If I were a betting woman, I would have won a small bundle this week when Ken and I attended our first French harness race at the Hippodrome de Bouilhaguet in Miramont-de-Guyenne.
Nearly 30 years ago, when we were first dating, we went to the races at Golden Gate Fields in Albany, Calif., and I bet a crisp one-dollar bill on an Argentine beauty named Captain Fuego. He came in first at 30-to-1 odds. That sweet victory was my first and only bet on the ponies.
It took us about 10 minutes to find the racing form after we arrived at the Hippodrome. The betting windows seemed daunting and the race was about to begin, so Ken and I each picked a horse and driver just for fun.
My pick, Voila du Dropt, had an unimpressive three disqualifications and two third places in her last five races. But she came in first, and I enjoyed gloating rights for a half hour.
Two races later, Ken also picked the winner, Val de Villetot, whom he liked because the driver was the race's only woman.
As we contemplated the racing form, and rain clouds, we munched on frites and watched les enfants play in the bounce house, which included a bouncy horse.
La pluie was coming down, so we decided to stay for only one more race. I played it a bit safer, picking Tobiaz Girl because I liked her name and the green silks on her driver. She was predicted to place, and instead won handily.
On the walk back to the car, passing ponies waiting their turn to trot, Ken and I listed the treasures our imaginary winnings could have procured. Eh bien, la prochaine fois, peut-être ... next time, perhaps.