Photo Finish

Monday at around 5pm I locked it up and packed it out of the First Aid Station.  It was a weird week-end, and a long one.  The races had been cancelled 2 weeks prior and it was looking bad on Sunday as the jockeys mounted ponies (not the horses, the ponies that the outriders ride) and checked out the standing water.  The park was packed with more people than had visited in 2 years and a lot of $$ was on the line, so we all breathed a sigh of relief as the horses came into the paddock after a 40-minute delay.  It turned out okay, though, as the track conditions moved from sloppy to muddy by the last race.   I did a little match-making, hooking up the wt. clerk with a gal he hadn’t seen since high school;  took some pictures;  actually had to work a little as the oppressively humid heat took a few patrons down.  Walking out on Monday, I told my guys in Security, “Before I return next year, you need to review the policy on sexual harassment.”  Boss-guy replied in true KY style, “Why? Ain’t you gittin’ harrassed enough?”

It’s just like the carnival…full of colorful characters, excitement, and drama and comedy.  The racing office personnel and stewards, the Horsemen, owners, trainers,  the jockeys and their agents, have all moved to Churchill Downs where a Live season starts this Saturday.  I’m invited to visit them there, or at their next stop at Keeneland in October, but right now I don’t want to watch another horse-race for love or money.  Sick. Of.  It.   I don’t know if I’ll go back next year, but, as one co-worker noted, “It’s like childbirth.  The next day you say you’ll never go through it again, but a year later you’ve forgotten the pain and ready to go.”

Last Race, Ellis Park, 2014  

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So, I’ve got a while to think about it.  If I go back, it will be because I miss the great people I work with…

Or maybe it’s because I’m a carny at heart…




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