At Kentucky Derby Time, I think of this story.

Some years ago, Diane and I were invited to the Kentucky Derby, a marvelous event that is near indescribable.

The enthusiasm of the crowd, the loyalty of the Kentuckians, mint juleps everywhere, the pageantry, the socializing, the hats, the majesty of the horses, the bravery and skill of the jockeys… it has all been written, and I cannot do it more justice than has already been written.

I must tell the story of my Dad, who in his way was a loyal Kentucky Derbian because he faithfully watched the race on television every year. He was a fan, not because he was a gambler, but because he loved Seabiscuit

Seabiscuit

Seabiscuit

and remembered the days of the Narragansett Race Track

Narragansett Track

Narragansett Track

He was thrilled to hear that I was to attend the Derby.

“Edward, bet the number four horse for me. Four is my favorite number, and I have a hunch this year.”

“OK, how much do you want me to bet?”

“Twenty dollars will be fine. Put it on the four horse to win.”

“OK.”

There were a number of races before the Derby, and in one race, I actually won three hundred dollars on a lucky bet because Diane liked the name of the horse.

Finally, with its pomp, circumstance and emotion, the Derby time came.

Down to the grandstand I went, standing in line for longer than I thought I should have… eager anxiety I guess, to bet the four horse. I bet twenty for dad, twenty for me. I could not ignore his hunch.

When I returned to the seat with my tickets, I looked at the odds on the four horse… 20 to 1!

‘This is it, Diane. Our chance to win big on Dad’s hunch.”

The bell. They’re off.  “Go four, go four!”

The four horse got a bad start, last place and stayed there for the entire race, not even close.

I saw Dad a few days later.

“How did that horse do? I was looking for him on TV, but never saw him.”

“Dad, you never saw him because he started last and ran that way for the entire race. Never had a chance.”

“The bum.”

© 2017