Jo Mayne Casey

Posts Tagged ‘horse races’

A day at the races…

In 2016, Autumn at Sonnystone Acres, Thanksgiving on November 25, 2016 at 11:35 am

Even though it was Thanksgiving, we didn’t buy the buffet tickets at Churchill Downs because we would have had to get up and out of here too early to suit us.  Instead, we lazied around and watched the Parade before we drove over to Louisville, arriving in time for the 7th of 12 races.  I made some of my trademark $2 show bets first, then grabbed some excellent BBQ from Smoky’s in the Cafe Court.   The crowds were sparse, so there was plenty of room in our box to spread out and chow down while I watched my horses fight it out for 3rd…only one made it, but it was the one with the longer odds…

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Bellies full, we wandered back downstairs to get some drinks, make some bets, and take some pictures.  I love the Grey Goose Lily cocktail that comes in a souvenir glass with discounted refills…try it if you’re ever at Churchill.  I forked over another 80cents on wagers, then it was out to the paddock area—but we just missed the horses going out to the track.  Kentucky loves horse sculptures and they do it well…check out the life-size statue of Pat Day in the background…

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Then we went trackside…

I didn’t know I was doing this, but I got shots of the gates closed, then jut as they opened…kinda cool…

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It was a 1 1/8 mile race…here’s the field starting..

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and here they are streaking for the finish…(my horse, Bird Song,  eeked it out to win)…

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We stuck around for just one more drink and race, then cashed in my $6.40 winnings and drove home…

This could get to be a Thanksgiving tradition…  Hope you had fun, too!

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It’s Derby Week-end…

In Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks on May 1, 2015 at 6:49 am

I haven’t always been such a horse-race fiend, but I have watched the Kentucky Derby for all of my adult life.  I didn’t even know you could make a bet outside of Churchill Downs, but we would watch on TV,  pick a horse and get bragging rights if he won.  Before Betting the Derby, I seemed to be able to pick winners with a fair consistency, but now that I use real money to wager the race, I over-think and self-doubt, rarely cashing a ticket.  One year, I bet nearly the whole field to show—this does not pay off, folks.  Maybe the mint Juleps had something to do with it…

Even though it’s been run as long as the Derby, I didn’t “discover” the Oaks until a few years back.  The Kentucky Oaks parallels the Derby, running the 3-year-old thoroughbred fillies the day before the fellas.  Of course, there’s not quite as much money on the ladies, so occasionally a trainer decides to run a filly with the boys, but the Oaks is all girls…  I have done pretty well betting this race, but I am now beginning to analyze it to smithereens…

Of course, that’s what most would call handicapping. I’ve been to several helpful websites that teach about that art, and it seems to me that they compile even more data than I do:  past performances, lengths of race, turf vs track, onandon,  until I’m baffled and bewildered. It was a natural segue from those sites to examine the “how to bet” tutorials that show you, quickly and easily, how to bet $100–and win–on  superfectas and  trifectas, rendering me stuperfected!!!   I am seriously confounded and confused…I think it has something to do with math??….

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Simplify!!  I’ll take the advice of Mom’s old friend, Jean, and put my money on the gray horse…(that would be Ocho Ocho Ocho at 50-1 or Frosted at 15-1 or Mr. Z at 50-1–no help there).   I could use Donna and Lana’s old method and pick the best-looking jockey (that, in my humble op, would be Miguel Mena, riding International Star at 20-1).   No, it’s all about the odds—I’ll pick any horse that has over 10-1 odds (currently 17 horses)…or pick the favorite (Dortmund*** at 3-1)  .No, the favorite never wins…   Calvin is riding El Kabeir (30-1) from the #7 gate, right next to Dortmund in #8;  if I know him, he might catch the jetstream and win his fourth Derby.  But  Gary Stevens is the oldest jockey riding Derby 141, on Firing Line (12-1), and this would also be his fourth win, so maybe I should bet the old guy. There’s a good-looking horse named Danzig Moon (30-1), so maybe the Moon reference (my daughter’s nickname) will lead me to the winning ticket.   It’s a gamble, anyway you figure it…  ***favorite as of this morning is American Pharoah at 5-2.

My technique for picking a winner in the Oaks is going to be:  buy a program, open it to the list of contenders,  close my eyes, and point…  That will probably work…

Oh, well, here’s a sure bet:  we’ll all have a good time…

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I’ll let you know how it goes…

Photo Finish

In Sonnystone Summer Spectacular on September 4, 2014 at 6:11 am

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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