Re: Baffert or Baffert (343 Views)
Posted by: richiebee
Date: May 12, 2021 06:56PM
John it’s great to hear from you and hope you are doing well.
The sad thing is that your story is a common one. The people who really love the racing game can’t be happy with what is going on on many levels. Sadly Racing doesn’t respond to horseplayers because we have shown absolutely no inclination to band together and speak with our wallets. Think Racing would get the message if 10-20,000 horseplayers got together, created a “manifesto” and said they would not bet a single dollar on Preakness weekend? That might be a start and is unlikely to happen.
Personally the game provides me with a once a week puzzle to solve; I will usually pick a multi race wager, usually a late Pick 4 or Pick 5. So my exposure is very limited though I must admit it has become a more challenging puzzle. Total time invested in racing 2021 maybe 3-4 hours study, 2-3 hours watching racing per week. I do not even look at entries/results during the week.
Between 1980-marriage(2001),Racing was my whole life. Working on the backstretch, seeing as much live racing as possible, reading as much about racing as possible, totally consumed. For all of that worshipping/ wagering I mostly have a barrel of boozy memories and a bunch of stories many of which I can’t tell and most that no one would believe anyway.
Was my 20 year infatuation with Racing such that I would “trade all my tomorrows for a single yesterday”? Probably not, but I have met such a wide range of people at the track— you, Frank, JB, Uncle Bill, the backyard gang. I got to meet Fairmount and I think we were able to figure that his father and I were swimming in the same mutuel pools at defunct Cahokia Downs outside of St. Louis. So while the quality of racing may be in the tank, there always seem to be interesting folks attracted to the game.
Then of course there was the big Jamaican guy on the third floor at Belmont who called all white people by the same name (Mafia) (I was once at Belmont with a girlfriend, he called her Mrs. Mafia). Of course there was The Caveman, the walking embodiment of bad luck. If you were waiting for a photo to be posted, or your number was flashing in an inquiry, and you saw Cave walking towards you, or even saw him out of the corner of your eye, don’t worry about cashing.
Racing certainly not what it used to be, but then again other previously favored modes of diversion such as golf, broad jump, all night drinking binges etc are certainly more inaccessible at my age and in my condition.
I can enjoy a few hours of racing/handicapping a week, as long as I properly manage my expectations. I never expect Racing to be absolutely free of drugs and cheating and apparently despite all the recent initiatives all we have really done is limited whip use and lasix; the big problems are plain to see but remain largely unaddressed.