Thanksgiving Fun

A few weeks ago someone posted a 2015 Row By Row kit for sale in one of the Facebook row swap groups. Fortunately, I logged on to Facebook shortly after she posted it so was the successful buyer. The reason I wanted it is that it was from a shop in Kentucky and showed three horses racing. It would be a perfect gift to present to Caren and Paul on Thanksgiving – the couple I spend Thanksgiving day with. Why would it be perfect? We spend Thanksgiving Day at Laurel Park Racetrack. Paul’s a big racing fan. I can’t remember how many years I’ve been joining them there.

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A ridiculous picture of Caren and Paul holding the not yet finished row. The picture I took of them last year was much better. She’ll be mortified when she sees this picture. That’s our waitress Lisa behind them.

I plan to add an inner border made from ribbon with images of the Maryland state flag. The outer border will be blocks based on racing silks. If nothing else it will be colorful. Maybe they’ll get it as a finished item next Thanksgiving.

Normally the day starts with free coffee or apple cider and a doughnut but, although they were advertised, they never made an appearance this year. The buffet opened about the same time as post time for the first race. There was a table of salads and a smoked fish tray, any kind of soup you wanted as long as it was crab (both Maryland and cream of crab were on offer), a table with sides and three kinds of dressing, a carving table with turkey, prime rib and a whole pig (wish I’d taken a picture before they started carving it) and, of course, a desert table which included a beautifully arranged fruit tray. All three of us put away our share of the food throughout the afternoon.

When you buy a racing program for the day, you get a coupon to exchange for a free pie, pumpkin or apple. I always choose pumpkin. Year before last they didn’t do the free pies. Apparently they got a lot of flack about it because they started it up again last year.

Betting on the races started out well for me as I cashed in tickets on the first three races. I’m not foolish enough to make huge bets. I’m as likely to go home with a few dollars extra as not. Then I hit my mid-day lull. Things started picking up later and at the end of the 9th race I was only down $5 for the day. Not bad for an afternoon’s entertainment. Used to be we only got nine races but last year they added a tenth.

The last race of the day is always a crap shoot because it is two year old horses. On the 10th race, I had to bet on the horse named Don’t Poke the Cat, of course. The three of us threw caution to the wind and each made a $1 boxed trifecta bet ($6 total) on Run from the Nun, Don’t Poke the Cat and Diamond Drive. Our day couldn’t have had a better ending because our trifecta hit! The horses pulled it off in the very last seconds of the race. That payout was the most I’ve ever won or probably ever will win.

Poor Caren. She intended to bet the trifecta but neglected to check her ticket carefully enough before she left the teller window. He didn’t hear her correctly and gave her an exacta ticket. At least it was for the two horses that came in first and second so she did get a nice payout, just not as much as Paul and I got. All in all an awesome day that I would have enjoyed even more if I didn’t have this nasty respiratory bug.

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