6 August 2012
First time to Vernon to watch the races Sonja and I caught a break. At 24 degrees the temperature was far from what you generally find up there in mid-July. Sonja had seen the forecast for Vernon before I asked her if she wanted to go up there again. Her keenness for the idea was cooler than the odds of the Canucks winning the Stanley Cup next spring - with or without Shane Doane.
My love of small town horse racing is such that I would have gone if a high of 50 degrees was forecast. Hot temperatures is why man invented beer on his way to becoming civilized by dogs. (I have noted, in case you have not, that neither of the recent mass slayings in the USA were executed by someone drinking beer or walking their dog.)
I drive an American car. If it were not for the candy painted hot rods you see at intervals on hot summer days my car may be the oldest highway worthy vehicle on the road. Everyone else drives a new BMW - or so it would seem. In the World Wars we may have won the battle but over the long course of history the fucking Germans have won the war. Assholes.
Sunday traffic was light, allowing me to pick up the race programme just as it came off the press and retire to a nearby restaurant to study its contents, have lunch and enjoy my first beers of the day. Had some Blues for the first time in decades. Good union beer.
Go fucking buy some.
Back at the track the beer garden was filling up. The crowd would end up spending more money on beer than they pushed through the mutual tellers' windows. It was that fucking hot.
There were three male jockeys on hand but the first race went to post with just women in the saddle. Have to think that may have been the only such instance of a horse race without a man at the reins of one of the competitors anywhere in the world this year.
I backed the winner, bet the next race and made my way back to the beer garden. Fuck it was hot. The sweat was pouring off every human and beast on the property.
Next three did not go so well as a series of longshots crossed the finish line ahead of my choices. Amongst those was Kassie Guglielmino's second career winner - a one turn four furlong race. Hopefully she wins a two turn race before the year is done. Looks like she is learning her craft quickly enough to do so.
Loaded up on the winner of the final race of the day. Chaching Pete, a $12,500 claimer from Washington, was the classiest horse I have yet to see compete in the interior. Been a while since the bush circuit shipped down a high claimer or stake winner to Dope City Downs. Even carrying 130 pounds it managed to cross the line first, at odds on, under experienced bush rider Ashley Zacherle. Broke the track record for 6 1/2 furlongs - 1:18 and change.
Cashed my two winning tickets, had one more for the fucking road, and shot back home, weaving between the BMWs as I did so.
The lakes were full of people and their power boats as I drove by. Motherfuckers had all missed a good day of racing.