Saturday, June 7, 2008


You wouldn't know it by watching T.V., but horse racing fans are a bunch of drunks.
It was about noon the other day, before the start of the Belmont Stakes. I was on my way home from work, so I dropped in to the Blarney Rock in Manhattan for a quick one.
As I opened the door, the first thing that hit me was the din of loud voices and classic rock playing on the Jukebox. First of all, Saturdays are pretty quiet at this place and the Jukebox is rarely cranked up.

These weren't regulars. Instead, the place was packed with beautiful women wearing slinky, bright dresses and the guys were decked out in their Izod's and seersucker suits. The bartender tells me many of them got there around 8 in the morning. Four hours later and they're still hoisting their drinks, mainly beer, Screwdrivers and Bloody Mary's. One guy ordered 40 shots for his friends. The bartender was overwhelmed, but handled the scene with ease.

As I sat there quietly nursing my drink, all I could imagine was, what they would be like in another hour or two when they actually head off to the racetrack. I'm told the mint julep sipping crowd at the Kentucky Derby is also a bunch of drunks, despite their roaring 20's look wearing those flashy hats and all. Parades are the same way. How many years have you watched Philadelphia's Mummers Day parade or New York's Saint Patricks Day parade. They all look normal, until you actually attend one of the events and see for yourself what real idiots they really are.

Back to the Belmont crowd. I can only imagine what a few too many drinks did to their heads, when at the end of the race, Big Brown comes in dead last and the long shot wins the race. At least if they bet a lot on the favorite, their sorrows have been numbed.

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