Saturday, May 05, 2007

Her Majesty's a Pretty Nice Girl, and I'm Sure She's Got a Horse for Me

Two appealing images come to mind while contemplating Queen Elizabeth II's attendance at today's Kentucky Derby.

How special would it be to see Great Britain's sovereign working on the beginnings of a cosmic sugar/bourbon hangover laying face down on a blanket in the infield while a dozen of her Big Ten sorority sisters play frisbee across her prone form? That's a Derby ritual as invariable and inevitable as the playing of "My Old Kentucky Home."

Or, perhaps even better, we would see the Queen in her full go-to-racing finery standing at the $20 window placing bets of Hank Goldbergian complexity. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of standing behind the ESPN commentator at a window, his wagers are too abstruse for Alan Greenspan to follow, and take at least 20 minutes to transact.

The latter fantasy is far more to become reality. Elizabeth II loves horses, loves racing, and has been to race meets in her life than Edgar Prado. So she MUST bet. The question is, how?

Royalty doesn't carry money. Elizabeth may not be aware her face is on her country's money. Therefore, in the grand tradition of the British court, there must be some minor noble who assists her in the task of selecting and betting upon the Royal Superfecta.

This court post was probably established by that all-around sportsman Charles II back in the 17th century. So if you're at Churchill Downs this afternoon, and you wander across a distinguished looking gentleman in a checked suit out of the Victorian era and a bowler hat to match, don't make fun of him. That, we'll have you know, is Sir Willington Barrington-Forsythe-Smythe, Keeper of the Ticket, Master of the Daily Double, Tout by appointment to Her Majesty Elizabeth II.


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