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A Random Night At The Track

There are random acts of kindness, random phenomena in the firmament and random occurrences at the racetrack.

Set aside all of the explanations offered by handicappers, trainers, riders or physicists with a particular take on why certain things happen in the barn, on the racetrack or in the skies above us.

Some things happen simply because they do. Others don’t happen at all simply because they don’t.

It was supposed to rain during the race card on Friday but it didn’t.

A weatherman can explain why but that does nothing for the individual who stayed home because of the forecast. What kind of explanation does he hand the friend who gave him $50 to put on Diva De Kela, the winner of the sixth race under Lori Keith that paid $22.60 on a $2 wager. He won’t be able to explain it.  Case closed.

There were other results, of course, that went according to the script.  Franciso Arrieta won the first race, for instance, because he was not only on a solid mount, Prince O’Prado, but has been riding at a very high level for the past year. He is also leading the rider standings at present with seven winners.

Jareth Loveberry came home first aboard Caddo Daddo for the second win aboard that mount since winning on him at Oaklawn Park April 11. There was no way for him to guess that his mount in the very next race, Big Valiant, would act as if he were a saddle bronc just steps out of the gate, bucking and rolling with Loveberry giving his all to stay aboard.

Told that he was given a score of 79 for his effort, Loveberry responded, “79, I’ll take it.” See you in Vegas the first week of December, Buckaroo.

The next two races went to trainer Mike Biehler and the Erban clan. Shabam, with Eddie Martin Jr., claiming his fourth win of the meet, won for Dorothy Erban, to start off the double.

Diva De Kela was next. “A lot of people don’t give Mike the credit he deserves,” Steve Erban said. “He’s a good trainer and he’s showing it right now. All he ever needed was some good horses. He shows what he can do when he gets them.”

Perhaps the most anticipated race of the evening was the last, because it featured Hall of Fame rider Derek Bell on his first mount in perhaps three years.

He was aboard the favorite, Aiken To Be, trained by Mac Robertson but finished third, behind College Queen and Lucky Lorreta.


The woman tending the gift store got repeated predictions Friday night that she could make a killing on Saturday by stocking up on umbrellas and rain ponchos overnight.  Of  course, when a person plans to take advantage of the worst, the forces of nature sometimes present something altogether different.

Still, as the wind turned chilly Friday night and carried the scent of moisture with it, the umbrella suggestion seemed to gain some weight…besides, leftovers of this particular kind will not spoil. They are not jellied donuts.