(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/
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.
“DAY AT THE RACES”
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”
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 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, 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
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 some 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,” Armor’s says.
Sandy and Tyger discuss variations on a theme amongst
the rose bushes and green green grass of home.
“You dreamed about which race last night?” Sandy tentatively probes.
“Focused in on the feature,” Tyger replies. “I visualized
the race track, watching the race from start to finish. Even
heard the track announcer. Saw the winning colors,
purple with a green star. Romero was the jockey
Any of that sound right?”
“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,
honey 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, into Sandy’s Volkswagen Jetta.
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,
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 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
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, moving along little doggies to
a “lucky” parking place. The boys pile out of the car, floating
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 of the land, folks.
What a sight the Unfair Grounds are as the last day
of 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,
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, 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
along, shaking his head, laughing. He utters an inaudible
remark to the accompanying hot-walker.
“Hey dere Randy Romero. How’s it hanging,” 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 placing 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, 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. Da 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
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
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
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 inspired 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.
The blessed winner was an 8-1 long shot.
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.
“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 quickly 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 closer.
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,
some arrive, creating an interchangeable mixture of imagery.
Armor’s and Milty — believe it or nuts — are doing
Nicely-Nicely Johnson 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, 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.
“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. He 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.
More of the same, and kind of depressing.
Horseplayers and their fellow travelers walk around in
respective haze like zombies oblivious to surroundings.
They stare 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. 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
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
preceding, doubtless following in that moment of pure ecstasy
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?”
Such powerful intoxication over-rides all other
considerations and sensibilities. 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?”
Solly Cholly. No one seems to know what is going down or what
they are doing. Communal amnesia blankets the horse and bugger set.
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, God bless them every one.
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 Bonne 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,
never returned. I guess that means he won’t be coming back.
“Yeah,” Sandy adds, “Mr. Milty is the master of the tasteful exit.
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.”
Kaleidoscope of horse flesh fills tableau visual
around and around 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 of
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 like that.
Couple that pick, as Tyger does, with the Number Three
horse, Mardi Gras Honey, and he takes a healthy $85 cut out of
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 crazy 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, looking over the ragtag 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 you’re
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
instructions. “Reason’s Boy?” Sandy asks hesitantly.
“Looks like a winner to me, baby,” Tyger answers. “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
discouraging darkness, staring daggers
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.
“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,
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!”
“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.
“$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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