Saturday, May 15, 2010

More Teaching Moments - 2010 Preakness Stakes

I guess I have to face the fact that my children aren't that interested in horse racing - at least not as much as I am.  Perhaps they were poisoned by their Mother's groans every time TVG was showing on the weekends.  Maybe it was that they don't have a video game dedicated to the Sport of Kings.  I don't know.  So I resort to my tried and true method for ensuring attention and interest for the Preakness Stakes.  Gambling!

12 horses, 3 of us.  I take the first 4 horses.  My five year old takes the middle four (and little does he know that he has the two favorites, plus my horse, Jackson Bend) and my eight year old takes the last four horses.  If one of the boys' horses wins, that child gets their choice of Silly Bands (rubber bands shaped like objects, animals, vehicles, sports, you name it).  If I win, they BOTH get Silly Bands.  Frankly, I'm not worried about that happening since the first four horses look like absolute stiffs.

One problem that will put my theory to the test.  We're not going to be home when the race starts.  I set the DVR earlier in the afternoon thinking that maybe that's the way to go, since I can fast forward through all the syrupy crap that NBC usually pulls on us fans before the race.  My sons won't care.  As we drive home, a couple of people text me about the race, appreciating that I am horse racing fan.  "Don't tell me who wins!" I scream at my phone.  I start my description of the gambling. 

"Are we going to have to buy you dinner, again; like we did during college basketball."  Ha, they have to win in this race, otherwise I'll lose them for good.

8pm.  Home.  I'm not that interested in all of the back stories either, so I'm thankful that this was taped myself.  I watch the replay of the Derby, since Super Saver won me a lot of money a couple of weeks ago.  But I'm not convinced that Super Saver is going to do anything here.  He started to really labor at the end of the Derby and the longer race might tire him out.  Also, the weather is supposed to be decent; another strike against the Derby winner repeating at Pimlico.  Bob Neumeier takes Lookin' at Lucky, determining that he had a really bad trip in the muck and will have a much better race with a new jockey aboard and perfect weather.  I'm not sure about that pick either; one bump and the horse falls apart.  I start describing this to the boys.  They both have their head buried in their DSs. 

"Come on boys, it's race time.  Who wants to win some Silly Bands!"  I shake my head that Silly Bands are even an enticement to these guys.  Christ.

As I start to get the boys pumped up, the race begins.  Oh boy, Dublin just veered out EXTREMELY wide out of the gate.  Count him out.  Super Saver and First Dude come out fast battling for the lead around the back stretch.  Super Saver seems to be running a little fast this afternoon.  I'm really not liking his chances now. 

And...I'm proven right.  Lookin at Lucky and Jackson Bend both pass Super Saver at the top of the home stretch to challenge First Dude, who has ridden a great race.  No Triple Crown winner this year.  Lookin' at Lucky wins by a head!  My five year old wins the Silly Bands!  I think First Dude held on for Place and Jackson Bend screamed out the Show. 

Unfortunately, they forget about the race about 10 seconds after the end of the race.  Maybe he'll forget about the Silly Bands too?

Nah, probably not.  They're only 3 bucks.  It's worth it.

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