Indiana Grand

I arrived at the Pilot just outside Indy so I could fuel up and shower before I picked up a step deck trailer tomorrow heading NE to Mass.

The parking lot was full, so I chose a muddy lot across from the Pilot. There were other trucks there so I thought I would be ok. it started to rain a bit and I headed in for my shower and shave.

When I returned to my truck and started to pull out heading to Indy, my steer tires landed in a muddy puddle and wouldn’t budge an inch. The truck didn’t even rock, just spun and dug myself deeper into a big hole that looked deceptively shallow.

Well maybe heading to the casino wasn’t meant to be. Didn’t have to pick up the trailer for another 12 hours.

So I decided to check out Indiana Grand down the road. I wasn’t expecting much. Didn’t know if there would even be horse racing with COVID raging. But apparently, Indiana allows events and fairs and sure enough there was horse racing today. What is Indy without a race anyway.

This was my first time watching horse racing up close, and I found it quite intriguing. Most of the races were half track, so just half a mile on a muddy track. Even though I knew nothing about the sport, I didn’t feel like a foreigner trying to keep up.

I found out that most people don’t find horse racing too exciting. They’re beautiful and they run incredibly fast, but as a sport, it’s not all that interesting to watch.

It’s just as interesting to read about the horses, trainers and jockeys – so might as well make an educated bet.

While waiting for my order at the bar, I met another patron looking intently over his sports book. There was a table with names of horses and shirt colors.

“So you come here often?”

“With the Coronavirus and everything shut down, yes. It’s just something to do to get out of the house. Horse racing was the first sport to come back, way before baseball and basketball.”

So it appeared to me that many people don’t come to watch the sport as much as they do to bet on it.

“How do you know which horse to pick?”

“I do a lot of reading and research. But at the end of the day, it’s just sheer luck. You win some, you lose some.”

As the first race was finished, I saw some a small group of family members giving themselves high fives. While they rest seemed upset and dejected. Another bettor spoke out “We came in dead last.:

“I know that some people say that horse racing is cruel. That they are been exploited in the name of gambling,” one of the bettors mentioned.

“Yeah it seems to be a dying industry and lots of horses die each year due to injuries,” I added. “It’s a sad form of social entertainment.”

It appeared that people wager small bets as a form of social entertainment, so they’re not expecting to pick a winner.

I ordered a chili cheese nachos (Cincy kind) paired with a 20 ounce Terrapin IPA and sat down and relaxed, enjoying the semi-tense leisurely racing atmosphere. There were a couple hundred people outside and it helped that the weather was very nice.

@chitopeppler

Horse Racing @

♬ original sound – chitopeppler

After watching the horse racing, it was easy to forget that there was a gigantic casino next door. It was larger than I expected and nicer than Miami Valley I visited the other day. I was surprised how close people got to each other at the table games. Players crowded around a poker table, like it was yesterday. There definitely wasn’t six feet separation, and the only thing different was their masks.

Cocktail waitresses ambled around keeping gamblers content with their drinks. Smoking was allowed at the slot machines, and many gamblers were puffing away with their masks lowered down to their chin.

This must be an inopportune time to play the slots. The casinos have to make up for all the lost revenue, so the odds must not be any good.

It was a big night for sports, so I went to bet on the Atlanta Braves and plopped down on a recliner and enjoyed the games on the mega screen TVs. They were playing NBA, MLB and WNBA games.

When I returned, I was hoping the ground had dried up a bit for me to pull out. I backed up a bit and then locked my differentials and inter axle lock. (Differential locks the drive axle so both tires don’t spin independently) (Inter axle locks the front and rear axle together)

Sure enough a trucker came by and offered to pull me out. He had a flatbed so he had plenty of chain. Then someone came up with an F-150. Didn’t think he would have the torque to pull out a 20K pound tractor. But if an F-150 can pull a million pound train, then what the hell.

I borrowed a chain from the trucker and hooked the chain to the front of the bumper. Then I cut the steering wheel to the left towards the pickup, put it in gear and he rocked me out of the hole.

I was surprised and relieved. I quickly paid my two life savers $50 and was happy to be on the way to pickup my load on time.

What a deal – a fellow trucker got me out of the hole and I was able to stay away from one at the casino.

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