Can’t Make The Races Like You Used to Do ?

... post where we discussed it being just like football tailgating





















I have a gal who loves to go. She loves concerts, casinos, and going to the races. She has been going for so long the car knows how to get there on its own. But, I digress. – Yesterday she made a trek down to see her daughter in college. It was “Mommy Day” for lack of a better term, and that entailed going to Keeneland, tailgating, and having cocktails. I think they call it “Mommy Day” as Mommy picks up the tab. What a way to celebrate dear old Mom. – But, what she didn’t consider was the 31,000 plus crowd filled with college kids and newbies. – It looks like an older dog was going to learn a new trick.

Jeannine has kept up at every turn. She enjoys going, and that has been her life since a little girl. Nothing wrong I guess, except the game has changed and Father Time has an odd sense of humor. – You use to be able to stand and drink all day. Now, one or two drinks will do for the day. You used to watch the race, and get right back in line to wager again as the crowds were so thick. – That has been replaced by making a bet or two and thinking about heading back to the car. After watching college kids puke, the lines were long, and you had to make reservations in January for a wooden seat in the grandstand in April. – My little – go-go-girl had gone-gone to the car. She set up her folding chair from sporting events and found peace in the valley until her daughter tracked her down. – I guess she needed more drinks, or it was lunch time.

The night ended up at a frat house where young boys urinated on trees in the front yard and silly girls did jello-shots. – Who used to be the life of the party is now the first one home in bed. She tried to keep up a round or two, and did selfie shots with girls younger than her daughter. – I expected her to be gone all night and come rolling in in the wee morning hours when she came walking in the door at 8:00 pm. – Somehow she managed to drive 80 miles in 20 minutes. Maybe “Mommy’s Day” at Keeneland had taken its toll.

As she was drifting off to sleep she asked that we never go down on a weekend to Keeneland. ” It’s just not worth it, and it’s a pain in the ass.” – I didn’t have the heart to tell her, but that what’s the regular players who love betting the races do. So I just shook my head yes, and agreed with her sage-like wisdom. – The weekend races at the bucolic settings of Keeneland are beautiful during the week, and on week-ends they turn into a hoity-toity frat / sorority gathering where youngsters wear their finery the parents money can buy. – Keeneland has been a place where blue blazers and khaki slacks rule, and bow ties are in plentiful view. Real race trackers know the rules, and the only time one would break the unspoken rules are on a major stakes race or Breeders’ Cup this year.

She now knows why I love to bet on my computer, and watch and wager the weekend action from home. Home sweet home, and only 13 days until the Kentucky Derby. – I’ll be working (thank God) and the races will be over at my track and I can watch the last three stakes and Derby from my booth in hi-definition. Two screens, the best seat in the house and cold beer I borrowed from John Engelhardt’s cooler.  Nothing could be sweeter. – To prove my point. I was on social media and saw a posting from Travis Stone who calls the Kentucky Derby at Churchill. – He is the voice of the most famous race in the world, and on the very next day he and a pal drove 100 miles north and visited a small track called Belterra Park. – Some would call it a “Busman’s Holiday,” but I call it getting back to your roots. – I posted on his page to stop up next time he makes the trek, as I would like to meet in person. He said “will-do” and I sure hope he makes the drive. It must be a little difference calling the most watched race in the world, and then driving to watch and wager on claiming and small allowance races with two or three hundred players. – “Mommy’s Day” was a learning experience for my gal. I’ll bet dollars to donuts she’ll make plenty of trips for dinners, gatherings, and eventually graduation. But I’ll lay (2-5) she won’t be at Keeneland on a beautiful Saturday anymore.