Last Saturday, the strangest thing happened at Emerald Downs. That’s the horse racing track down in Auburns that I called “Longacres” the first 10 years of it’s existence.
What’s even weirder is that we heard about the incident on the news on the way down to a 50th birthday party. Then, while at the party, this guy walked in that looked very familiar and it turned out to be the guy who plays the bugle at the track, a family connection to the party named Dan.
Dan was at the track, playing the parade to the post when the incident happened. For whatever reason, right before the third race, horse #2 decided to freak out. I mean really freak out….as in running back through the narrow path the horses are led prior to the race. At one point, it knocked over a 69-year-old owner that got in the way. As it continued its run of madness, it headed straight for the picture window of a restaurant and would have surely crashed into it, if not for the quick thinking of someone who took off their coat and started waving it furiously. The horse then made a sharp left turn at incredible speed and ran right into a tree, breaking its back. Sadly, the creature had to be put down.
As to what caused it, we may never know. But then, a couple of races later, one of the horses about to race suddenly bucked its rider and fell backwards. It had to be scratched from the race.
This weird behavior had everyone at the track buzzing, like the animals were trying to tell us something. Perhaps a big earthquake? We haven’t seen that yet, it wasn’t a full moon and so far, it was just one freakish day at the track. Hopefully, one of those in a lifetime is enough.