THE NEWEST INSTALLMENT
On Wednesday Callie goes two light training trips with King with a mile in 2:40 and 2:25. Pete looks a bit concerned as she comes off the track.
“Do you think that’s enough?” he worriedly asks. “He’s going to be put to the test in the final elimination on Saturday.”
“Light training got us here Pete,” says Callie a bit perturbed, “we’re not going to start changing things now!”
Pete stops in his tracks and stares open-mouthed at her as she walks King off.
At the trailer on Friday morning Eddie, Sissy, Steven, and Mary are having breakfast as they read Saturday's program.
“We’ve got the ten final eliminations tomorrow being simulcast from the ten tracks part of the special race program,” says Sissy. “King’s got the 3 hole in 3rd race so we're in the first part of the two hour special!”
“It’s the top three finishers from last week’s races. We’d better dress up,” winks Eddie, “we’re gonna be on TV!”
“The Meadows is 1st; Tioga 2nd race; Scioto 3rd; Pocono 4th race; Dover 5th,” adds Steven, “then Woodbine/Mohawk 6th; The Meadowlands 7th; Northfield 8th; Hoosier Park 9th and finally Cal Expo!”
“That’s going to be some feat of co-operation,” says Mary, “broadcasting a live program from ten different tracks!”
“Are we ready!?!” grins Eddie as he holds out his fist. The others follow suit and place their hands on top of his.
“Dancinnnnnnn’ KING!!!” they all laugh as they throw their hands high into the air.
On Saturday at Scioto as the paddock judge reminds everyone to be on time by giving a countdown, King regally steps out on the track, cuts the mile in the 10-horse field, and wins easily in 1:53.
In the grandstand the hometown crowd loudly applauds King's victory then turn to the TVs to watch the races that are going off every ten minutes without a hitch.
“And now, the Meadowlands 7th…” calls out the Scioto announcer.
“Hello World!” beams the Meadowlands announcer. “Live, from New Jersey… the horses are in behind the gate for the final elimination for the $10 million dollar Top Ten!”
The wings fold and the horses all scramble for position behind Raymonds and Gambler N.
At Delaware Amal carries supplies through the crowd in attendance watching the races on TV as the Meadowland announcer happily screams “And it's all Richard Raymonds and the INVINCIBLE Gambler N by 7 in a new lifetime best of 1:48!”
He stops to look at the large screen just as the Sultan struts into the Winners Circle. He spits at the TV in a rage.
“HINZIRV!!! You filthy PIG! You should DIE!”
A man standing next to him looks over “Hey pal,” he says, “you really shouldn't bet.”
Amal growls at him through clenched teeth.
Diverzified wins his elimination at Northfield and by 4:30 all the races are over. As Eddie is walking King to the trailer he stops to watch the paddock TV as everyone else gathers around.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” says the emcee, “the moment of truth...”
A hush falls over every simulcast location at all the tracks and betting outlets.
“We have the ten winners from the ten tracks. NOW for the live drawing for the track which will host the richest race in history-y-y-y.”
The governors of seven states and two Canadian Ministers are standing by a drum. The Kentucky governor good-naturedly motions to the eldest and smiles.
“As they say,” he grins, “age before beauty...”
The Governor of Pennsylvania pulls out an envelope and hands it to the emcee.
“Two weeks from today,” the emcee says as he reads the card inside. “The Top Ten, harness racing’s richest race ever, in conjunction with all the State lotteries, will be held at...
Crowds throughout North America murmur in happy anticipation.
In a pavilion tent at Delaware, a large assemblage of officials, horsemen, and fans let out a loud cheer.
Amal stands in front of the TV set and screams “he HAUNTS me!”
Fat George looks at Amal as he storms away and says to Harry with a laugh “I knew that sonovabitch didn’t want to work.”
At the office at Homeland Security Chace sits upright at his computer as the screen blinks and a completely-new set of numbers for "Your Lucky Day" appear.
“Somethin' just happened,” says Chace to Evans.
To be continued