My memories take me back to a time in my late teens and early twenties when I discovered horse racing. Joe Washuta Sr, my dear friend, employer and mentor took me to the now defunct Tropical Park Race Track and later to Hialeah Park, perhaps one of the most beautiful and respected horse tracks in history.
Joe taught me just about everything I know about horse racing, greyhound racing and the thrill of Jai Alai at the Miami Fronton (I actually went on to play amateur jai alai). Although today's post is about pari-mutual wagering, I would be remiss to leave out the many lessons of life taught to me by my friend. But I digress...
|Joe Washuta and wife, "Petch"|
I have always enjoyed dressing nicely and back in the day, especially when I was underage, a nice sport jacket, slacks and nice shoes helped me look a little older. I got the boot on occasion, especially at Jai Alai, but there were many entrances and for me, it was only a temporary delay.
On this particular day, Joe had received some "information" ( a tip) from some of his friends and ostensibly, Joe (the elder), his sons Joe and Dave and myself, were there to "clean-up". I learned later in life that there is "credible information" and "information" (often referred to as "touting").
As I only made about $160 a week, I went to the track with $40 and the first horse we had a tip on was in race three and the horse was named, "Farmer's Son" (good memory, eh?). The colt led "wire to wire" and paid relatively well. I bet $5 across the board and was up substantially.
The next tip race was race seven, and greedily, I bet $10 across the board. The horse went off at five to one and at 1:05, he was still somewhere out there....running. I lost my ass.
The final tip was the last race and the colt's name was "Tulran". The odds were high because he was a sprinter (6 furlongs) and the race was a mile and an eighth. His sprint times were good, so I bet the last $20 of my winnings on the horse, $10 to win and $10 to place. Everybody else bet $20 to win.
Tulran bolted to the lead and was leading by 12 lengths down the backstretch and entering the third turn. As he came off the fourth turn and was heading home, I could see the colt was tiring and the field was closing.
The hearty Tulran was nipped by a nose at the wire. He would have paid telephone numbers by winning, but my place bet paid $100 and I was a happy camper.
On a side note, dressing up has its' pros and cons. It's hot at the horse track, but I met two lovely ladies at Tropical Park the following week and they took me to the clubhouse. I didn't win any money, but I did hit the "daily double"
Maybe we'll continue the early years next Friday.....
The News As I See It: Obama said he wants the United States to establish an embassy in Cuba by April. When asked if Cuba would establish an embassy here, Obama said, "What do you call Miami?"
Joe Biden will speak to the nation’s largest gay rights group during a human rights convention on today. Then on Saturday, he is scheduled to speak to them again to apologize for whatever he said in today’s speech.
The state of Utah, which you think of as a very conservative state, is considering a bill that would allow the sale of edible marijuana for medical use, which is very good news for people with imaginary back problems.
A developer has created a zero-gravity martini glass, which promises to let astronauts drink cocktails in space without spilling. Our astronauts are drinking? Hey, the first step is admitting to Houston that you have a problem.
This Date In History: 1836; The Alamo fell to Mexican forces. The Texans possibly could have possibly won the battle had Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett not mistaken them for gardeners and lawn trimmers. 1857; The Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott v. Sandford that slaves were not citizens.
1930; Clarence Birdseye started to sell prepackaged frozen food for the first time, in Springfield, Massachusetts. 1957; The former British colonies of Togoland and the Gold Coast united to form independent Ghana.
1981; Walter Cronkite, "the most trusted man in America," retired from the CBS Evening News and was replaced by Dan Rather. 1997; Queen Elizabeth II launched the first royal website.
Picture Of The Day: The Sullivan brothers and the Washuta brothers go back a long way. Brother Joe (left), Brother Kirt (center) and myself in Clermont, Florida. My father hooked this 4 pound catfish and Joe waded into the weeds to grab him.
Come to think of it, Joe and Kirt were always wading in the weeds, somewhere.....
Printable Things I Never Told You: 1) I hate eating nachos with someone at the movie theater and our fingers touch. Especially if I don't know them and they don't know that we're sharing. 2) Poetry would be a lot harder if violets were orange. 3) My father once told me: "Son, you should never lie. One lie begets another lie, then another lie and before you know it, you're either a lawyer or a politician.
4) My next door neighbor just accused me of stealing clothes from her clothes line. I was so angry I nearly shit her pants. 5) Back in the day, I remember painting a banner for our annual family picnic, but my Mom thought "Celebrating 100 Years of Undiagnosed Mental Illness" was inappropriate.....and that's five !
Today's Horoscope: Pisces - March 6th: Tomatoes can be your best friend - go Red for the day. * This horoscope is not sponsored by Heinz or the Communist Party. Being sexy and being sexist are not one and the same. Avoid low-level lighting this week and any power lines that you might have to pass under.
Birthdays: Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, poet 1619, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, poet 1806, Lou Costello, comedian, actor 1906, Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve 1926, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, writer 1928, Rob Reiner, actor, director, producer 1947.
|Brother Dave Washuta and myself after a day of bass fishing in the 'Glades. Dave actually hooked this big one five minutes before I did, but it spit the hook.|
The AREA 51 Retirement Home Bar And Grill: Mildred was a 80 year old woman who was particularly despondent over the recent death of her husband Earl. She decided that she would just kill herself and join him in death.
Thinking that it would be best to get it over with quickly, she took out Earl's old Army pistol and made the decision to shoot herself in the heart since it was so badly broken in the first place.
Not wanting to miss the vital organ and become a vegetable and a burden to someone, she called her doctor's office to inquire as to just exactly where the heart would be.
The doctor said, "On a woman, the heart would be just below the left breast." Later that night, Mildred was admitted to the hospital with a gunshot wound to her left knee.
An 80-year-old man went to his doctor's office to get a sperm count. The doctor gave the man a jar and said, "Take this jar home and bring back a semen sample tomorrow. The next day the old man reappeared at the doctor's office and gave him the jar, which was as clean and empty as on the previous day.
The doctor asked what happened and the man explained, "Well, Doc, it's like this. First I tried with my right hand, but nothing. Then I tried with my left hand, but still nothing. Then I asked my wife for help."
He continued, "We even called up Doris, the lady next door and she tried too, but still nothing. The doctor was shocked! "You asked your neighbor?" The old man replied, "Yep, but no matter what we tried, we still couldn't get that damned jar open."
The Hits Just Keep On Coming: A blonde pushes her BMW into a gas station. She tells the mechanic, "It just died." After he works on it for a few minutes, it is idling smoothly.
The blonde says, "So, what's the story?" He replies, "Just crap in the carburetor" She asks, "How often do I have to do that?"
Michele Obama and Oprah Winfrey were having one of those girl-to-girl talks. Michele says to Oprah, "You're lucky that you don't have to put up with men having sex with you. I have to put up with Barry and there is no telling where he last had his pecker."
Oprah responded, "Just because I am aesthetically challenged (politically correct for "fat and ugly") doesn't mean I don't have to fight off unwelcome sexual advances." Michele asks, "Well, how do you deal with the problem?"
Oprah said, "Whenever I feel that a guy is getting ready to make a pass at me, I squeeze out the loudest fart I can."
That night, Barry was already in bed with the lights out when Michele headed to bed. She could hear him start to stir and knew that he would be wanting some action. She tensed up and forced out the most disgusting fart you could imagine. Barry rolls over and asks, "That you, Oprah?"
That's it for today, my little sweet potatoes. Remember, if your wife or girlfriend says that she wants to make a sex tape, do not suggest that auditions be held for her part. My usual trek to AREA 51 for happy hour is "iffy"
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Have a great weekend and more on Monday.
Stay Tuned !