There wasn’t a down time or lack of interest. The horses were hot and the marquee tracks ruled the roost. If you’ve been following our place parlay action focused on Saratoga, you would’ve seen some big plays and close calls. But, at the end of the day it wasn’t the wagering that took center stage for our group of three. One of our group had a problem that can’t be fixed with a big day at the track. We were ready to draw down on the Saratoga meet, and there were some up’s and down’s. When life sends you a bolt of truth, you put things in perspective.
When the phone rings late in the night or the early morning, it is usually something that needs attention. We have all had the “call of crisis,” and we handle it in our own way. When our friend said he needed some time to deal with some family issues, we didn’t ask, and we lost our drive to make some money at the track. His wife had some bad tests, and he needed to be with her. They have been married for 12-years, and he is one of the happiest married men I know. He doesn’t take part in silly games about talking smack about the “old lady” or the “ball-and-chain.” His respect and devotion are enough to make the average man ashamed of himself for trash talking. – In the blink of an eye, a good man received a wake-up call that would buckle your knees.
I received a text and it was filled with bad, good, and hope. Now, that is a great deal for one message, but if you read between the lines you can understand. “Hey, I’m in Chicago and we’re in the hospital. I have taken some time away from work, and the kids are with my parents. We are facing a tough road, but the outlook is positive. She is undergoing treatment, and the doctors think we caught a break with early diagnosis.” There is not much that can be said, and the text said it all. He was busy fighting, and he wanted to reach outside the cage to feel humanity. We responded with the replies that only come from friends. He told us he spends most of the time reading or online. She sleeps a great deal, and he has plenty of time to look over the cyber-universe. “I only leave for a short jog, a quick shower, or to grab a bite. I was running down the road and a warm rain started pouring. I saw a bookstore/newsstand and took cover. As I was walking around, I spotted a Daily Racing Form. It made me think of you guys, and how I needed to get in touch.” Sometimes it is good to take a break and get some rest in a safe place. He bought a copy and snuggled into an over-stuffed chair with a cup of coffee. He had at least a couple of hours before he could see her after treatment, and this seemed to fit the bill.
No handicapping, but just reading the articles. That was enough to set him in motion to contact us. Funny how a newspaper can bridge a gap and allow for an escape. He asked if we had gone to the track, and if there were any big runners we cashed. After a bevy of group texts, he asked if we won anything with our place parlay. After we told him we agreed to make group decisions with the E-Z Win Forms, and without his input we would wait for him for another day. This was a gesture on the part of two guys who didn’t want to leave out their partner. He was happy to hear of our concern, and moreover our patience to wait. We told him we’ll kick it up later. “How about Keeneland? Churchill, or The Breeders’ Cup?” It will keep, and we’ll all get together when you both come back home.
Sometimes the wake-up call comes in many forms, and once in awhile we catch a break. He felt optimistic and our texts have grown into calls when gets time. He said it was just too tough to talk, and texting allowed him to communicate as he needed. We received some good news this morning when he said the doctor’s will allow her to come home next week. She can finish her last treatments near home, and the treatment has worked at this stage. We entered in as three guys getting together to have some fun and win some money. If both come home and the treatment gets the job done, we’ll have won more than Fort Knox. I can’t wait to see our friend, and I sure hope he’ll be able to get out for a short bit and relax with a few races. – So, sit back and get ready as we have $1,200 for the Belmont, Churchill, Keeneland meets. I think he’ll be ready for a guys day out, and he gets first pick with no input.