Today’s blog is guest written by my wife, the Space Gal, without editing (except for the notes at the end) by yours truly. She takes you back to Alabama weekend in Saratoga, August 17-19, 2007:
Alabama Eve – Friday
After a day at the races, we head to Siro’s. I enjoy a few cocktails but start to get restless when the men light their cigars. I decide it’s the perfect time to head to the hat store next door for some shopping.
I instantly fall in love with a $900 hat. Newly married, I begin weighing the risks and benefits of telling my husband I bought a $900 hat. I decide that a $900 hat is too risky and settle on a MUCH better deal… a $300 hat. I decide to buy my hubby a horse tie to distract him from the new hat. The distraction works. Men are so easy. :)
Alabama Stakes Day – Saturday
I wear my new hat to the races. I love it and get lots of compliments on it.
After the races we head to dinner. I ask my husband to hold the hat for 30 seconds while I fix my hair. My husband drops the hat. I consider divorce. I then decide that I need to keep him around to pay for the hat so I brush it off as no big deal. We’ll return to the hat shop the next day to get it fixed.
Day after Alabama (also known as Umbrella Giveaway Day at the Spa) – Sunday
Before we leave town we have things to accomplish: get hat fixed and get an umbrella (for my husband’s increasing horse racing collection). He drives; I fly.
The women at the hat shop are very accommodating when it comes to fixing my hat. As I wait, a very sweet older woman comes into the store to buy a hat. She’s dressed in jeans, and the women at the store seemed to know her well. It turns out that this day is very special for the woman. As she looks around for a new hat, she tells us that the horse she has running today was her late husband’s horse. And today’s race has special significance because her husband (I think) was born on October 10th (10/10). And this horse is running in the 10th race out of gate 10 (he was the #9 horse). (I actually think there was another symbolic 10 in there somewhere, but I’m not sure what it was… and the birthday may have been their anniversary… but I’m pretty sure it was his birthday.) She was such a sweet woman and you could tell how much she missed her husband. As the women finished up my hat, I wished the horse owner well and went on my way.
I told my husband this story when I got in the car, and he said, “When you go in to get the umbrella, you should throw $5 on the horse.”
So then my husband circled the lot while I went in to get one souvenir umbrella. I’ll let him tell that story because it’s a completely different (and insane) story all on its own. I went to the window to put a $5 win bet on the woman’s horse, but the windows weren’t open yet. When I told my husband that when I got back in the car he said, “That’s okay… the odds are 17-1. You probably would have lost anyway.”
Well, when we checked the following day, guess what…the horse came in first! I was so happy for this wonderful woman and the memory of her late husband. Sometimes you meet people who touch your heart in very special ways… and they have no idea that they’ve done it… but she did that day.
Editors Note: Brushed Prince, owned by Shirley Shaw, bred by her late husband Raymond Shaw, broke her maiden and paid $34 on August 19, 2007. He runs today in the 6th race at Belmont Park in a $50K claimer on the Widener Turf Course with morning line odds at 30-1. Update: Brushed Prince scratched today and is entered in the 7th on Friday at Belmont. He finished fifth by a neck at odds of 80-1.
Top Chef Handicapping Notes: Finale tonight, Saratoga Resident sets top honor odds as follows: Richard 1-1, Stephanie 3-1 and Lisa 50-1 (Guadalcanal tribute). The Pick Here: Stephanie. Saratoga Rez: Goes with the Chalk. Update: Stephanie won!!!