After bringing down the house last year, my daughter Colleen and I recruited David “Mario Andretti” Quigley and John “I shoot ’em” Waskiewicz to join us in our return to Leopardstown on “Paddy Power Chase Day”.
What would take me about two hours, “Mario” took one hour and ten minutes to get to the track … and let me remind you, some of the back roads of Ireland are no bigger than American driveways.
Last year we parked in an area designated for the “common folk” and had to walk some distance to gain entrance to the track. This time around, I thought that a facsimile from the Secretary/Treasurer of Churchill Downs requesting VIP parking, admittance and access to the “Members Only” club was very much in order for the Carney entourage.
As we approached the parking area, security guards stopped “Mario” and directed him to the “common folk” area as I rolled down my window, sticking my cowboy hat cover head out and handing them the “fax”. Right this way Mr. Carney, as we heard someone yell…”hey… how come they can pass on through?” Sweet!
I should have been satisfied with just the VIP parking but … on to the main gate and handed the next person the “fax”, they directed me to someone else and then to the track administrator. “How many in your party Mr. Carney?” she asked and added that she unfortunately could not allow us access to the “Members Only Club”. While wishing us good luck, she signed off on my “fax” and told us to go on through the VIP gate.
Tickets for “Chase Day” were 25 euro each and up.
“Members Only Club” my horse’s ass…I was sure Mr. Kearney “gate keeper” would remember me from last year. He sure did and let us all in.
As we settled in for our first “Bloody Mary” and studied the race card it was time for the 1.25 “Paddy Power Steeplechase”. My choice Big Zeb … why … the name of course. The winner “Big Zeb”.
It was turning out to be a fine day at the races.
The 3.05 “Extended Handicap Steeplechase” had 28 horses in it and Colleen “I can pick ’em” Carney was in the money.
The 3.40 and last race of the day and was for horses that have not won a “race”. Each of us went off to different betting windows and secretly placed our bets. We are, or should I say, Colleen and I are now professional handicappers and when she came back from betting and told us she went with an “exacta combo” and an “each way” on “Ballycasey” and “Our Vinnie” … it was fucking brilliant!
Big pay off for her … the rest of us not so good.
“Mario” put the boot down and got us to “Osborne’s Pub” in record time and in “record” time all winnings were in the hands of barmaid “Essie”.
Very active participants in the activities of this day were Colleen Carney (HubSpot); John Waskiewicz (State Street) and David Quigley (MBA & Masters in Engineering) and yours truly; of Charlestown, Somerville, Massachusetts, Portmarnock/Abbeydown, Ireland and Milton/Abbeydown respectively. Mr. Lorcan Mac An Tsionnaign (Educator, musician, and a professional wild Irish man teaching and playing music in Germany, soon touring in the US) later joined us at Osbornes.