Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore was my maternal Grandmother's haunt until she was into her 90's. She had people follow her to the betting window, trying to eavesdrop of her conversation with the clerk - what were her picks? She probably won enough to have to declare it on her tax returns.
Today was the 2008 opening of Pimlico, and so I met up with my sister and my mom and headed for the races. Could I channel my grandmother? Did I have the gift or intuition to pick winning horses? So we passed through the gates, grabbed a program and headed for the stands. I studied the racing forms that told you a bit about each horse, the odds that the experts gave it of winning. The idea is to study information from the form then check the horses out in the paddock.
This just took way too much analysis! Then a horse walked in that made my heart skip a bea
He was Number 4, Lieutenant Icy - a jet black newbie horse with not much of a track record (excuse the pun). I went into the area where you could see the horses in the paddock. What a horse hunk! He looked lean and frisky. His muscles rippled. I went to the window and placed a bet for Number 4 to win, and he ran brilliantly! He was in first place until just before they got to the finish line!
So my intuition and judgement of horse flesh needed a little tweeking. For the next few races, I paid more attention to their stats, although that didn't help much. I noticed that I liked to bet on long shots, then figured out that the odds makers probably knew more than I did.
Then my Blackberry rang, and it was a favorite blog buddy, Todd Clark! It was a Mac question that I could actually answer! Then I thought for a minute - did any of the horses have either "Todd" or "Clark" in their names, their jockies, owners, trainers or breeders? I scanned the forms - and rats! No matches! But I did find a horse whose jockey's first name was "Malcolm", the name of one of my all time favorite clients. Was this the sign I've been looking for?
It was the 7th race, and jockey, Malcolm Franklin, was riding a beautiful, frisky gray horse. And his costume was pretty amazing, too. The colors were gray and hot pink - Whoo! So I went to my lucky betting window and bet on the fashionably attired "Snow on Snow" to win. And guess what! She won!
Another important part of the Pimlico ritual is the "Black Eyed Susan", which is the track's official drink - their answer to Churchill Down's mint julips. My sister brought one back and oh! My! God! It was good! I immediately tried to google the recipe on Google, but it's some sort of secret. Now that would be a fun way to get loopy, which I couldn't do at the track because I had to drive back to DC. BWL is one thing, but when I'm driving, it's iced tea for this blogger!
As we were leaving, I noticed these signs posted above the betting windows - good advice at the races and in other life domains as well!