May 3rd, 2014. Derby Day. Time to pick ‘em using the trusted method that served the Galore women (mother, grandmother, aunt) so well. It’s all in the name.
The day they hit the trifecta, Mom, Grams, and Auntie M. invested their winnings in three identical 14K gold bracelets: a Fort Knox for the wrist. I now have my mom’s; my sister has my grandmother’s, and my cousin has Auntie M’s.
So my annual Derby Day ritual goes like this:
1. Mom’s bracelet, locked and loaded.
2. Enter the zen zone.
3. Scan the names of the horses.
4. Zone in, zone out.
5. Place my bet.
This year, “Candy Boy” coulda’ been a contender, but nah. Way too cute and obvious. Further down the list, there it was. No doubt. Commanding Curve. Says it all.
Went down to St. Marks Place at 5:30-ish to meet Nate (not his real name; just my homage to Damon Runyon’s Nathan Detroit). Put a C-note down on Commanding Curve.
“Pays 50 to 1, Candy,” Nate said. “The longest shot going.”
“Gotta be Commanding Curve,” I said.
Transaction completed, I stopped in at a Korean Deli to pick up a Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts bar, then strolled over to Crif Dogs for its New Yorker hot dog (this gal’s a purist); walked into the secret phone booth on premise and dialed up for entry to pdt (“pleas don’t tell”), best speakeasy in the city, where I ordered my usual Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (goes great with Ritter’s Dark Whole Hazelnuts bar).
Whipped out my iPad just before post time; and then they were off. I phoned M. once the place and show horses were announced.
“Holy Crap! Well…it’s Candy’s place!” I said, breathlessly.
” Your place tonight? Thought you were…”
No, no! Place, M. PLACE! Not the win, but I still made 38 to 1.
“Congrats, Galore! Good going! So I take it you bet on Commanding Curve?”
“Mom would’a been proud.”
“See ya later tonight.”
“Right. And don’t spend it all in one place.”
I walked over to the bar.
“Still have that Seppeltsfield 1912 Para Centenary Tawny Port locked away? I asked.
My bar guy grinned. “Yup.”
“Sold!” I said.
With my bottle of liquid gold in hand, I left pdt and stopped off for a few more Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts bars, which, I gotta admit, boast some of the most impressive commanding curves out there. Absolutely gorgeous.
Cabbed up to Grand Central and caught the next train to Connecticut. M. picked me up at the station.
“Hope you’re in the mood for some trapezoidal approximation under the curve.” I grinned.
“Love it when you talk dirty math to me, Galore.”
Slipped the port out of its bag and flashed the Ritter Sport bars.
“You certainly know how to celebrate a win,” he said.
“Good as gold,” I replied, and jangled my bracelet.