Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day at the Races

Took a trip to Arlington Park last weekend to bet on some local races and on the Preakness.

I was a little wary of the trip since the last race track I visited was River Downs, and it was a pretty sad sight. Lots of old men with cigars and oxygen tanks making bets and studying other races all alone. The horses at River Downs kinda resembled these guys... very old, starved and sad. It was pretty depressing even before I lost every bet I made.

I'm happy to report that Arlington Park is nothing like that at all.

I even finally understood the betting!

One of the things that intimidates me about gambling in general is my complete lack of savvy. I don't enjoy parting with my money unless it's for a definite need or a super cute pair of flats, so putting $10 on one hand of cards or a spinning marble makes me fairly anxious from the get go. Add to it a completely foreign world of rules, symbols, words and gestures? Um, no thanks. I'd rather be over in the corner admiring the crowd's couture.

Arlington Park had these great little automated betting machines that were completely Kristin-friendly. No more practicing saying my bet over and over in my head while sweating in line for the scraggly old man at the betting window to sigh impatiently with rolled eyes while I struggle to get out, "Um, Race 5, Horse number 6 to win?"

I was betting exactas and trifectas and finally understanding what it actually meant. As an added bonus, the grounds, stables and horses were very beautiful.

I named this guy Zorro.

Doesn't he look precious with his little mask? Speaking of cute. Check out the jockey in the background. They're just like people, but half-size!

This photo pretty much sums up how the betting went for the day. Andy won. A lot. Brian? Not so much with the winning.

I didn't win either, but had fun cheering the horses on.

Here's Andy and I enjoying the track.

Perhaps the losing didn't affect me as much cause I knew I had Mr. Moneybags on the left there to bankroll me. (And give me his shirt when it got windy. Aww...)

Overall it was a great trip and I can't wait to go back. With Andy. So he can win me some more cash.

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