Surveillance Pelicana Chapter Nineteen: ‘Day at the Races’

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

(The entire book appears at this link with chapters added after appearing online:

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

 

CHAPTER NINETEEN

Tyger, Sandy, Milty, and Armor’s spend the day

at the New Orleans Fairgrounds, the third oldest horse racing

track in America. Many insightful observations are made about the

racing environment and the day ends with an amazing and

unexpected turn of events.

 

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A gathering of — shall we say — eagles flock to Sandy

Alexander’s modest two bedroom house just beyond the lions on

Pritchard Place.

Those stately monuments to living in the jungle pause across

the street from the Notre Dame Seminary where Pope John II slept

before blessing our dear who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints

before da Vikings beat them like a Saxon drum . Next time, Poopsie, get

it right.

Eagles — make me laugh, hahaha — more like a squatting of

pigeons ready to be fried for the Jolie Green Giant’s dinner.

They have a bad plan in mind.

Sandy, Tyger, Armor’s, and the puff as by David

Copperfield magically reappearing Mr. Milty are fixing to be

fleeced, about to be taken to the proverbial cleaners.

Yes comrades, the final day of the 1988 racing season is

about to commence at the New Orleans Unfair Grounds, the

third oldest horse racing track in America.

And you are there. Now, Church Lady fanatics, isnt that

special? On your marks, ready steady, prepare to be ripped off.

You expected differently in Lousyiana?

Sandy’s wife Mary Ann, ever the proper Southern young lady,

offers sweet iced tea and sympathy to the about to be iced quartet.

“Day at the Races”

 

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Tanks, but no tanks” replies Mr. Milty, “I’ve already

consumed my body weight in margaritas. ” Ohhhh-Key.

“And you Armor’s. Come on. Have some sweet tea,” Mary

Ann coaxes the burly bear. “It will be good for you”

“Better not,” Armor’s replies. “I have to concentrate on the

horses. No distractions.”

Armor’s, as one can see, is a serious ass bettor. He dont

fool around when it comes to losing his — hard? — earned money.

Sandy finishes up chores in the couple’s backyard as Tyger

stumbles outside to say howdy. “You aren’t going to do that

dream exacta thing again?” inquires the, ever sensible Sandy, a

printing executive who is also a writer.

“Of course. It’s in my contract,” replies Tyger Williams,

psychic handicapper extraordinary.

Armor’s and Mr. Milty sit in the and bright front airy

parlor pouring over the Daily Racing Form. “Who do you like in

the Fifth?” Mr. Milty asks. “It’s a $10,000 claimer.”

The cheap price is about right, the usual fare at the Fair

Grounds. It seems an almost beautiful race track, but like the

city of New Orleans, has seen better times.

“Bayou Reality ran real well last time out and is moving

down in class,” Armor’s notes as he scans the printed field.

“Looks as good as anyone in that field. I like the connections.”

Mr. Milty scribbles the information down in his pull-out

 

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racing section. “Odds are nice at 5-1,” the man of a thousand

faces adds. “It’s a keeper . ”

“Hmmm. I like Classy Boat in that race, too. What about

Dangerous Bid?” Mr. Milty continues scouring through the small

print of the racing paper that looks like hieroglyphics to the

uninitiated, but is quite simple to decipher for those with a

little experience.

“Dangerous Bid? Nah. Big fake rip-off,” according to

Armor’s considered opinion. “They put the Bid in there to make

everybody think it’s a Spectacular Bid kid like Risen Star.

It’s really sired by

this other shit horse. Steer like the Titanic, clear.”

“You like Bayou Reality over Classy Boat?” Milty continues.

“I’m going to bet them over and under, maybe put five bucks on

Bayou Reality’s nose.” “Sounds good. I might play that.”

Sandy and Tyger are discussing a similar theme amongst

the rose bushes and green green grass of home. “You dreamed

about which race last night?” Sandy asks tentatively probing.

“I focused in on the feature,” Tyger replies. “I visualized

the race track, watching the race from start to finish. I even

heard the track announcer.

“Saw the winning colors, purple with a green star. I think

the jockey was Romero. Does that sound right?”

 

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“Could be,” Sandy confirms. “Randy has Reason’s Boy in that

race. Reason’s Boy is a great runner. I think he’s going off at

10-1 or 12-1. That’s worth considering. But I like Marfa’s

Missile. That’s a real nice colt.”

The outdoor garden party returns to commingle with its

indoor compatriots. Sandy kisses Mary Ann a fond farewell.

“Y’all have good luck at the track today,” Mary Ann wishes.

“Here. Take some cookies for the road. They should fill you up

nicely before you win all that money.”

Mary Ann is the greatest pastry chef in the free world .

The chain gang, especially Armor’s, scarf up a plate of

chocolate chip giants before cascading like the flooding Pearl

River over the Alexander home’s banks and into Sandy’s

Volkswagen.

The gang is off to play the ponies. Look out, N’awlins’

fellow space jockeys. They’re about to blast off

like the Space Shuttle Challenger.

A 10-minute drive down South Carrolton Avenue around City

Park, over to Esplanade Avenue and the boys have reached the

final gates of doom. Mr. Milty and Armor’s spend some quality

quiet time concentrating on the Racing Form.

The art touts make critical marks with respective pencils,

contemplating the immediate future with hopes of victory and some

trepidation borne of past regrets. At least, it keeps them

occupied.

Such is part of horse racing·s attraction. Youse make a pick

.-

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·

and youse takes your chances.

Tyger rides along confident in his knowledge of the dream

exacta. To him, the race has already run. It has happened before.

In fact, Tyger picked Fair Grounds winners solely based on

premonition long before he knew how to handicap properly. His

success was unparalleled.

Mr. Milty even refused to go with Tyger for a time because

it seemed that every time Tyger won, on the longest of shots, Mr.

Milty lost on favorites. “Hey man, you are stealing my fun,”

concluded Mr. Milty. Fair grounds enough.

Horse racing isn’t about horses at all. It is rather a

reflection of human nature.

We see human foibles and personifications take flight as

airy addenda to the actual situation on the ground. Not to

mention the usual human greed attached to all forms of gambling.

Be that as it may…

Strangely, too, the more expert Tyger became in

 

 

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handicapping, the less successful were his dream exacta

selections. Therefore, he saves the method only for special

occasions.

As Tyger’s losers conformed more precisely with racing odds

and attitudes, Mr. Milty dropped his objections to attending

races with the post-psychic master. They were playing on a more level

surface.

Tyger won far less often, but had more confidence in the

scientific method. So, he continued with the method rather than

the madness.

Ahh, Gentilly Boulevard, where Sandy pulls up to the gate,

hands the parking attendant $2, and moves along little doggies to

a “lucky” parking place. The boys pile out of the car and float

through the $1 general admission turnstile over to the Paddock

area where they all buy 75 cent programs.

It is very important for each player to have his own

program, so that he can concentrate better on the action. That’s

just the law, folks.

And oh, what a sight the Unfair Grounds are as the last day

f the season with an accumulated Pick Six pool of $95,000 to be

divided that day entices 7,500 “fans” of the “sport of

kings”about2,000 more than usual. No need for LSD here as the

joint trips the light fanatic with colors and bizarre behavior.

“Reminds me of ugly night at the Galleria,” moans Tyger,

 

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recalling a massive overdose of acid that accompanied the

incredible accumulation of the scariest persons on the planet

later that same evening at the Houston Galleria.

But these ugly patrons are New Orleans· finest and by

definition more colorful, interesting and bizarre than any group

of ugly citizens everywhere. Take that, Space City Houston.

Such is another distinguishing mark that makes the Big Easy

special. Besides, the language, food, and culture; New Orleanians

are inundated by a phenomenon that even has a moniker.

These rare bird strange unfathomable rara avis souls

are known as “characters.” Better believe it comrades,

they don’t need to be acting to fulfill that role.

The characters are out of their cages inundating the ticky

tacky tracky. They line and ride the rails. They flow in eddy

pools around the Paddock where the horses are being prepared for

battle half-aware.

Some sidle up to the Oak Grill ordering hamburgers and

gumbo. Others camp outside the grandstand heaping the usual

amount of verbal abuse on the poor young jocks.

“Hey there Bruce Poyadou,” screams one gap toothed black man

a mere decibel below the sound barrier. “When ya ever going

to win one? I am sick of losing money on you, babe.”

Poyadou on top of a maiden claimer parading before the

second race — the bottom half of the daily double — rides

 

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along, shaking his head and laughing. He utters an inaudible

remark to the accompanying hot-walker.

“Hey dere Randy Romero. How’s it hanging,” an elderly

thin white man with greasy grey hair and semi-tattered clothing

yells at the meet’s elite leading rider. “Got a winner for me?”

Romero mutters a passing equally unintelligible remark to

the jockey in front of him. Rail birds shake their heads like

cuckoo clocks gone wild.

“What? What? What you say?” the elderly spectator continues

as a chestnut horse stops a moment, seeming to wink at him.

“That’s good enough for me,” he remarks, rushing to the

doors presumably to place a wager inside at the betting

terminals .

Meanwhile, the usual practiced behavior takes place in

spades in every possible direction. Patrons spit gigantic gobs of

brown goo anywhere. (Step lively and try to avoid that piece of

sickening reality.)

A great looking woman in a short black dress attracts an

inordinate amount of attention. “Whoo-whee, baby,” one sensitive

soul shouts after her ass as she walks briskly shaking her

booty. The wag wags his tail behind her not sorry butt in subtle mimicry.

Armor’s and Milty have flown the coop to engage in light

wagering on the Pick Six before laying a couple of dollars on

some loser in the Second. This is merely a diversion as they seem

 

 

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hell bent on the Fifth, Seventh and Feature race, which is the

Tenth.

They bet a few dollars here and there on the others just to

maintain a passing interest. But the big money in their case,

maybe $15 or $20. is reserved for races of maximum interest.

Tyger and Sandy stare down their respective forms. They

perch near the rail by the officials box at the top of the second

longest stretch in America.

Or so the program claims. No one can figure out

where the longest stretch is nor how long it could possibly be.

This one must suffice and seems to stretch near forever.

The long stretch makes for some intriguing picking. The

serious handicapping crowd must keep in mind that principles are

turned on their heads here. One looks for the top closers who can

negotiate the stretch after front runners have burned themselves

out in their dumb-ass equestrian blaze for glory.

“And they are off,” track announcer Tony Bentley calls the

start of the race. “Silent Glory takes the lead followed by

Insignificant Poppism, Fernwood Tonight, Alybaba’s Dada, and six

lengths back along the rail. .. ”

The outside crowd has increased in numbers and intensity, as

the horses round the first turn of a six furlong outing, heading

towards the stretch. Milty and Armor’s are back for the fray.

“Oh man, where is that Salad and Dressing,” Armor’s is

 

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already complaining. Milty stands in a personal circle merely

shaking his head with an ever souring expression.

“Around the first turn, Alybaba’s Dada, Key to the Locker,”

etc. etc., “and back ten lengths is Fernwood Tonight, bringing up

the rear,” of course, a horse is a horse, Salad and Dressing.

“Armor’s this is all your fault,” Mr. Milty mutters. “I knew

we should have bet on Alybaba’s Dada.” “Hey man, no one twisted

your arm.” “I know but … ”

The crowd blurs as shouting minions rise in a nitrous type

solution of heavy white noise accompanying air thick with grey

cigarette and cigar smoke. They yell as one shaking fist

thrusting through the air. They urge their particular favorites

to victory in every way, shape, and form possible as if horses

and riders could hear them or their plaintiff cries could affect

the outcome.

“At the top of the stretch, Alybaba’s Dada; Dr. No No has

gotten in and charging along the rail, here comes Aura of Fire.

There will be no catching him today. Aura of Fire, Alybaba’s

Dada, and a photo for third place.”

Whoosh. Some higher power has let all the nitrous out of the

balloon. It crashes to the ground. The crowd immediately

dissipates.

Curious sporting types stand in place watching the tote

board flash official results. Tired losers tear up those evil

 

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offending tickets, flinging them with disgust to the spit-riddled concrete

floor.

A couple of guys dance in the distance with fists

raised in a salute to the winner and their apparent good fortune.

“That a way Aura of Fire,” a redneck yells. “I knew it.”

That redneck mother lucky stiffs it inside to the betting

window for his temporary reward. Horses double back to the

winners circle and officials box

while being simultaneously undressed by Latin inpsired

attendants. The redneck mother’s karmic slip is

showing. Whaaa …

The winning jockey waves his baton in salute. A well dressed

gaggle of dotty looking persons, the owner and his family, walk

to the circle ready to be awarded the proper recognition as a

track photographer snaps their picture with horse and jockey.

Another guy tears up his ticket. “Damned be it,” he mutters.

“I covered every pick but that one. Shit. Had Alybaba’s Dada on

top of Fire.”

So it goes.

Tons of yelling as usual as Alybaba’s Dada is posted as

second favorite at 7-2 and the winner was a 8-1 long shot. The

payout on a $3 exacta wager is about $100.

“That’s decent,” a just crawled out of the bayou bengal

comments. “We’ll get ’em next time.”

Don’t even ask about Milty and Armor’s. They are busy

looking at the Racing Form plotting

their next disaster.

 

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“Who do you like in the Third?” Armor’s eggs on Milty, The

dismal tenth place finish out of ten horses perpetrated by Salad

and Dressing already has been forgotten. “It’s an allowance race

for $25,000 three-year old filly claimers.”

“Hmmmm. Marry Me Mary A. might be a good one,” Milty jokes.

“You like that one, eh Sandy?”

Sandy laughs. “I think I already bet on that one in real

life,” he notes.

“Ran at Louisiana Downs last year,” Armor’s adds, not

missing a hoofbeat, “That’s a good sign.”

“How about Cindy’s Candy?” Milty inquires scratching his

slight beard stubble. (He lost that among other items, during

Mardi Gras.) He never shaves on race day mindful of

the Herculean myth.

“That nag. No way,” Armor’s replies. “Big loser at Delta

Downs last month. She sucks.” “Just like you,” Milty taunts.

“Randy is on her,” continues Armor’s referring to the

meet’s leading jock. “Don’t care,” Milty responds. “Don’t care.

Got no chance no how no way, Jose.”

Sandy stands nearby checking out the program and laughing.

“Dream about this one any?” he asks Tyger.

“Nah,” Tyger answers. “I think I’m going to bet $5 on

MyMindlsOutahere. I always liked that filly. She’s a good

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And so it goes through races three through seven. A few

wagers here, a few losers there.

The crowd grows as the feature looms nearer. Some leave and

some come creating an interchangeable mixture of imagery.

Armor’s and Milty — believe it or nuts — are doing

Nicely-Nicely Johnso

this day. They head into late afternoon a bit above even.

Quite satisfied and looking to cement their immediate future

with a killing in the next race.

“We are going to be partying tonight,” Armor’s boldly

predicts. “What else is new?” asks a skeptical Sandy.

Tyger walks into the cavernous black hole that lies just

beneath the $2 grandstand seat surface and into the waiting jaws

of surreal beef jerky. Color television monitors dot the

landscape as do food booths and bars.

A veritable cross-section of persons who seem to have fallen

to earth from other planets careen, bouncing off each other

like crazed self-motivated bumper cars at an amusement park gone

wild. “Where do these people come from?” asks a perplexed Tyger

walking to the betting window.

Smoke hangs in a sickly cloud resembling Los Angeles on the

smoggiest day of a summer inversion representing yet another bit

of awfulness with a small “a”. Tough to understand the

self-immolation styrohead set.

 

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“What the hell is wrong with them?” Tyger asks himself while

coughing loudly. Right there is the main reason he prefers to

stand outside.

Tyger picks a betting window with a short line and places $5

to win, $3 to show on Number Seven, “Where’s the Bleep,” and $3

over and under on “Where’s the Bleep,” with Two, Five, Eight, and

Nine.

Ahhh, and give the dear boy $2 to win on Number Two, “Hate

Yo Mama.” That is a hunch bet.

Tyger walks up the stairs to the facility’s second floor. It

is more of the same, and kind of depressing.

Horseplayers and their fellow travelers walk around in

respective haze like zombies oblivious to their surroundings.

They stare like blank pages at the ever unfolding story hoping

for a flood of good fortune to wash away those earthly troubles.

An entire gamut of human emotion washes across the linoleum

checkered floor sweeping away more mundane thoughts of current

conditions. The poor saps will have more than enough time to cope

with their daily routines between now and the opening of

Jefferson Downs in Kenner. That occurs the following

Wednesday.

For the eternal moment, this huge pack of rats and a few

artistic mice are frozen like figures on a Grecian urn turning

ever yearning towards the Eighth Race post parade as they

 

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silently watch second floor monitors for wagering clues.

The future for these poor huddled masses is now. Like Raider

owner Al Davis said, just win baby. It doesn’t matter what

it takes.

How fortunate for the fatass cigar smoking touts, and

nice guys finishing last that they aren’t actually running

themselves. At least this way. vicariously betting on dumb

beasts of burden, they have a mathematical chance, no matter

how slim, of victory.

How easy it is to forget the many humiliating defeats that

preceded and will doubtless follow in that moment of pure ecstacy

of complete victory. Winning for a moment suspends that

moment in space-time forever.

Tyger cites the words of John Keats to a nearby lout. “John

Keats?” the short in stature long in snout nose  answers. “Doesn’t he jock at

Pimlico Park?” “Never mind.”

Such a powerful intoxication over-rides all other

considerations and sensibilities. The authorities encourage this

activity while banning substances that are good for the soul like

sweet marijuana.

Who is in charge here anyway? Like the black soldier answers

in Oliver Stone’s Platoon, “You’re not?”

Nah. Sorry Cholly. No one seems to know what is going down or what

they are doing. Communal amnesia blankets the horse and bugger set.

 

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Everyone sets aside those earthly cares and heavenly goals

to concentrate instead on more pressing matters like the Daily

Racing Form, figuring out bets, mining strangers for

misinformation, losing their heads as some gelding grabs the

brass ring, or finding their souls swept along on a magic carpet

ride of universal desire.

Fools and buffoons, jerks and great artists they might be,

but God bless them every one. They say that God watches out for

children, drunks and fools.

It is difficult in the final analysis to hate the beast who

knows not what he does. In this way comrades, we must pity the

poor horse playing gambling addicts and wish them Bon Chance on

this the last day of blissful ignorance at the UnFair Grounds until

the season traditionally re-opens later that year on Thanksgiving Day.

Enough of the upstairs-downstairs shit for Tyger Williams.

He rejoins the in-crowd near the finish line ready to be

appraised of the latest statistical updates of fate.

“Sandy won the last race. Milty and I blew it. Big bummer,”

Armor’s recapitulates. “I haven’t a clue what happened to Mr.

Milty after that. He said he had to go away for a minute and

never returned. I guess that means he won’t be coming back.

“Yeah,” Sandy adds, “Mr. Milty is the master of the tasteful

 

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exit. He couldn’t get out of the Superdome fast enough when we

went to the Saints playoff game. I think he lasted a quarter.”

“Guess he’ll find his way home alright,” Tyger replies.

“He always seems to anyway.”

“That Mr. Milty,” Sandy adds. “I stopped trying to

understand him years ago. He is as inscrutable as one of those

damn faces he paints. I hope for his sake he becomes a great

artist some day. I don’t know what else he could do if he

weren’t.”

A kaleidoscope of horse flesh fills the tableau visual

around and around the deep dirt track, followed by winners and

losers galore. Tote board lights flash as do the eyes of

momentary victors to whom small spoils are awarded.

Losers cry and try to get it back at the next opportunity.

One never knows. Maybe something good will happen.

Tyger’s personal fortune that day reflects the totality oi

the collective experience. He busts on the Eighth Race, but picks

up a healthy payback in the Ninth as Mickey’s Flashback

uncharacteristically wires the mile-and-a-quarter field.

Sometimes one can win while choosing a horse for the wrong

reasons. Mickey’s Flashback looked like a closer and with a name

Couple that pick, as Tyger does, with the Number Three

horse, Mardi Gras Honey, and he takes a healthy $85 cut out of

 

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future losses. Even the likes of Tyger can feel like a winner for

a fleeting moment.

Coming on to feature time, the $50,000 added Last Chance

Sweepstakes, the crowd saddles up for one final fling. Oh lawdy

over there,” points the Sandman. “A fat lady is singing.” A small

wiry semi-derelict dances a demented jig by the starting gate.

Pete Fountain in the flesh blows the post parade call on his

clarinet. He mixes the classic call of the post parade in an odd

medley with “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans,” and

“When the Saints Come Marching In.”

Horses display varying degrees of enthusiasm as they

prance around the track. Some snuggle into their walking mates.

Others rear their long neck heads and look over the crowd

deciding if they feel like running this final day.

Loud, foul mouthed bettors provide the usual verbal abuse

squad accompaniment. “Hey Simington. I hear your

sleeping around.” “Man. That Tonkaton’s Nightmare again.

I have nightmares just thinking of that motherfucker.” “Hey Randy

Romero, get a real job.”

Oh sorry, that is not just any anonymous oaf. That comment

is vintage gangplank talk emitted by Armor’s Tungsten’s tongue

a’wagging. His head is still locked in Carnival carnage.

Sandy looks in Tyger’s direction as the object of the dream

exacta pulls into view exhibiting the pre-visualized

 

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instructions. “Reason’s Boy?” Sandy asks hesitantly.

“Looks like a winner to me, baby,” Tyger answers. “He is

floating along at 15-1.”

Sandy puts $20 on the bay colt’s head — a very large wager

for the usually cautious family man — while Tyger true to the

dream exacta promise wheels the field under Reason’s Boy in a $3

exacta that comes to a total of $33, adding $7 to win. The boys

return, preparing with Armor’s to watch the race.

Armor’s has decided he is finished forever with this crap.

He watches the tote board for innocent amusement, eating large

scoops of popcorn recently purchased as a consolation prize. He

went down $40 for the day.

The crowd hushes for a brief instant as the horses approach

the starting gate at the far end of the track. And they’re off.

“Split Season with the early lead, followed by Secret

Taipan, BottomOfTheBarrel, Closet Cooty, Marfa’s Missile, and

Presidential Bid. And around the turn it’s … ” Blah blah blah

blah. Where the hell is Reason’s Boy?

A few million light-year eons pass as the horses round the

far turn. It takes the horses about 44:4 seconds in real time

according to the flashing tote board. Reason’s Boy has launched

with final odds of 14-1.

Tyger looks everywhere for the horse and can’t seem to pick

him up the 12 horse field. Sandy gives in to the forces of

 

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discouraging darkness and stares intently

below the bottoms of his shoes.

Armor’s busies himself throwing popcorn kernels in the air,

attempting to catch them with his open fish mouth.

“And at the to of the stretch, Presidential Bid, Secret

Taipan, Fair Warning three wide. Falling five lengths

back to Misogyny, Closet Cooty, Marfa’s Missile and…

charging on the outside Reason’s Boy. Reason’s Boy…”

You rang Maynard G. Krebs Gilligan’s Island breath?

Suddenly, Sandy snaps to attention. He and Tyger

muscle themselves past some old black guys,

springing up to the rail. The hell with them.

“Making a run down the back stretch. Presidential Bid, Secret Taipan,

Reason’s Boy two lengths back … ”

Sandy is beside himself, fists thrusting high in the sky,

yelling, “Reason’s Boy! Reason’s Boy!

You can do it baby! Come on baby’ Reason’s Boy!”

But it is a funny thing. Sandy’s voice is lost in the intense sound

swirling like a tornado sweeping up every object in its terrific wake,

spitting them out somewhere somehow down the track of human consciousness.

Tyger, too, is swept away in excitement and has joined Sandy.

“You can do it! You can do it! You can do it!”

“Down the final furlong…” Horses galloping

past the Sandy-Tyger connection

going a million light years a second,

 

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merging blurs along the main line passing.

“It is Presidential Bid, Reason’s Boy second and Secret Taipan third.”

Ahhhhhh. Sandy expels another ahhhhhh.

Tyger’s body goes limp with a feeling of the most ultimate agony of defeat.

“Oh well,” Sandy says, turning to Tyger in the tank.

“You can’t win them all.” “Shit,” Tyger replies.

But wait. Hold your stinking horses.

“Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen,”

track announcer intercedes from loudspeakers above,

“Results are not official. Please hold all tickets.

Too late for disillusioned some.

“There has been a steward’s inquiry. Hold all tickets.”

Sandy and Tyger, suddenly resurrected, exchange subtle glances.

“No way,” Sandy says. “Way,” says Tyger.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the now deified track announcer rambles.

“After further review by order of the stewards,

Presidential Bid is disqualified for bumping in the stretch and

placed third behind Secret Taipan. The official winner is…”

Sandy and Tyger yell the sacred name together with track announcer Tony Bentley.

“Reason’s Boy!!!” Followed by “Yes!”

“And the results are official. The winner is Reason’s Boy,

a bay colt out of Turn To Reason, ridden by Randy Romero,

owned by Mr. and Mrs. Rocky Singleton;

second is Secret Taipan; third, Presidential Bid.

The running time of One Minute 43 Seconds … ”

The payoff lights the tote board like the Fourth of July.

 

“SURVEILLANCE PELICANA”

Chapter 19

Weisman

361

 

“$28.50 to win, $13.60 to place, $6.00 to show;

Exacta 7-4 pays $662,”

Tyger reads the results in shock as they

Jumping Jack Flash.

“Yes! Yes! Yes!” Sandy, who is jumping for joy, chimes in

like an astral projection beside himself

in glee. He does a little touchdown celebration dance.

“That’s about $285 for me. Reason’s Boy. Yes! Just say yes,

baby.”

Tyger scribbles the results in his program figuring he is

set to collect about $730. “Wow,” he finally manages to expel.

Armor’s looks at the scene with more than a touch of

bewilderment. “Damn. Why don’t I ever listen

to that damn Williams? Damn.”

Sandman and Tygermeister did not need a Volkswagen Jetta to

drive the four miles back to the resting lions at Pritchard

Place. They could have flown home on the wings of pure

unadulterated happiness.

“How did you do Honey?” Mary Ann asks sweetly as they soar

like victorious archangels through the opening front door.

“Not bad. Not bad,” Sandy replies winking at Tyger.

“Not too badly at all.”

“Well, isn’t that nice.

As, they say God watches out for children, drunks and

fools.”

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