1.6: The Claiming Race
From the title of this episode, we can deduce that the claiming race is still on. Everyone is forlorn about this, leaving Jean as the only one willing to stay the course, as it were.
Meanwhile, Bobby finds Dani and Amber at the hamburger place, where he manages to wheedle back into her life fairly easily by being super confident. Dani remarks that this is twisted, but is too turned on to care. Soon we are whisked away back to Raintree, where we are treated to a spruced up version of Matt. The boy has cut his hair, and I find this a tremendous improvement. Whatever he was doing before just didn't work for me. So he's off messing around with hay bales and complaining that his mom keeps making him do errands (his hair cut does not improve his stupidity). Kris is having to deal with seeing Wildfire's jockey take over her position as exercise rider in the days before the race, and she's being a mope about it as usual. Cue Cindy antics, just to a lesser degree. Wildfire doesn't get along with the jockey at first and we've heard it all before. It takes TIME, people. All horses are ONE PERSON horses in fantasy tv/book land. Or so it seems. Then Matt rushes his new hair cut over to Kris's to inform her that Wildfire has been claimed despite it not being race day. No one knows the farm that put in the claim, so they're all particularly befuddled.
Enter Junior to save the day. Actually, scratch that. Kris demands that Junior put a claim on Wildfire also, to ensure that the horse has a chance to go to a good home (because all other homes are possibly abusive, as all other homes are in tv/book land, as we well know by now). Junior takes this opportunity to convince Kris to whore herself out for her horse, which she does with remarkably little problem. I mean, sure, she sighs and huffs and acts like this is a big deal, but she jumps on the opportunity. Junior's all "friends with benefits!" and Kris sighs and makes the date. Meanwhile, Amber has made the astonishing discovery that Bobby is married and storms off in a huff...to Matt's room? She invites him to some club, where Junior and Kris inevitably show up. Everyone dances awkwardly. There is no excuse for what everyone at this club is doing, but it seems to be some strange shuffle motion with minimal hand movements. It was just sad, is what it was. Matt and Junior were by far the worst. Actually, Matt was the epitome of worst.
Insert some Jean/Charlie off screen sex. Also, Dani throws a vodka tonic or something at Bobby and Matt threatens to throw his fists around again. BIG sigh.
Then Junior and Kris go back to his house and sit on his bed and start to make out. Kris makes it known she is not into this, and Junior doesn't seem to outwardly care. Then we skip to morning while I would be thinking "date rape!" only I've seen that scene before so I know he has some touching "I pretended to fall asleep because you're not that into me right now, but oh, you will be" thing to say. Back at Charlie's pathetic bachelor pad, Jean gets all offended that Charlie paid for her feed bill. The audacity! How dare he be wealthy and try to help her! She predictably storms home.
Somewhere in here we have a scene between Dani and Matt that I actually liked. She was cute and totally deserves more than Matt. Matt, being stupid, decides instead to get all frustrated with Junior because he, like, took Kris out. Oh my God! Junior's all, "dude, deal with it." And they have that "oh, I see how it is" moment and decide that it's back to the wooing Kris competition.
So we lead up to the claiming race, were Wildfire wins by five lengths. They do the draw at the end of the race and discover that Pablo is the farm that put the claim on Wildfire. Everyone is suitably shocked, and so am I considering Pablo pulled a shitty move with Jean earlier when he said he was going to leave Raintree if Wildfire left. Like...dude, you put the claim on him. Shut up and stop being so self-righteous. So they take Wildfire back to Raintree and Jean sorts out a 50/50 arrangement with Pablo. The end.
- Pablo insists that if Wildfire wins his claiming race he'll be in a "whole different class." I have to wonder what sort of "class" this could be.
- You don't discover if a horse you're running has been claimed until after the race is run. More to the point, no one can enter a claim on a horse until race day. This seems obvious, but the people at Wildfire didn't seem to catch the reasons for these rules.
- Why is Matt reading Pride & Prejudice alone in his room?
- Jean has Matt instruct Charlie in his first horseback riding lesson, and Matt is predictably a huge douche about it. This leads to Charlie falling off the horse, and I pretty much lost all respect for Matt here because that just wasn't cool.
- Jean always appears to be randomly preparing food at odd hours of the day. I can't decide if this is sexist or if the show really doesn't know what to do with her.
- Wildfire's stride is the longest Pablo's seen since War Admiral. This would hold some water if Pablo was, like, eighty.
- Big Thoroughbred moment akin to On The Track. Pablo leads Wildfire to the gate before the race.
- In this episode, Raintree's silks change from solid red to white and purple and back to solid red. I imagine this will be changing constantly in every race scene. Also, apparently this was a mile and a quarter race and the time was 1:55. Jean's thrilled because this is a "track" record, but in actuality this would be a new world record. The real record is Spectacular Bid in 1:57 4/5 (on dirt).