A Jedi Enters Keeneland

I cannot tell you the last time I had been to the Keeneland racetrack, or if I ever had been inside the track.  So this was a big event for me, to run around at the track, actually knowing what was going on and what I was doing.  Observing Biancone walking around, after laying out so many stories about him and so many more faces and people I have come to know through my work.  I did not anticipate the price of ink pens though, that threw me off.  I will always bring my own ink pen from now on and that two bucks for the program.

Admittedly, I was intimidated by the betting window, so I opted for the electronic machines to buy my ticket.  The bet takers look so stern and serious, besides, I'm a tech savvy guy.  I first had to plan my strategy in the program, it took me some time, I can often be indecisive.  I had figured out what horse to put in my exacta...then box it...because I had no idea how things would roll with Jedi.  So I teamed him up with one of the favorites.

Alas, I approached the ticket machine, there was a security guard and a guy changing out printing paper...so I was nervous and messed up my first order attempt, so I had to step back because I had no idea what I really did on that machine, but nothing printed out or money was taken, too many choices.  I do know I successfully navigated to my race and to the horses I wanted to bet.  There are so many options and colors on these things, it is like playing a very complicated, text based strategy game.  I am a visual learner and still had problems.

After the security guard and plaid wearing 60s man changed out machines, a few people went up to order their tickets.  I attempted it again with much better luck.  Yep, but I do not know what I did again, but a ticket printed out with my money on it. So I humbly gave up and ventured toward the Newbie "Helpful" window for betting.  The lady looked like our everyday grandmother and was helpful, but she was super serious.  She asked if the ticket I had was a winning ticket, and of course it was, it had my ten bucks on it.  I liked how the ticket just slid down the front of the betting machine she had.

I walked out to the track, by the finish line.  I wanted to be close to the action. 

Jedi Code entered the post parade at Keeneland, on a brisk fall day.  My exacta box was in hand, I placed five bucks on it, to prove my loyalty to Jedi's first start.

After the post parade, I saw Jedi Code and his aura glowing.  He looked a little uptight though, and I should have known the signs before he was placed in the gate.  He did throw Calvin "the rail" Borel off three times and was putting up a fuss.  Jedi was holding up the race a bit and was making the natives a little nervous.  I liked that though, make the horses think you are a little crazy, they may avoid you more.  That was pretty entertaining and the crowd was amused by the antics, but I knew I liked that spark, but deep down felt he wasn't going to win this race.  I did not give up though.

Jedi Code did not do horrible.  It was exciting to see him at the turn and listen to the thunder approaching.  Being adjacent to the finish line was wonderful as he dashed across.  Jedi did not win, or place, or show or complete the superfecta, but he finished and that finished my day, so Jedi and I left knowing we started a new part of our lives.

But the next race will be different. 

Notable Mention:


So we had Cowboy Cal versus Why Tonto recently.  I have to admit, how could you not play that exacta on names alone, you feel me? 

Now let me take this one step further, and this blew my mind!  It appears these two comrades of the track have met before.  That is not the even the crazy part.  The January 1st, 2008 race was the Tropical Park Derby and Cowboy Cal finished in first place as Why Tonto grabbed second place. 

Fast forward to the Hallendale Beach Stakes on February 16, 2008.  Why Tonto finished first and guess who finished second...yep, Cowboy Cal placed second.  That solidifies my decision to always box an exacta on these two or bet that they will team up to dominate the races they are in together. 

So yeah, that is something new I learned and had to share.  The names alone call for the exacta, I just threw in the other stuff to further my argument.  Oh,  I can't forget to tell you that Cowboy Cal is by Giant's Causeway who I am a huge fan of.

7 Comments

Leave a Comment:

chrisc

i love the vivid commentary.  i love your pick even better.

26 Feb 2008 10:19 AM
aspradling

Thanks, did you mean my western themed exacta or my blog image?

26 Feb 2008 10:44 AM
srh

Hi Adam,

I love the idea of following a newbie at the track - just curious, what is your role?  Are you an official bloodhorse.com web correspondent?  Will you focus on betting or on general observations of track life et. al.?  Looking forward to hearing more!

26 Feb 2008 10:52 AM
aspradling

Hi srh!  I am actually a layout artist and graphic designer here at BH. I will be writing about a lot of track observations, but also breeding, facts, and research I do about the industry.  I have a rough content plan and will have one and done ideas or sometimes a minis series, like these few Jedi Code posts.

26 Feb 2008 11:25 AM
CNovak

Two down, one to go...

26 Feb 2008 11:32 AM
zookeeper

Can totally relate to your first experience at the betting window or machine...I was still intimidated after several more or less successful tries until I discovered the magic of betting slips...No more grumpy tellers...No more terrifying buttons and mysterious displays, I was free at last to make as many mistakes as I am capable of without irritating the teller or the very impatient person behind me.

26 Feb 2008 6:45 PM
aspradling

I really appreciate and welcome any personal experiences you want to share, they are always fun!  I will look more into the betting slips.

27 Feb 2008 1:58 PM

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