The Final Furlong

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 30, 2010 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

Every person, no matter what age or place in the world, will walk the same path. We will be born into the world crying, and leave others doing the same. Racing has always shown me the best of the world, and the finest people. But, as my good friend once told me, we will all walk that same path.

I started my day as any other. I awoke to get ready, and make my way into the track. But, today was to be different. It will have changed my perspective by the end of that day in those hours to follow. There would be many endings of sorts. Endings that are permanent, and endings that are possibilities.

I arrived to find out that a young daughter of a cohort had passed away in her sleep. The place was on fire with emotion. It is a crime whenever a parent has to bury a child, and the parent must carry-on. She was a beautiful young lady of 18 years whom I had seen at the races. Her mom kept wonderful pictures all over her desk. But, there would be no more visits again, and only questions that will remain. This was an odd story about the races, but it showed me just how beautiful and fragile life could be.

I was sent an email. It was from a pal of mine that has been on our racing show. He copied an obit of an older gent who was his school teacher. He was also a track general manager/ group sales when that really meant something in the day. A life long bachelor, and a devoted man to doing things right, he long started customer service just like he showed his students. Just do the right things, and all will be well… He taught, coached, and worked long hours at the track. His life was working, and at 85 years, he now can get his long awaited rest after a lengthy illness. He was a good man, and a man who made you feel good just by being around. He would tell you of the old days, and how things used to be done. He never lost his love for horse racing, and quietly walked down that path we will all go.

The last part of my day was a man who loved racing. Ever since he was a boy, he went with his father and loved each stride. This was to be his calling, even though his education deemed other. He worked, and cared for others like there was nothing else to do. He loved seeing the faces, and couldn’t wait until the next day. Today, he found out that he would not be retained due to poor financial conditions. VLT’s and slots are coming, but just not quick enough. They will revive the game he has loved so much, and make it bigger and better. But, it will go on without him being there. Oh, I know it is not as sad as the way he started his day, and he knows that all too well… But, it is a hearken of all good things must come to an end. All good runs will end, and in the end, all gamblers die broke… He held his head up high, and thought of those two other people from the track. How they came in just like he did, and how things will never be the same. We will all walk a path of sorts. For some it will be the final, and for others, it may hold the opportunity for change.

So as we watch beautiful horses dance down the lane like ballerinas on display, know that the dance will not last forever, and savor every second along the way. This all took place around and among those seeking the fortune, and losing it along the way.