Fascination with longshots

(A hippodrome tone poem) inspired by Joseph Stroud’s ‘Passage’

“Make me rich, Johnny,” growled the old railbird to the hot-walker.

The bony gray steed led by the second man looked up, as if to wink an eye in assent. If you are a “punter” who loves wagering on high odds, low chance thoroughbreds, you are a sweet fool indeed.

Occasionally blessed with a windfall, in which case barrages of jeering may come your way, as did my 1986 coup with “Mr. Napton,” whose jerky strides lined my pockets with $329, which inflated my ego.

Euphorically inside!

Not surprisingly, the “Sports Palace” taunts pursued me down the length of the laurel tarmac, armed with disconsolate, menacing shouts.

Truth be told, since days of old (say 40 years or so), favorites, paying little or nothing, I eschew.

When a current front page of the news (and Today Show, too) sings the glorious praises of the newest Derby winner “Rich Strike,” at 80 to one, what to do?

For moi, a Cinderella finisher who bites his escort horse rigorously on the ear and mane makes my obsession with the Equestrian worthwhile. Whaddya know? I bet “Rich” to show. Mayhap not erase my debt — but the payout? “As good as it gets!” — satisfaction

Issues |Sports

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