Such was the case a few days ago. As I mentioned in my previous blog, I incurred the responsibility of conducting a tour for my visiting brothers, Raoul and Pepe, and my sister-in-law, Margarita Snoffleglass. Please note that the names of the family members have been changed to protect their identities. Our first stop of the day was attending the somewhat controversial Body Worlds exhibit that is currently in Dallas. Just to refresh your memory, Body Worlds consists of dead people that have gone through the process of plastination. It was invented Gunther von Hagens. And after much contemplation, I cannot reason why any individual would say to himself, "When I grow up I want to plastinate people and sculpt them into weird art forms and attempt to pass it off as science."
Now, many of you are probably wondering to yourself, What does plastination have to do with horse racing other than it is speculated that Todd Pletcher's hair may have gone through the process? Good question. Admittedly, I am not the first horse racing blogger to mention "plastination". The reputable Fran Jurga of Hoofcare & Lameness Journal brings this topic up in a November blog entry:
We will also have a museum display (sorry, not for sale) of plastination anatomy models (a la the "Body Worlds" museum exhibit)
Ms. Jurga's mention of plastination certainly lends credibility to the relationship of the plastination and racing. Perhaps one day, Andy Beyer could become a plastinate with a racing form in his hands, entitled The Handicapper.
Raoul is a regular reader of my blog. Or is it Pepe? I forgot which name I called my brother, Chuck. Anyway, my brothers and Marcia ... oops, I mean Margarita Snoffleglass ... wanted to learn a little bit about racing, handicapping and wagering. So we ventured over to the Post Time Pavillion at Lone Star Park for some simulcast action on the races at Santa Anita.
Not having access to Horse Racing for Dummies that our friendly, neighborhood Quinella Queen once reviewed, I opted for my simple handicapping tips that even a plastinate could appreciate: (1) Bet on the fastest horse, and (2) Bet to win.
The first race did not provide for much success, and I'm unsure if it was the fact we were all much too involved in drinking beer and making jokes about certain individuals that should be plastinates. But the next few races were somewhat more lucrative, especially when Raoul decided that he wanted to learn how to make an exotic wager with a dollar. Thus, the $1 Exacta Box chapter was introduced by the third race, with the tip: (3) Box your exotic. This proved profitable for Raoul as he won $15 in his exacta. And apparently, I elected to ignore my own handicapping tips as I piddled around with a trifecta on the 4th race; a 2-year-old maiden claiming with a number of first and second time runners (my personal favorite). I did not box my trifecta and the 18-1 longshot, Omi's Back (Yes It's True) that I wheeled in the second and third positions won. $508 that $1 trifecta paid. It would have covered the bar bill and then some. Grrr.
My brother Paul, er, Pepe, is pretty good at reading a racing form. Our final race that we bet on, the horse he pointed out to me, Brag (IRE), was going off at 16-1. It was a nice little turf race and guess what? Brag won ($35.40). However, Pepe ignored my second tip of bet to win. He had bet to show.
Plastination and simple wagering strategies aside, the relatives have all gone back to their respective corners of the US and it's a new year. Happy New Year to all. (Happy Birthday if you're a horse). And remember, Gulfstream opens tomorrow for some great winter racing. It's great not to be a plastinate.