Sunday, July 6, 2008

OTB, here I come

I never understood horse races -- why people care about them and are willing to risk money on them -- until today, when I had the pleasure of attending the 53rd Annual Coconino County Horse Race in Flagstaff, Arizona. In the very first race, I tasted victory and got hooked. It turned out to be a false victory -- a photo finish proved that my horse, Wired Wrong, actually came in 4th -- but it was enough to keep me betting. At $2 a pop, it's very low stakes but still quite fun. Coors Light in hand, I studied the stakes and ended up $4 richer than when I started. I spent my winnings on a corndog.

Even more fascinating than the actual races, however, was the program guide. For each race, you can read up on the competing horses and their respective track records. I became immersed in the lingo (trifectas! exactas!) and like Carrie Bradshaw, I "got to thinking" about my life, in horse racing terms. It would be fair to say that, like Easy Quick Dash, I "drifted out late." Like most, I "broke awkwardly." I certainly haven't "led throughout," like Not by Choice. But would history ultimately determine that I was "no real threat" like Butter Money? Or even worse, that I was "never in contention"?

Regardless of my standing, I like the concept of "win, place, show": it's a nice way to have faith while allowing for the possibility that you won't get exactly what you want. It's kind of the best we can hope for, to at least place or show.

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