A Ringing Endorsement
“HA! I break your small time track bitches!” – BG
As I mentioned, the degenerate celebration of my birthday ended in a Saturday night trip to the horse track; the last trip we’d make this season. Retama Park is about an hours drive away and is… adequate. It’s clean, it’s cheap, and the people are friendly, but you’re typically among families taking advantage of the 50 cent hotdog and Coke weekends or old grizzled gamblers chain-smoking in front of the wall of simulcast screens.
Most people who come to bet make their selections based on the best bets the “experts” have listed in the program, and what the odds dictate everyone else is betting. I typically make an effort at handicapping for the first few races, before the margaritas start flowing and the conversation picks up. For my birthday, I asked BG for a card full of picks, so I didn’t even have to pretend to tax my weak handicapping “skills”.
Armed with my e-mail print out, I sat back and let people bring me drinks while chatting with friends. It wasn’t until the fourth race that BG found a horse he really believed in, and the odds were 15/1. I bet $10 to win and cashed out nearly $200 when BG’s favorite crossed the finish line in a photo finish.
Here’s where the Sidekick starts to pay for itself. BG and I are on the girly chat thingy, chatting about the races as they go along, and a few races later, he tells me to put in a trifecta bet. I’ve never made a trifecta bet, much less the complicated one he’s telling me to… take the 11 horse on top, box in 3, 5, and 10 in the bottom two spots – I had no idea you could even do that. But I dutifully head to the betting window, Sidekick in hand, and parrot BG’s IM to the teller. I get two little tickets back, and head back to my seat to watch the race.
Ten minutes later, I’m back in line, handing my ticket to the woman I’ve been betting and cashing out with all day. She runs it through the machine, and then pauses. “Just a minute… I have to go get more money.” At this point, I am now attracting attention from others in line, and wondering if I can fasten some sort of defensive weapon out of the lip gloss, earrings, and red pen I have in my purse. A $1 trifecta paid out nearly $90. That would have been great, but I played it for $2; a move that earned me a “Good girl” from BG, which is easily the best compliment ever when matters of horse betting are concerned.
I made it safely back to Austin, where the planned trip to Katz’s was scrapped in favor of an early morning breakfast at Magnolia. I of course paid, and was reminded of why I’m really kinda ready to get out of Austin, but will miss it all the same. I need a change, but I do love that you can easily tell who is new in town by the reaction they have when a group of drag queens in various Halloween getups walk in to a room.
I spent the rest of my birthday winnings on the stuff every girl gets – makeup and books about baseball and football. So now every time I gloss up, I can thank BG; which I know he’s just thrilled about.
Oh, and if you haven’t already heard, BG and CJ are trying for a Pick 6 again, and investment spots are open.