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  • Run For the Roses

    What does the first Saturday in May mean to you? If you are a horse racing fan, it is the most important day of the year, the day the Kentucky Derby is run. If you are from Kentucky, it might be the one day of the year that you feel homesick. For me it is a day of wonderful connections.
    At 9:33 AM my best friend who lives in Florida texted me with his pick in the race, Hansen—“the great white hope.” I did not like Hansen and was not going to include him in my wagers. Next my son Dan called from New Hampshire to give me his numbers for a trifecta bet. He included Calvin Borell in his bet, and I was not going in that direction. Next my son Ben texted from Boston, and he was a big fan of the number 19 horse, I’ll Take Another. I liked the trainer of this horse. Later on I got two texts from good friends at school—one liked Union Rags, the other wanted a pick. I liked Bodemeister. So did my daughter Mandy. One of my favorite students ever told me that you should always bet on a Bob Baffert trained horse in the Derby.
    I talked to three other people before making the trip to the Bridgeport greyhound track which is now the Off Track Betting Center. It was absolutely packed with people getting into the Derby frame of mind.
    I made up my mind---I would make a large wager on number 6, Bodemeister, to win, and I would bet two exactas, the 6 – 19 and the 19 – 6. I also decided to bet on the 19, I’ll Take Another.
    I went home to muddle the mint and watch the race—I really did feel like I had already won before the 19 won the race and the 6 came in second. It was all the connections.
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