by Sam’s-A-Fan

TRIBECA, NY – Here we are the day before the Belmont Stakes and I wanted to write about racing. I wanted to be that smart commentator and give you my picks for the days card, or at least for the graded races, get some people talking and generally have a good old time. But here’s my problem, Saturday’s Daily Racing Form isn’t available until today, so with no time to study the charts, there’s no way to make any intelligent picks and nothing for me to write about. What’s a boy to do? I’ll tell you what a boy’s to do:
With my wife out of town and no adult supervision, we go out, we eat a lot and we drink a lot, and we come home too snookered to post on www.MeetTheMatts.com.
Well that’s not good enough, and I feel horrible about it. I think to myself what about West Coast Craig on a Monday? Everyone hates Mondays and to add to his burden he has to post every Monday – and does he complain? I don’t know, maybe? And what of Rex O’Rourke, posting religiously, every Sunday?! And what about Cookie? You don’t think she wants to get her drunk on every other Thursday and blow off posting, sure she does, but she doesn’t! Really I should be ashamed, but can I use these three keyboards to come up with something even slightly coherent? And how will I bring the sport of kings into the mix without the proper prep? It’s at this point when I have an epiphany and say to myself WWCD?

What would Clancy do?”

What would jgclancy, this site’s eatingest/drinkingest contributor, do in my situation? Well, I know what he’d do! He’d sit down at the now spinning computer and bang something out on the keyboard in the middle and he’d write about what he ate and what he drank and somehow make it relevant and he’d post by golly he’d post!

  • Thursday 5:45PM, Wildwood BBQ on Park Avenue South – Gone to the bar at this restaurant that smells deliciously of smoke and barbeque sauce with my colleague…we’ll call him B. Davidson, no wait, that’s not anonymous enough, we’ll call him Bob D.. Had two pints of Six Points Ale’s Rockin’ Rye. Delicious!
  • A wise man once told me, the next best thing to winning at the track, is losing at the track.

  • 6:15PM, Matsugen at 241 Church Street – Early to meet my friend Jon for dinner, I sit down at the almost empty bar and order a Manhattan on the rocks. Inexplicably the bar tender tells me that he’s got no bourbon so it’ll have to be rye. That’s fine I say because the original recipe calls for rye, but do I smell a theme?
  • Hall of Fame Jockey Gary Stevens played George Woolf in the movie Seabiscut.

  • 7:ish still at the bar but on my second Manhattan.
  • Many people go to the track and treat it like any other sporting event or a rock concert, or some other sort of amusement. That is to say they get drunk. It is my belief that drinking to excess at the track is the enemy of cashing tickets at the track.

  • 7:30PM – I’ve eaten plenty of wasabi peanuts, but now comes the meal. We start off with something congealed with salmon roe on top of it, and because the drink menu is a bit foofy, the beer list is made up of non-interesting almost stereotypical Japanese beers (Kirins and Asahis, but no Ebisu) and because the bartender hadn’t really impressed me with his Manhattan makings skills I have a ginger margarita, which if you can believe it sounds like one of the less foofy drinks, and in the end is really tasty. Somewhere between the sashimi course, the soft shell crab tempura and the soba noodles I have ginger margaritas number 2 and 3.
  • Bart Simpson: “Krusty, do you think about your father a lot?”
    Krusty the Klown: “All the time. Except when I’m at the track. Then it’s all business!”

  • Around 9PM – Walking around the financial district looking for Dutch Street and my buddy Mike’s party, we stop into a high-end gourmet super market to grab some beers. Jon grabs a six of Coronas and I make fun of him while I grab a six of Magic Hat #9.
  • The scene in The Godfather, where Jack Woltz wakes up in his Beverly Hills bed to find his prize stallion Khartoum’s head cut off in the bed with him is one of the most perfect scenes in movie making history. There’s maybe six edits through the whole scene and the only dialogue is “Ahhhhhhhhhhh, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

  • ?PM – A basement in a financial district commercial building on Dutch Street. The room is set up with a music studio, a poker table, a bar, a fridge and just about nothing else. Mike calls it his rumpus room and it reminds me of the grown up version of someone’s high school garage where all the cool kids hang out and listen to their friends trying to form a rock band and drinnk and smoke and do whatever the cool kids do. The question, like always, how did I get here? In between listening to some lawyer’s power trio doing Folsom Prison Blues and some funky AWB covers I suck back three Magic Hats.
  • My system, when I’m picking the ponies, relies very heavily on the Daily Racing Form’s Beyer Speed Figures. It does pretty well for me until I start getting greedy and decide I want to bet some exotics because they pay more than a straight win bet.

  • After midnight – No more beers but with the wife out of town and me feeling the very HIGH schoolish vibe, I partake in the…um…how do I say…other refreshments? Well I don’t know how I said it a few hours ago because I was slurring my speech, but in the song Momma Told Me Not to Come (Three Dog Night version or Wilson Picket version, your choice) they say “That cigarette your smoking nearly scared me half to death.”
  • In the 10th race tomorrow at Belmont, formerly known as the Manhattan Handicap, but now known as the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap, since the race is now sponsored by a delicious small batch bourbon, I’d like to bet a horse in honor of my man JGClancy, but I can’t find one that seems to have a connection. If only White Russian, or Homemade Hooch were running!

  • 1:30AM – Home on the couch. Ending the night with a snifter of A. H. Hirsch 16 year old bourbon, hoping to get the rye taste out of my mouth and that it will get my creative juices flowing so I can post and go to bed, I fall asleep with my clothes on and lord knows what on the TV.
  • For the big race tomorrow, I’ll probably box a mess of exactas with Mine that Bird, Charitable Man and Dunkirk, who I liked in the derby but who didn’t like the track on the first Saturday in May.

    Enjoy your day everyone and remember…

    Bet with your head, not over it.”

    Management wants to remind me to remind you that tomorrow is the final day for the Interleague Ticket Trivia Contest.

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