This is part one of a he said she said. Becky’s much more beautiful and human look at horse racing will run on Thursday.
Becky and I aren’t big gamblers. We play the Powerball maybe 5-10 times a year. We hit a casino once a year to spend about $40.
Horse racing is a different animal, however. We still keep the betting down to under $40 on our one or two outings a year, but unlike any other type of gambling, it’s rather beautiful and exciting.
As Becky says, “These horses are born to run, they are only truly happy when they run.” And I fully believe that.
We started going to races way back in Fargo, when they had races, though that stopped at some point due to management/funding/whatnotery. We learned what an exacta and trifecta and superfecta are, how to bet, how to rudimentarily read the racing forms so we had some idea how odds work, and more. There is a bit of a nerdy odds and math to it, which is fun and frustrating all at the same time. It’s awesome.
Racing was also a great people watching opportunity. Though few people wear awesome hats anymore.
We’ve checked out Canterbury Park race track once or twice a summer since moving here. It’s usually a pretty nice way to spend an afternoon, with races every half hour (when when you think about it, is more action than a lot of baseball games) ((I wrote that line to annoy Becky)). It’s amazing how having a buck or two on a race can make it fifty times more exciting – screaming for the winner down the stretch.
Every summer, they also have an extreme racing day where you can watch exotic animals race between the horse races. Here’s the camel race.
and the ostrich race
Yes, that’s Becky at the end :).
It’s hard to see, but two of the four riders fell off during that one. And there was an extra ostrich on the field for some reason. I was really secretly hoping they’d try to fly the coop, but no such luck.
Unlike other racetrack visits, the traffic to get to this one started about 5 miles out. We were there with friends and their kids, but couldn’t really find five seats next to each other in the entire park. Usually, there’s only 2-3 people per row in the stands. We eventually found a bench on the ground near the track and were able to watch from there – though the heat and sun wiped us out a lot earlier.
As a bonus, nearby Eden Prairie was having an air show at the same time.
After 3-4 hours, we called it a day and headed back home so Becky could continue working on her part time job.
All in all, we spent $16 on entry and $7.50 on betting (we raised that up to $24 in winnings at one point, but spent that on further bets that didn’t pan out). It was cheaper than a day at the movies, and a lot more fun.