Day 130 (7 November 2010) – A Day at the Races

Today’s photo is a perfect representation of one of MY wonders of the world. The rest of you can have your statues, temples and monuments. I have my father at the racetrack. Here he is, positioned perfectly in the restaurant at the Nantes Hippodrome watching the horses come down the stretch. I can’t script something better than this.

Back in 1988 I spent a full racetrack season working at Longacres, the legendary racetrack in Seattle. I had just graduated from college, was considering grad schools, and wanted a summer doing something I loved but knew wasn’t my “calling.” I got a job working for the Daily Racing Form. I was at the racetrack every morning and evening, working long hours noting the entries and charting the races. My father attended pretty much every race day as he was working for a couple of national horse race handicapping magazines. Spending that time with him sharing something we both love is among my most cherished and prized memories.

So 22 years later, here he is in Nantes sharing a day at the races with not only me but with my mom, Melinda, and our dear, dear French friends Laurent & Frédérique. It was the merging of so many of my wonders of the world that I can’t describe to you how perfect it was. You just have to trust me.

One more note… I told the story in yesterday’s post about my dad and me trying to figure out how to place bets on the Breeder’s Cup. The second of his two bets came in. He correctly picked that a horse named Blame would upset the amazing Zenyatta in the Classic. He told me his rationale early yesterday, couching his explanation in terms as only an English major could. A great horse named Man o’ War lost only one race in his life, he told me, that to a horse aptly named Upset. Yesterday morning my dad said to me that by nightfall in Kentucky the great Zenyatta would have lost only one race in her life, and that we would know who to “Blame.”

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