Travels with Aunt Renie
Aunt Renie came to Louisville, Kentucky for a visit. It was in the spring of the year and nearing Derby Day, so I decided to take her out to Churchill Downs to watch the horses run.
We drove to south Louisville where the track is located and parked the car a few blocks away and walked the remaining distance to the track entrance. Aunt Renie is pretty spry for an old lady.
We were both able to get in for the admission price of only $1.00 as we were both senior citizens. Louisville likes to encourage its seniors to go to the track. We made our way through the throng of horseracing fans to a booth where they sell racing forms. I bought one and stuck it in my pocket. Then we walked out to the track and sat in the sun on hard benches and studied the form to make our picks.
We studied the racing form and saw that there was a field of eight horses for the next race. Aunt Renie had never been to a racetrack before so I had to teach her how to handicap the race. I am not an expert myself but here’s how I do it. The first thing I do is to study the form for the information listed about the horses for that particular race. First of all, I look for names I like. Something that clicks. Then, I look at the stats on that horse. Who is the trainer, who is the jockey, how much weight does the horse carry, how many races did the horse win this year, and last, what are the odds?
I take all these things into consideration and make a selection. I picked what looked like a winner: Psycho Blue Boots, the number 5 horse in the 3rd race. I suggested to Aunt Renie that we bet $10.00 to win on the 5 horse. If it won, we would split the winnings. She agreed.
I pushed my way through the crowd to the parimutuel window and placed my bet.
“$10.00 to win on the 5 horse in the 3rd race,” I said. The teller smiled, took my money, and punched my ticket.
The race was about to begin as was indicated by the trumpet call to the gate. I hurried back to where Aunt Renie was sitting and showed her our ticket. Just then the announcer announced, “They’re off!” And the race began.
“On the lead was Solient Green, on the outside Golden Band. On the rail was Shiftless Joe followed by Psycho Blue Boots. Royal Pain was moving up to fourth place, Psycho Blue Boots makes a sudden move…They are in the turn, Royal Pain is in third. Psycho Blue Boots moving up on the outside…now moving in…in the stretch Psycho Blue Boots takes the lead…at the wire…Psycho Blue Boots wins by nose!”
The crowd goes wild. I go wild Aunt Renie goes wild. We are winners!
We won enough on the race we were able to celebrate at one of Louisville’s most prestigious steak houses, Jack Fry’s. We had quite a day at the races and a nice meal to boot.
The next morning, I took Aunt Renie to the airport where she resumed her travels.
Next stop, Amsterdam!