Posted tagged ‘horse racing’

Kid Stuff

August 16, 2011


One thing that’s changed since my kids were kids is that you see children almost everywhere, even places that were considered adults-only thirty years ago.   It was no surprise this weekend to see the La Jolla Embassy Suites lobby over run with cute little urchins given the hotel’s family-sized suites and free breakfasts.   But there were a number of children at the La Jolla Playhouse performance of Sleeping Beauty Wakes, a pop-rock musical that blends the sleeping beauty fairy tale with sleep deprivation science in a way that a child has only two chances of following (yes, slimski and noneski … and slimski skipped town).  There were several families with children at the upscale and romantic Manhattan restaurant, too, as Muri and I celebrated our 43rd Anniversary.   And Sunday, when we went to the races at Del Mar, it was family day and the stands were crawling with kids, which brings me to Top Sites Tuesday Number 112 – Two Thoughts on Tuesday and Thought Number One: Is it really appropriate for parents to bring their grammar school-aged children to the track to teach them to play the ponies … and make bets for them?   There was a very All-American family immediately to our left in the stands.  Before each race, Grampa, Mom and Dad reviewed the Racing Form with Heather, Colton and little Ferndock, helping them pick a horse, then placed bets for them.  Aside from the fact that betting by children is illegal, do you really want to introduce your kids to gambling before ten?   And as of the end of the fourth race, all four kids were ahead and talking about what they were going to do with their money.  Can you say Gamblers Anonymous, here we come? (more…)

Monday Smiles – 3/13/2011

March 14, 2011

Shortly after seeing the 2003 film, Seabisquit, I bought the book Seabisquit – An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand under the assumption that the book is always better than the movie.  It languished in my nightstand until two weeks ago and last Tuesday, I finished it.   This was absolutely the best non-fiction book I’ve ever read.   The research was impeccable and Hillenbrand captured the times perfectly.   She managed to make the description of races exciting, even when you knew the outcome, and the book fills in so much of the back story that the movie misses.   Most compelling, I think, was the working conditions of the jockeys who endured almost slave-like conditions and who ravaged their bodies to “make weight” for the races.   The book also captures the personalities of the horses themselves, who were definitely treated much better than the jockeys.  Just a great read. (more…)