My sister was so excited about The Belmont Stakes on June 7, 2014. She wanted to come up for the day to be a part of the excitement. But you know money it can be funny sometimes. I was thinking about going after reading MarkBislczak story on California Chrome. I was still indecisive on Friday night. One reason was I’ve been on a fruit and vegetable diet for the past seven days. I didn’t want to be tempted with the food the vendors would be selling or in need of a bathroom. I’ve also been walking in the mornings. I usually end up in a lot of pain later at night. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to subject myself to the demands and outing like that would put on my physical body.
My grandmother would take my sister and me to Belmont and Aqueduct as kids. We even went to Saratoga Race Course once for a fund-raiser. I would give Gran the name of a horse to play and I would make a few dollars but the excitement for me was the food. Back in the 60’s and 70’s we didn’t eat takeout food like we do today. Gran prepared our breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.
My sister told me I should go because it’s going to be history. Mark said I should go too. California Chrome may be a triple crown winner at the Belmont Stakes I decided too late to make arrangements with my Access-A-Ride, a service that provides door to door service for people with disabilities. It would have to be public transportation for me.
I ironed my cloths, I very rarely iron cloths. My blouse had an itty bitty hole that I sewed close. Can you see it in this picture? I pulled out my Skechers cloud walkers they have memory form. I pulled out my wide brim straw hat and my quilted flower bag.
I opted not to take my morning walk instead I walked five blocks to the bus that would take me to the entrance of Belmont Race Track. I met a lady on the bus her name is Tasha she asked if I was alone. I told her I was and we decided to hang out together.
We had to walk up three flights of steps to the ticket both. We stood on a long line to get in. I should have stopped and get cash before I got there but of course I didn’t. The line to the cash machine was extremely long. I rarely use cash I use debit and credit. Tasha found a seat and I stood on the line and people watched. The ladies were in cute little dresses wearing fabulous hats. They wore small brimmed hats, polka dot hats, blue hats, pink hats and yellow hats with big bouquets of flowers reaching out. There were striped hats with extra wide brims. There were hats the sparkled and shimmered. Some ladies wore hats that were just flowers on the top of their heads. They wore high heels, flip-flops and heavy and well-worn boots. Shyness kept me from asking them to let me take their pictures.
The men were another story. Some had on their khaki with polo shirts some even included ties. Some wore plaid jackets in a rainbow of colors, some had on bright color shirts with flowers and a tie that clashed like stripes and polka dots. They wore fedoras, baseball caps and straw hats. As I was leaving I saw a group of guys wearing short shorts okay they were hot pants they also had on shirts and ties with suit jackets. But the two gentlemen I had to get a picture with were by far the best dressed men. Don’t you think?
I brought a racing form and proceeded to bet on the fifth race I liked Financial Mogul #2 Meadowood #4 I played win, place and show. No win and no-show.
They were giving away posters and caps. I tried to roll my poster but it was difficult with my bag, cane and camera so I had to fold it.
Tasha and I were looking for a place to sit. There was nowhere. We needed to bring our own chairs. Next time I think I will. Tasha wanted a hot dog we found a truck and surprising I wasn’t hungry at all. I told her I would sit over against the wall where nothing was happening. I put my racing form down and sat on top of it on a dusty wood box. A handsome and distinguish looking man sat next to me. He struck up a conversation asking me where I live and I told him here in Queens he said he was from North Carolina and he came up just for the race. We had just enough time to talk about not having any where to sit when Tasha was looking for me. I tried to wave her over but I learned that she doesn’t see so well. Later she told me her glasses were broken. Anyway she prevented a possible love connection from happening. I’m not, like we use to say back in the day, a flat leaver. So I went over to meet my new friend.
Tasha brought me a hot dog. I told her she shouldn’t have, really she shouldn’t have but I took it and ate it and it was the best damn hot dog I had in a long time.
We found a seat in a corridor where we could watch the race on TV. We couldn’t get close enough to the rail to see the actual track. I did manage to get a picture of the Jumbo Tromp and part of the track as I was exiting. See the lady’s blue hat.
I decided ten minutes before race 6 was about to started to play My Miss Sophia #8 that’s the name of the girl who lives downstairs from my daughter. The window for the sixth race closed by the time I reached the window and guess who came in first? Yep, My Miss Sophia won. Oh well for the seventh race I played Princess of Shylmar #6 and Beholder #5 I read that Close Hatches #1 was a likely winner so I went back and played my win, place and show for two dollars as Gran taught me. Close Hatches wins the race and I won $13.30!
Both Tasha and I were tired and decided to buy our tickets for the eleventh race which is the one California Chrome was in. Everyone said if she’s wins not to cash the ticket save it. I purchased win, place and show for California Chrome #2 one for my sister, one for me and one for one of the ladies I live for. The lady I lived with also wanted two dollars on Tonalist #11 I ordered two one for me and one for my friend. Tasha and I were looking for the area where we could see the horses walk. We walked toward the entrance. We found security and asked her where the horse walking area was. She said it was back the way we came from. By now the building was jam-packed for the eleventh race. There was no way either of us wanted to maneuver our way back through that crowd. The lines to both ladies bathroom were like a three blocks. The line men bathrooms were about a block long. Glad I didn’t have to go. Somehow or another Tasha and I found our way out of the park and found our bus stop. I had to transfer to another bus and the wait for that second bus took almost thirty minutes. I had to walk another block to get home by then I had to drag myself into the house. I sat to catch my breath for a minute. I then went to the bathroom. I fixed a plate of salad. I prepared myself for bed before I ate my salad. When finished finally I laid down to binge on the finally season of Merlin
Around 8 o’clock I check to see who won the race. I guess we all know California Chrome came in 4th!! She couldn’t even come in 3rd so I could make a few dollars. Oh well #11 won the horse my friend and I bet on. We will make a few dollars. I check the tickets after I heard who won and guess what? The guy gave me 4 tickets for California Chrome and one for Tonalist. Just like lotto I should have checked my tickets before I left. Well at least my friend will make some money.
I was in a world of hurt when I finally made it home. It seemed like forever to get here. Yet despite it all I had a good time. Next time I will be calling Access-A-Ride and taking my own chair. I took two pain killers and didn’t get out the bed until this morning.