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Monday, 25 April 2011

U R All That I Am Lost in the Fog Rolling Away the Stone and Other Rainy Day Tales


Golden Gate Fields, Albany, California: infield as seen from Turf Club on a rainy race day: photo by NapoliRoma, 1 May 2009

A wet grass track down the street by the dirty grey Bay on the Saturday before Easter did not discourage U R All That I Am from coming back to overtake the 7-to-10 favorite Antares World in the $50,300 Work the Crowd Stakes for California-bred fillies and mares at Golden Gate Fields, and I thought, maybe there are more ways to roll away the stone than you have been so glumly supposing, Horatio...

We proceeded to the racetrack. He made incredible twenty-dollar bets to win, and before the seventh race he was broke. With our last two food dollars he placed still another bet and lost. We had to hitchhike back to San Francisco. I was on the road again. A gentleman gave us a ride in his snazzy car. I sat up front with him. Remi was trying to put a story down that he'd lost his wallet in back of the grandstand at the track. "The truth is," I said, "we lost all our money on the races, and to forestall any more hitching from racetracks, from now on we go to a bookie, hey, Remi?" Remi blushed all over. The man finally admitted he was an official of the Golden Gate track. He let us off at the elegant Palace Hotel; we watched him disappear among the chandeliers, his pockets full of money, his head held high.

"Wagh! Whoo!" howled Remi in the evening streets of Frisco. "Paradise rides with the man who runs the racetrack and swears he's switching to bookies. Lee Ann, Lee Ann!" He punched and mauled her. "Positively the funniest man in the world! There must be a lot of Italians in Sausalito. Aaah-how!" He wrapped himself around the the pole to laugh.

That night it started raining...

Carthage, with Dennis Carr up, outruns Lost in the Fog, Golden Gate Fields, Albany, California: photo by Ibison4, 22 April 2006

Main text in grey: Jack Kerouac: from On the Road, 1951

1 comment:

TC said...

I hated to see Kevin Krigger have to put the whip to her this way, coming out of the pack on the last half of this mile on the wet grass, Kevin's of course just after that nice payday, but the real desire? That's all got to have belonged to the big mare.

U R All That I Am wanted this one.