Monday, June 19, 2006

Father's Day at the Track

I’ve managed to establish a tradition (2 years in a row, that solidifies it) of going to the racetrack with my family on Father’s Day. I ride my bike there (it’s about 30 miles) and Jen and Mimi drive down and meet me in time for the first or second race.

We had a pretty good time all in all, even though nobody hit many winners. My one small (moral) victory was picking Es Muy Stormy at 4 to 1 in the second. I bet him across the board, though, so the payoff wasn’t what it could have been.

Mimi made out okay with I’m Pure Country (which she, more appropriately we all thought, read at first “Impure Country”) at 7 to 2 in the third. But most of the time, we (me, especially) excelled at picking second place horses to come in first. I did this successfully in the 4th, 6th, 7th, and 9th races.

I had my usual mixed emotions about being at the track. I worry about the lives of the animals (at least before the lucky ones go to stud) and it’s pretty obvious that the money I spend (and especially the money I lose) could go to much better causes. On the other hand, it’s a lovely day with my family, we’re contributing the to livelihood of all sorts of people, and hey, I did ride my bike there, after all, didn’t I?

On the way down, I passed a soccer pitch where two local club teams were playing. All the players were Hispanic and Latino and all were speaking Spanish, pretty much non-stop. I imagined what it must be like at the World Cup with dozens of different tongues doing simultaneously and I believed, for a moment, in the myth that soccer could save the world.

At the track, though, the dominant language was what my mom always referred to as “Anglo-Saxon.”

Another one-the-nose pick coming in second, another epithet hurled.


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