Friday, May 05, 2006

Cypress Bay

I don't like horses. I think they are big, stupid animals that have no personality.

However, I absolutely love horse racing. Especially one of my favorite sporting events of the year, the Kentucky Derby, which is tomorrow.

I lived in Louisville twice in my life, for a total of five or six years. My parents lived there after I left home for an additional 15 years. I used to go to Churchill Downs often after school with my buddies to play the ponies. Yet, I only went to the Derby once.

I was a senior in High School (Ballard, for those Louisvillians who care.) My friend Matt had evolved faster than most and could grow facial hair in high school. He had a beard, and didn't get carded. So the day before the Derby, we went to our favorite liquor store and stocked up on the liquor for the big day in the infield. On the way out the door, Grizzled Old Liquor Store Proprietor says, "You going to the Derby?" We confirmed that we were. He said "Number three in the fifth."

Oh my God, it was more than my 18-year-old brain could handle. An inside tip! From a real live Grizzled Old Liquor Store Proprietor! We discusses the tip for a moment. He was sure of it. I seared the tip into my brain. Number three in the fifth. Number three in the fifth. I wasn't going to forget it. On the way out the door, I looked back and said, "What's the horse's name?"

"Cypress Bay."

I'll never forget that name. Cypress Bay. A tip given to me by a Grizzled Old Liquor Store Proprietor. Say it in the voice of Burgess Meredith as Rocky's trainer:

Cypress Bay.

The fifth race came around. Uh oh. Cypress Bay isn't number three. Cypress Bay is number six. Well, he could easily get the number wrong, but he couldn't possibly get the name wrong. So I strut to the window, and lay down my largest bet of the day, $20 on number six, Cypress Bay, to win, my largest and boldest bet of the day, by far. And they're off! And you guessed it, number three won. Number three was a longshot. Number three in the fifth would have paid me, if I remember correctly, and I do, $660. But I had to ask the Grizzled Old Liquor Store Proprietor the horse's fucking name on the way out the door.

Cypress Bay my ass.

So tomorrow afternoon, L'il Knuck and I are going to plop down in front of the big screen, throw back some good Kentucky Bourbon, and watch the fastest two minutes in sports.

I won't have any money on it.


At 1:30 PM , Blogger bridgett said...

My mom went 9 for 10 on Derby Day the last time she went. She would have been 10-10, but my dad looked at her pick in the 10th and changed her bet because she'd picked such a longshot. Still, her winnings greatly outdistanced his losses and she eventually forgave him for being a jackass because, as she said, she should have been placing her own bets.

I send her flowers on Derby Day now that she's a widow, just to remind her to keep placing her own bets.

At 2:19 PM , Blogger Lee said...

I've been to Derby once. Near the infamous third turn in the infield. Just for an idea of how crazy it is, for one day out of the year, the infield at Churchill Downs becomes the third largest city in Kentucky. Louisville, Lexington, Infield, Owensboro... and everybody is whiskey drunk.

My younger brother went one year, and after returning, said, "Lee, I had a great time, and I saw 22 breasts." He kept count.

At 7:00 PM , Blogger Short and Fat said...

I don't do horses (stupid ASPCA) or horse racing.

However, via Wesley Snipes I'll pass on this new tip: "Always bet on black."

At 10:59 PM , Blogger newscoma said...

My interest in the Derby has always been sort of liking being a fair-weather horsing fan.
But I was always about Smarty Jones. I think that is the best name ever for a horse, and that the owners would rent a school bus to go to events made me laugh.
Maybe CeeElCee should name his poodle Smarty Jones.


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