If you still haven’t made your reservations for the Specimen Cup at Horseman’s Park you might already be too late. The Stateline Convention Authority is reporting that lodging as far west as Hormel is booked solid for the weekend of May 6th through May 8th, and rates have jumped a staggering 500% over last week.
And if you haven’t already made your reservations for Bohunk’s Horseman’s Park Shuttle service you may also be out of luck. The beloved service will make its last run to the track on May 7th in anticipation of the bar’s closure on May 15th. Whether Daisy Faydz – who purchased the bar to open a “self-conscious” grocery – will continue the shuttle is unclear, but sources close to Faydz say she considers the bus “a complete embarrassment.” So I wouldn’t hold your breath.
Even so, park officials aren’t concerned. Ambose Bancroft, who co-owns Horseman’s Park with an undisclosed partner known only as Vinnie, says the park may even start their own shuttle service.
“We’re not gonna wait for some ditz to realize there’s money to be made shuttling
suckers bettors to the track. Businesses are already lining up to sponsor the service.”
And speaking of lineups, the entrants in this year’s Specimen Cup are some of the finest in Horseman’s Park memory.
Abcess, the twice-maimed, thrice-crowned thoroughbred who filled Flubuggers with hope during the Depression, will be back (along with the Depression) and jockey Midge Caitlin at the whip. Caitlin will be looking to clinch a record-breaking fourth Triple Crown win this year and is Nick Carz’ odds-on favorite.
Whiplash, the sprightly male who’s won three of his last four contests by diving into the turf and tripping his opponents, is expected to give Abcess a run for his
veterinarian money. Trainer, Vig Talabi, who heads Citizens Against Pencil Place, recently altered the two-year old’s training to include handstands and somersaults. At 2/5, Carz must like his chances.
Eunice-bred, Sorry Ass, will be coaxed into third position by jockey Graile Bungman riding for Kip “Francios” Mauvier of Mauvier’s Equestrian Village. Bungman, who describes Sorry Ass as “extremely sensitive about his performance,” says recent workouts have been encouraging and that next week they’ll trying running him without his blinders. Carz has him at 6/5.
Hope Faydz will make her maiden entry into the Specimen Cup with Hormel-bred Jump Street, slated to start from fourth position. Faydz, who planned to ride Jump Street until a steeplechasing attempt waylaid her back, has asked nemesis, Wren, to steer the disinterested nag to the finish line. Carz gives all three no more than 6/5 odds.
The Flubug Police will also be entering the race for the first time with Choke Hold, a ten-year old nag decommissioned from pulling SWAT wagons with the introduction of humvees. Choke Hold will be ridden by Officer Chip Benson, described by Sheriff Ramsey as “the only guy on the force who can get that damn nag up!” Carz’ odds are 3/2.
Tran Mihn Yee’s entry, Used Appliances, will be ridden by first-time jockey Knowe How Yee who (at 8 lbs) is practically the same weight as the horse. Yee had been criticized in the past for entering undernourished horses who seemed only to advertise his poorly manufactured products. But Yee may have turned a corner with Used Appliances who is fully three pounds heavier than his last entry, Prices Slashed. Even so, Carz has set Yee’s odds at a dismal 8/2.
It’s all happening at Horseman’s Park May 7th at 1pm. Get there early!