Sunday, October 05, 2014
If you were here on Friday, you know I was going to attend the final day of live horse racing at Suffolk Downs. If (for some unfathomable reason) you weren't here on Friday, here's the why of it.
I'm happy to report that MY WIFE and I did, indeed, go there on Saturday. I met up with the crew from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. They were very nice and I think the interview I did went well. I was informed that it will likely air sometime in the next two weeks. When it does, I'll provide some way for you to view it (unless I view it first and I see that I came across as a total idiot, in which case I'll deny everything I've said on both Friday and today.)
Some of you may be wondering if I made any money betting the ponies on that last day.
As might be divined from the illustration, the answer is no. I lost a few bucks. I am happy to report, however, that the very last bet I made at Suffolk Downs was a winner.
It was an overcast and rainy day, not the most pleasant imaginable for autumn in New England. The track was muddy and it drizzled off and on for most of the time we were there. It got to the fifth race (of nine) and I said to MY WIFE, "This is the last one for us if I don't cash."
It wasn't because we would have been out of money; I want that to be clear. It was just that I wasn't getting much of a thrill from the whole experience. I had been psyched for meeting the Australians and doing the interview, but after that it was just mostly a depressing scene. It was the last day, after all, and most of the workers there on that day were losing their jobs tomorrow. The crowd was larger than it had been for years, but, again, that was because it was the last day, forever, for thoroughbred horse racing in New England. Had the place been closing without advance notice, the crowd would have been half the size. As I say, it was overcast and dreary. And I hadn't picked a winner yet. Had I been spectacularly successful, it would have seemed sunnier.
So we watched the fifth race and my horse, Get Back Jack, led from wire-to-wire. He paid $9.20 to win. I had five dollars on his nose and so I went to the window to cash my $23.00 ticket. I decided My Dad would be proud of me if I walked away with the winnings from that final race instead of maybe blowing it back trying to get fully even on the final four races. MY WIFE was amenable to whatever I wished, bless her, and so we left. There is a certain amount of satisfaction in walking away a winner the final time out (even if one is a loser overall.)
Speaking of losers, I'll tell you a funny story involving my softball teammate and friend, Big Jay Atton. He called me on Saturday morning and left a message. He asked me when I was going to the track. He works somewhat nearby to Suffolk Downs, so I imagined he might get off work and come on over. I called him back and got his answering service. I told him to call me back. He did, again leaving me a message. We were playing phone tag and now I was it.
So, I called him back. He answered, saying "Hello, Jim Sullivan!" I said hello. He asked me what time we were going. I started telling him what our plans were. He interrupted me and asked me a question. I spoke. He interrupted again. I started speaking again and then he says, "Nah, this is just my voice mail message. Leave a message." And I heard a "BEEP".
The bastard had recorded a message, using my name, and had totally suckered me. I left him an obscene recording, while laughing.
As it turns out, he didn't get back to me after that message and apparently he showed up at the track himself but never spotted us. He got all indignant about it on Facebook. We would have loved to have met him there - the Australian TV crew might have made him a star in Oz, as well; you never know - but it didn't happen. Well, shoot, I'm about 5' 10" and MY WIFE is 5' 1", so we can duck under the radar in a big crowd, but if he had called me back and told me he was definitely going to be there, our chances of spotting him, at 6' 7", would have been much better. Oh, well. I would have introduced him to the Australians as a former jockey just to see the look on their faces.
Soon, with more better stuff (or more bettor stuff, but not at Suffolk.)
P.S. Got the photo from this place. Since I lost money overall, I hope it's OK. A lawsuit would make neither of us any money.