The Road We All Should Have Taken

by Ed Meyer

posted on March 23, 2009 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

I spent the day at the races this past weekend. Not only did I get to see quality horses, but I traveled back in time to when big race days were events rather than just another wagering option. It was magical as those claimers entered the track. Each having their story, and it was our job to find the answer.

Today, and everyday there will be a menu of races to wager upon. That is a very good thing. But somewhere down the road, we missed the best part of the trip. It wasn’t the ending, but the road that led us there in the first place.

Going to the races was a day trip. We would get all ready, and sometimes get decked out to play the ponies. I started as a kid, and when I became an adult, the trend continued.

Traveling with my dad and grandpa to catch the last few on any given evening was exciting. It was night racing, and being on the town made it that much better. I guess after all was said and done, the races were secondary to spending time with loved ones. Many have made the trip, but how many have made the trip and enjoyed the scenery? It is kinda like a detour of sorts.

So there I am, with information in hand, watching the races. I meet and speak with many friends, but my mind is taking me back. Back to a time when betting $2 was a hold-your-breath experience. Cashing your ticket made you ten feet tall. It was the little things that will always be with you. Remembering your first big score, how your dad used to holler and scream for his horse to hold on down the lane, and how grandpa use to smoke those nasty cigars and cuss when his long shots ran down the tubes. I guess more people need to have a trip or two like this to remember. After all, it was not being at the races, it was getting in the car and making the trek to the local track.

As I light my Macanudo and wait until post time. I sure hope that damn horse gets out of the gate today. He looks good, and the price is right.. I’ll get paid if that dog can get running. As they break, and my horse comes out more crooked than a local politician, I begin to holler and cuss about that nag and prepare for the next race. You are never out, until the races are over. On this glorious day, I am not only in the game, but I am taken back to a simpler time; when going to the races was an event, rather than just another bet.