Sunday, November 8, 2009

Horses and Team Spirit

It was a semi-quiet day at home yesterday; CU kicked off a home game at 11:30, and they won the game by 1 point - so there were a lot of happy Buffs running around the neighborhood up until midnight. I enjoyed watching the Breeders Cup races, and had more fun making my bets - I let myself start with $30 on Friday, and only placed $2-to-win bets (in my mind). I placed 6 $2 bets on Friday, and ended up with $56.60 (which didn't include the $18 I didn't bet); yesterday, I picked 5 winners out of 8 races, made 9 $2-to-win bets, and ended up with $134.00 - which made $190.60 total. If I subtract the $30.00 I used to start with, I still "made" $160.60. - I think I still have the touch on betting my horses. The horses that I bet on and won with yesterday were: Pounced in the Colts Juvenile Turf; Dancing in Silks in the Sprint (somehow, I pick the Sprint winner each year); Vale of York in the Colts Juvenile on the dirt; Goldikova, who became a repeat winner of the Mile (on the Turf), and who challenged and again beat the boys; and Zenyatta remained undefeated and beat the boys running a mile-and-a-quarter on the dirt. It was the first time Zenyatta had raced males; it was the first time Zenyatta ran 1.25 miles in a race; for the 11th time in a row she was ridden by Mike Smith; it was the first and only time in 26 years that a girl won the Classic; and she performed her distinctive haute ecole dressage Spanish Walk in the paddock and out onto the track - she is a character! - There were two injuries in this year's Breeders Cup, where none occurred last year. Quality Road, who refused to load, and, then, once he did, imploded and freaked out in the gate stall, ended up with minor cuts and scrapes on his hind legs; he was the first "gate scratch" in Breeders Cup history. And on Friday, Lillie Langtry, the favorite in the Fillies Juvenile Turf finished an undistinguished 8th - during the race, she suffered a slab fracture in the knee of one of her forelegs. She will have a pin inserted today, and will be shipped back to England in 10 days.

I watched the Gators play last night, and was puzzled. The Gators are unbeaten and have an 18-game winning streak going. They are ranked number one in the nation, and are a shoo-in to face Alabama in the SEC Championship game. Other than a few shirtless young men, who were painted Gator blue (with orange letters spelling "Go Gators!"), the crowd at The Swamp seemed listless - as if they were at the game because it was a duty to be there - not because they were enjoying a game and enjoying cheering on their team. Even the college cheerleaders for both sides seemed as if they were just waiting to leave. It was an oddly upsetting scene. Maybe because my folks brought me up to support the team with all my heart and lungs, whether they win or lose? Or I am just dissatisfied with the "mighty Gator Nation" that seemed dissatisfied with its winning team?

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