No, that’s not a description of how I’m feeling these days (though this upcoming long weekend is a welcome prospect). No, Lucky To Cope is a six-year-old Florida-bred gelding whose “acquaintance” I made on March 3rd, 2007, courtesy of simulcasting at the Meadowlands.
My sister-in-law was throwing a surprise party for my brother there that night, so several of his friends and I took advantage of the opportunity to head out early for the racing from Gulfstream, Aqueduct, Tampa, et al.
It was a great time—one of those days where we were picking up winners left and right, throwing out crazy tips to each other that were improbably working out.
Scott to Teresa: “Hey, T, bet the five in the next race at Turfway.”
Teresa: “Who is he?”
Scott: “Don’t ask; just bet him.”
I do; he wins.
In some mid-card turf race from Gulfstream, my eye keeps going back to this 35 – 1 shot; I can’t figure out why I like him, but I do, and I stop trying to talk myself off him when Pete, a far better handicapper than I, says, “I kinda like the two here.” Shocked, I say, “Me, too,” and off we go to the machine to bet…and back we go to collect when Lucky To Cope gets to the wire (it was a close finish as I recall), handing us a $72 winner.
I put Lucky To Cope in my DRF watch list, and paid attention as he raced through last year, at Calder, mostly, I think; his odds dropped after that win, and then drifted back up; in those first few months, I’d bet a few dollars on him, to no avail, of course, and then I’d barely take note when the workout, entry, and notification results came in. He moved around a little, from Calder to Tampa, and more recently, northward, to Delaware, even as his conditions dropped, from AOC to $16,000 claimers, to $5,000 for his last three races, non-winners of a race this year. Gulp. Since December 22nd, the shortest odds at which he’d gone off were 15.40 – 1.
I long ago stopped thinking that Lucky To Cope had another big score in him, but I was always glad to see that he was still active, because I figure that the eventual alternative won’t be pretty.
Doing a perfunctory e-mail review last night, the result of Lucky To Cope’s race in yesterday’s seventh at Delaware comes in, proving me completely wrong, as Lucky To Cope definitely had at least one more big score in him…he won by a diminishing ¾ of a length, paying an even $60.00 and topping a $620.20 exacta. Nope, didn’t have a dime on him, but I hope that somewhere, at Delaware, or an OTB, or a simulcasting facility somewhere, the six-year-old made someone as happy yesterday as he did me a year and a half ago.