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Wednesday, January 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Horse Races Offer Winning Moments

Placing a bet isn’t the only way to win at the race track.

That’s because Playfair offers some sure-thing eavesdropping and people watching. Here are a dozen favorite moments from the horse track’s season-opening weekend.

1. “Yay,” said a woman stepping out of a brown Ford truck with Idaho plates before Saturday’s races. “The track is back.”

2. A woman and a little boy who looked like he was about 7 had their heads together as they studied the program before the first race. “Who do you like?” she asked him.

3. A preschool girl positioned her stuffed tiger by the track-side rail so that the toy bengal would have a good view of the horses going by.

4. Three young men sitting on a bench stopped their animated betting-strategy conversation dead in its tracks as a shapely woman in a form-fitting T-shirt and snug blue jeans walked directly in front of them. Then, after a quick round of eye contact, they picked right up where they had left off.

5. An elderly man at a concession stand ordered a cup that was “three-quarters” full of diet Pepsi and “one-third” full of water.

(The young guy helping him couldn’t have been nicer.)

6. One race-goer in a Seahawks T-shirt Sunday juggled a container of nachos, his program, a cigarette, a fistful of money, a copy of the Racing Form, a pen and a beer.

7. “Good luck,” said a track employee behind the betting counter after she took a man’s wager and handed him his slip.

“There is every indication that I’ll need it,” he said, cracking a smile.

8. As two young boys emerged from Playfair’s Video Arcade, the older one instructed the smaller lad to keep quiet about having been lost for a while.

9. “What’s your system?” one thirtysomething guy asked another in the grandstand Sunday.

“I go for names I like.”

“Does that work?”

“Just often enough to keep me interested.”

10. “What’d you bet?” a guy in a Hawaiian shirt asked a guy who was lighting a cigar.

“I put three dollars on a chili dog.”

11. A race had just finished and a couple wearing sunglasses still stood by the raid.

“Well, it was a pretty horse,” said the woman.

“Yes,” said the man. “Pretty and slow.”

12. When the recording of the National Anthem cut off a few bars before its usual conclusion Sunday afternoon, a gray-haired man who had been holding a ball cap over his heart hummed the rest of the song before putting the cap back on.

, DataTimes MEMO: Being There is a weekly feature that visits Inland Northwest gatherings.

Being There is a weekly feature that visits Inland Northwest gatherings.

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