Saturday, March 21, 2015

Meet You at the Races

I went to Turf Paradise with some lady friends today. Turf Paradise is Phoenix’s horse race track and the 3rd largest sports attraction in the state of Arizona. It’s been a racetrack since 1956. When Hubby and I moved to Phoenix in 1975, the facility was out on 1,400 acres of barren desert. Bell Road was a dirt road. There are two tracks, an infield turf course and a dirt course around that. In 2003 the owner built a 30’ by 60’ equine pool for the training and therapy of the 2,200 horses that are housed there during the season. On May 5, the trainers will pack up their horses and take them to cooler climates – like Canada – just like many of the two-legged animals that live in Phoenix. From the dining club we viewed the mountain ranges to the North, East, and South, and we watched the ducks and geese on the lake in the center of the tracks.

Our group of ladies had the special privilege of touring the O’Brien Stables, one of 61 barns located
to the South of the track. We learned about the different types of shoes, bits, harnesses, and blinders that the horses wear. They really know their horses and what helps them when they race. Their horses were very friendly and enjoyed the star mints and carrots we fed to them.

I’m not much of a gambling person - I just don’t like to lose money. I walked away with $15 from the Black Jack slots at a casino one time. I consider that a big win for me. Because I play the nickel slots, I know I’m not going to win big, that’s why a $15 win is perfectly ok with me. My gambling friends would have just put the $15 back in the machines. And I’m not very good at betting. Hubby always tries to trip me up with his special bets. When we were in college I told him I really liked the song “Windy.” He asked me the name of the group who sings it and I replied, “The Associations.” He bet me $5.00 that I was wrong. Well, I was pretty sure I was right, so I took the bet. Then he said the name of the group is “The Association” – without the “s.” That’s pretty much the way the betting in our family has gone on in our married life together.

Once I figured out how to read the race booklet, I chose my horses and bet on all 8 races. I had taken a $20 bill out of my purse, and at day’s end I put $5 back in. I figured $15 for 4 fours hours of entertainment was pretty good.

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