We had the most delightful day at the races. The park was filled with a medley of sounds, sights, and aromas of grilled meats, cigarette smoke, and beer. Now I don’t know how many people would classify cigarettes and beer as an aroma, but it did blend quite nicely in the cool, damp air.
Upon our arrival, it appeared that the spectators, some aka gamblers, were in lighthearted moods, excited about the start of the racing season. Feeling the joviality of this occasion, my husband and I eagerly placed our tokens into the slot to gain entrance through the turnstile. After all, we were pleased we only had to pay a buck each to get in. (something to do with passing a certain age but that’s trivial) We splurged on a program and set off to choose the winners. The first three races were Quarter Horses running the quarter mile. I discovered that I had a tendency to gravitate towards the ones with similar temperaments as our Big Red. It certainly didn’t come as a big surprise, when I failed to choose a winner. After all, he, himself, had only won 40 bucks in his entire racing career, which lasted a mere few months, mind you. But, caught up in the frenzy of betting, I had to at least place two dollars on the one and only female jockey who was riding a, you guessed it, red horse. After blowing a few bob, I suggested to my husband that he choose the next race, since it would be Thoroughbreds. While he was inside placing his bet, the announcer said the next race would be Arab horses. Arabs, Thoroughbreds, it didn’t matter, because he chose the 1st place, SE Bunker Buster and won $11.50. Now we were on a roll and hot to trot. Thoroughbreds were in the fifth race, and I suggested placing a bet on two who actually came in first and second. That was the windfall – $25.50. The next race brought us a whopping $6.40. However, all good things must come to an end. In race 7, if horse number two hadn’t come out of nowhere, we could have won some dinero . (by this time we were becoming a bit flippant) By race 8, I noticed that a good majority of the crowd were either in social groups, partying and oblivious to the races, or nervously pacing back and forth, deeply drawing in nicotine through stunted cigarette butts. My husband and I were only $2.40 in the hole, thanks to a five dollar bill that he found on the ground. We decided that we still had money to buy a frozen custard on the way home. After all, the aroma of the grilled meat now was turning into a nauseating starter fluid smell; the cigarette smoke had become heavy and stung our eyes and lungs; the beer odor wafted through the air similar to a dingy bar. But, it was a good day, nevertheless. At least, we didn’t have any loan sharks chasing us out to the parking lot. 🙂