Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Sunday May 11 2014

"Now," I don't believe in gambling," my mom said, "but here's $5. Go bet on Chalk Box to win."

Chalk Box, multiple stakes winner at Longacres racetrack, was up for her biggest race yet, the Washington Oaks. Year-end championship honors hung on this stakes race. It was Mom's first visit to Longacres racetrack where I worked as a groom, her first time to meet Chalk Box, her first time to watch one of my horses race. She picked a big one to attend.

After I led Chalk out of the paddock and turned her over to the pony on the track, Mom handed me the 5 dollar bill.

I was in a quandary - I wasn't suspicious, but I could not bet on my own horses! I ran in a partial panic through the crowd to the windows, not knowing what to do. I was about to pocket the $5, and just pay mom the money if Chalk won (and I felt she would)… when I saw a friend standing in line to bet.

"Ten Eyck!" I grabbed him. "Here, can you bet $5 on Chalk Box to win? She's my horse but I can't bet on her but I'm supposed to place this bet for my mom…" I babbled frantically.

He placed the bet for me, handed me the ticket, and I ran back outside to watch my lovely filly warming up on the track.

Chalk Box won (and ultimately was named Washington Champion 3-Year-Old Filly of 1989). Mom got to stand in the Winner's Circle. She got her $20. She never gambled again.

She never could quite understand my horse addiction I'd been born with… but I think she got it that day.

Miss you Mom!


  1. Perfect story for the day.

    Not sure my Mother ever quite understood my horse addiction, but she supported me in it in more ways that I could count.

    I miss her too.

  2. Nice story! My mom was afraid of horses but she loved dogs and cats. She's been gone nearly 5 years now.

  3. My mom is the reason I got into horses. She loved them. I love the photos in this post!

  4. Lovely story. I don't gamble either, but Alex placed a $100 to win bet on the California horse "California Chrome" and won. He gave me half his winnings. I still won't gamble but it's okay if he does on occasion! LOL!

  5. My mom spent lots of time at OTB and loved to go to the racetracks with her friends when she could. She only rode a few times as a kid but always loved horses. I still miss her.

  6. Love it. My parents have never understood the "attraction". Didn't realize that you'd been at Longacres. Dean has the only horse to win the Governors Cup three times :-)

  7. Nice , photos and story about your mom and Chalk Box, I remember that shirt. I remember meeting your mom, maybe it was that day!!!