YOU ASKED FOR IT: THE MANNY GOES TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY

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by West Coast Craig

TITLE CARD: THURSDAY, APRIL 22rd, 2010. CINCINATTI, OHIO.

INT. GREAT AMERICAN BALLPARK. NIGHT.
Manny pulls up lame running through first base, his calf sprained badly (yes, this is where and when he got hurt). He’s sent to the locker room early. Andrea Torre comes down to see how he’s doing…and notices the pendant he’s wearing.

ANDREA
Manny, is that that stupid tiki idol? No wonder you got hurt. I thought you got rid of that?

MANNY
Dios Mio! I keep trying and it keeps coming back! I don’t know how it does it!

ANDREA
Here, give it to me…I’ll take care of it.

CUT TO:

EXT. GREAT AMERICAN BALLPARK.
On the banks of the mighty Ohio River, just outside the ballpark, Andrea tosses the idol in. Follow it down as it hits the surface and goes under. Up above, Andrea dusts off her hands.

ANDREA
…and that’s that.

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DOWN BELOW, the tiki idol slowly sinks to the bottom…where it is eaten by a giant CATFISH.

TWO DAYS LATER…

Down river a ways, the Catfish is caught on a FISHERMAN’s line. He’s thrilled with his catch. Behind him we see the city, which the TITLE CARD tells us is…

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY.

The Fisherman feels something strange inside the fish. He takes out a knife and filets it, and out pops the tiki idol. He’s a little stunned…just before he’s swarmed by a gang of FERAL CATS. They tear the hell out of him as they go for the fish. The idol goes flying…

…and lands in the back of a HAY TRUCK, which we then follow all the way to…

CHURCHILL DOWNS. The classic spires need no introduction, but the title card reads: SATURDAY, APRIL 24th.

The hay is shoveled into the stall of ESKENDEREYA. Trainer TODD PLETCHER sees the tiki idol and, amused, pockets it. Later that day, Eskendereya pulls up lame with a swollen leg (yes, this is where and when that happened). Pletcher is up all night with the trainers trying to fix him, but to no avail. Derby favorite Eskendereya is pulled from the race. Todd Pletcher angrily throws the tiki idol away.

CUT TO:

INT. TORRE HOUSE. DAY.

Manny is comfortably sitting in a La-Z-Boy, flipping channels, snacking, his leg wrapped, when the phone rings.

MANNY
Yeeee-ellooo.

JOE TORRE (on the other end)
Manny, listen, I’ve got great news! Eskendereya has been scratched, that means Homeboykris is in! Unfortunately, I’ve got to manage that day so I can’t go…but I’d like Andrea to go experience it, so I need you to go with her, okay?

MANNY
Sure thing, Mr. Joe!

CUT TO:
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CHURCHILL DOWNS. SATURDAY, MAY 1st. MORNING.

It’s the day of the big race, and the place is filling up with giant hats, mint juleps, and My Old Kentucky Home.

INT. STABLES.

Manny and Andrea are admiring the beautiful HOMEBOYKRIS along with Trainer RICK DUTROW JR. and Jockey RAMON DOMINGUEZ.

RICK DUTROW JR.
Hey Andrea, you want to go meet Lafit Pincay Jr.?

ANDREA
Would I!

Off they go. Manny is looking around the stable when his eyes go wide! Sitting up on one of the shelves is the tiki idol!

MANNY
Dios mio! Where did that come from!?

RAMON DOMINGUEZ
Oh, I found that just lying on the ground yesterday, so I picked it up. You never know, it might be a good luck charm…we’re gonna need all the luck we can get today.

MANNY
I don’t think you want that kind of luck, Ramon!

RAMON DOMINGUEZ
What do you mean? Look how cute it is!

He holds it up before Manny can explain, and slips in a big pile of horse manure, crashing backwards against the wall, knocking loose one end of a shelf, and a whole stack of spare horseshoes drop on his head one at a time. Bonk. Bonk. Bonk. Bonk. Bonk. Bonk. Bonk. Bonk. Ramon sees little flying horses spinning around his head before passing out.

MANNY
Ay yi yi! Mr. Dominguez, are you all right?

VOICE FROM BEHIND
He’s all right, all right…if he were a stake in a horseshoe game.

Manny looks around, confused. It’s the horse, of course.

HOMEBOYKRIS
Yes, that’s right, it’s me. Listen, Natty Dreadlocks, I didn’t make it all the way to Churchill Downs to sit in my stable, I’ve got fillies to impress…I’m gonna run today with or without a jockey. But if you want your boss to be happy, you’re going to have to ride me.

MANNY
Wait a minute, I’ve never been on a horse in my life, and I’m on the DL! I can’t ride in the Kentucky Derby!

HOMEBOYKRIS
Okay then, you can explain to Mr. Torre how you had a chance to salvage his first ever Triple Crown race but chickened out.

MANNY
No way, you can’t guilt me into this…this is all that tiki idol’s fault!

Homeboykris starts making chicken sounds, bwawk bwawk bwawk.

MANNY
All right, all right, I’ll do it…but you’re going to have to explain some of this stuff to me.

HOMEBOYKRIS
No problem. Now you should know that I’m on lasix today.

MANNY
You just had eye surgery, and you can race already?

HOMEBOYKRIS
You idiot, that’s a blood thinner. You should also know that my Beyer numbers are going to be a lot lower than most of the other horses out here.

MANNY
What do you need buyers for, Mr. Joe is already one of your owners.

HOMEBOYKRIS
Not Buyers…oh never mind. Now it’s been raining all morning, which is not a good thing, I’m a lousy mudder.

MANNY
Oh, you mean you haven’t trained on sloppy tracks very often?

HOMEBOYKRIS
Not Mother, mudder, and don’t you dare ask who the father is…wait a minute, you actually got that one right.

Just then the trumpets flare, the horses are supposed to head out to the paddock and then onto the track.

HOMEBOYKRIS
Okay, let’s get going. I have a bag full of Mr. Addison’s apples waiting for me when I get back. Better get those silks on.

Manny starts putting on Ramon’s outfit.

CUT TO:

The 136th running of the Kentucky Derby. If you don’t know what happened, Calvin Borel won it on Super Saver (also a Todd Pletcher horse…good thing he got rid of that tiki idol), and Homeboykris came in a distant 16th.

INT. DODGER STADIUM. JOE TORRE’S OFFICE.

Joe watches the race on his TV, and can’t help but be a little disappointed…until he sees the muddy jockeys go by the finish line and recognizes the biggest one, with the dreadlocks flying out from behind his helmet, riding his horse.

JOE TORRE
MAAAAAAAANNNNNNNYYYYYYY!

The End.

Grote’s Gripes, tomorrow.

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About the Author ()

West Coast Craig reports from Hollywood with an endearingly laid back style. A happily married father of two little boys, WCC has an avocado tree in his yard, plays the hot corner in a "Valley" hardball league and always manages to take cool sports-related mini road-trips, often with his immediate clan. He hails from Oneonta, NY but has been "So very L.A." for twenty years, so his sports teams are the Yankees AND the Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the L.A. Lakers and the Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques. WCC loves bacon-wrapped hotdogs and can touch his heel and his ear... with his hand.

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