their pills, half emptied their bags of dope and had begun wondering just how much more they could drink before they kill someone or vomit.

I like seeing punk rockers at the racetrack and today I was in for a treat. Three such creatures were exploring the joys of gambling on horses, a young man and two girls. They were moving around the grounds with their beer and their rain disturbed hair styles getting a feel for the place. As I climbed the stairs to visit my favourite mutuel clerk for one of the day's early races one of the punk rock girls was sitting on the stairs with legs splayed like an overcooked chicken dinner. Her pant's crotch had a large hole in it. Purple panties shone out of the hole like a Cariboo sunset. Punkrockers are the best.

Around 3:30 it was time to watch the Belmont Stakes. I had placed my bet on Rags To Riches long before the race began. She had run all her races at faster final times than her male competitors. I never felt so sure of a bet in years. The crowd, steamy with beer, sweat and rain crowded below the banks of colour televisions. They were treated to a match race down the stretch between Rags To Riches and Curlin, winner of the Preakness.

Watching a British Columbia boy captain his team to the Stanley Cup was sweet; sharing the Dope City Giants' Memorial Cup victory over two inferior American squads and a willing bunch of motherfuckers from Alberta was a blast; but watching and cheering Rags To Riches go eyeball to eyeball with Curlin, and feeling 100% certain she would cross the finish line first, was the most fun I had watching a sporting event all year.

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