I got up early on Thursday to handicap and write and to drive down to Albany International Airport to grab Louise. She’d taken the redeye in from LA, via Detroit, where she faced a minor delay. A woman after my heart, she took advantage of the layover by, in her own words, “boozing it up with a bunch of toothless Michiganders.” She was in fine form from the get-go. I could not indulge in my usual comppliment of libations, for I new my day would be bracketed by yet another trip to Albany: down to Rensselaer (yea, I had to look up the spelling, what of it?) at 9:45pm to get Susan from the Amtrak station.
Louise is not much of a gambler, though she did employ some curious rationale (ask me over a beer) to make a few paddock plays. Even if she bet a horse to win, she’d enthusiastically cheer for him or her to make the lower rungs of the money. She understood that a third wouldn’t do anything for her win bet; she just wanted to see her bet do well. Actually, that’s a refreshing attitude.
Throughout the day, we stood on Desiree’s side of the Paddock Bar with Bernie, Paul, Patrick, and Andrew. Louise regaled the lot of us with tales of murderous midwestern housewifes, barefooted California kombucha-drinkers, and, best of all, the most effective short-term weight loss advice she ever received. . .
Here’s the story: she was working behind the bar in New York City a few years back, and she was involved, appropriately enough, in a little wager with her colleagues. Who could lose the most weight on a percentage basis. It was Louise and three fairly portly male colleagues. For the first couple of weeks, Louise did it the old-fashioned way. Another thing you should know about her is that she once beat a stevedore in a cussing contest. Again, her words: “I ate like less of a fat pig, ran a lot, and didn’t drink so much godamned beer.”
By the first weigh-in, she’d lost about 5 pounds, in line with her competition. And while she was still in the lead (remember, it was weight loss of a percecentage basis), victory was far from assured. Plus, she really wanted to stick it to the guys. Enter a friend of mine, a certain former champion jockey. He was in the bar with me one Sunday and he overheard the story of Louise’s bet. “Aw man,” he said, “if you really need to lose weight fast, you should talk to me. . .”
Afraid for what I might hear, I left the two of them to talk. A week later, the day after the contest ended, I returned to the bar. “Soooooooooo. . .,” I asked Louise, “what happened?” She reached into her pocket and produced three crisp hundred dollar bills. Turned out, she absolutely galloped. Won the thing by seven pounds — outright even. (I found it hilarious that one of the poor schlubs she’d beaten had actually *gained* weight by the end). “Tell your jockey friend I owe him a few beers,” she half-cackled, half-crowed, in her inimitable Louise way.
Now I was really intrigued. “Louise, what in the blue hell did you do?”
She went on to explain how, just as instructed, she spent the morning of the weigh-in. She covered her body in vaseline, wrapped herself in Saran wrap, put on heavy sweats, and jogged a few miles around her Greenpoint neighborhood in the sweltering heat.
“Have you finally lost your mind?” I asked, secretly impressed with the lengths she’d go to cash a ticket.
“Hey,” she explained, “I wasn’t going to let those idiots take my money.”
Louise just might make a gambler yet.
Race 6: $100 win and place on #4 AZASECRET
Am I chasing a little by putting the full amount on the nose here? Probably. But this filly has as many angles as an octagon. Another one of my proftitable Saratoga angles in the piece for Horseplayer last year had to do with Woodbine shippers up in turf races. Add in this one’s turf pedigree, the drop from open company to statebreds, the fact that she was bet to heavy favoritism, her trip last time, the barn’s second-out numbers, the jockey switch. . .OK that’s only seven angles, but we can upgrade to eight if you throw in, “Bred by a member of the Partridge Family.”
MEET TO DATE RESULTS: DIRE (-856.25)
If you click on one video this season, let it be this one. Azasecret’s co-breeder singing a PTF karaoke favorite (choppy TV edit). . .
And remember, they’re not hamburgers, Danny, they’re Reubenburgers.