May 6, 2008

The Bar Belle

Mourning BellesI had no favorite in mind Saturday when I went to the track. Sure, I had heard about Big Brown and Colonel John — but who wants an easy bet? I wanted the longshot, the underdog, the one that could turn my $5 into $500, if that’s even possible.After patrolling for celebrities and open bars, I settled in at the Jockey Club Suites with my program and mint julep. I scanned the names of the Derby contenders, and there it was — horse No. 5, the astutely named Eight Belles. Was it a sign from the big watering hole in the sky? I thought so, so I plunked my $5 on No. 5 to win. The gossipy yet mostly happy (read: drunk) bluebloods, who conveniently blocked the wind with their hideous, color-saturated hats, laughed at my No. 5 bet (or perhaps it was the $5). But as my horse pulled away from the group near the last turn, they looked at me like I was Miley Cyrus on a photo shoot — too young to know any better but rich enough to own Switzerland.Of course, you know how it turned out. Belles finished second, then took a tumble and broke her two front ankles; Belle finished her third julep, then took a stumble and broke her pride. Only one had to be put down.Drink of the WeekA friend recently turned me on to the virtues of cherry vodka and Diet Coke. It’s low in calories and tastes fabulous — like drinking a Dr. Pepper upside down while circus clowns ransack your apartment looking for a copy of “Romancing the Stone.” Most bars around here carry several brands of cherry-flavored vodka — UV Red and Effen seem to be the most common. Try it. If you don’t like it, hand it over. You owe many anyway.Chicken wings make me hot. Tell me where you like them at  shavens@leoweekly.com or go to leobarbelle.blogspot.com