(Click on the image to see a larger version)
I really like a good horse race. I have been going to Belmont Park for Stakes Day every year for the past 6 or 7 years. Since then, I have started going to other big races at Belmont, Aquaduct, and even once this summer up in Saratoga. I wouldn't call myself an addict or anything, but I am definitely a degenerate. However, when your horse comes in and you find yourself at the ticket window getting handed Ben Franklins beautifully smiling face over and over again, you can't not be pretty excited about the whole thing. At the time of this drawing, I was gearing up to go to see the Jockey Gold Cup for my buddies bachelor party. I knew who was going to win it, as well. I had been to Belmont for my birthday the year before and had seen this great horse named Haynesfield run and win me a bunch of money because I liked his name. Very similar to mine, although he is, in fact, my irish cousin who also happens to be a horse. So, he was running in the Gold Cup and I just knew he was going to win. So this drawing came a couple weeks before this race, and I was already really excited about it. When the day finally arrived, a whole bunch of us met at the track and had a great day. The bachelor himself won $700 on one of the races, I was winning at exactas and trifectas on a couple of early races, and finally, Haynesfield went wire to wire to win me $206. It was bliss, I tell you. Bliss. If you have never attended a horse race, I highly recommend it. The power, speed and elegance of the ponies barreling down the track at top speed is something to behold. Now, every time I go to the track, I have the whole staff of the Loup giving me money. I have turned seemingly normal people into horse racing freaks. They usually give me $20 and tell me to put it on whichever horse I am betting on, so a couple times this year we won big and split the winnings. That's always nice; you come into work and already have $200 right off the bat. It's like you don't even have to work that night. You'll usually make less than that and have to deal with peoples crazy food opinions and allergies all night. My buddy, the bachelor, actually lived in Saratoga one summer and created an experiment where he tried to make as much money at the track as he did at the job he had just quit. I think he broke even, so the experiment failed. However! It was noble of him to try and by golly, I've thought about it myself after those days when I come home with Ben Franklin(s) in my pocket. But enough about me.
The picture I used in this one is actually from Churchill Downs where they run the Kentucky Derby. I wanted to put Belmont in there, but I couldn't find the right picture. So, this picture is possibly the photo finish of some crazy Maiden Race at Churchill Downs, with a worm, of all things right up there in the top spot. I sure hope I picked him in my Quinella!