The advisor's worst fears were realized. Cassie Lou, a frail asthmatic, began gasping for breath. Her companions
starting crying in each others' arms.
"You need Security?" asked the binocular man.
"Yes! She's having an asthma attack!" exclaimed the advisor.
When Security arrived, he radioed for the track ambulance.
"We've got a possible coronary down here, you'll have to call the fire department," came the answer.
The advisor's face paled.
"Station 51 is just down the street," said the Security officer, then radioed his own dispatcher with the request.
Upstairs in the Stewards' office, eleven male jockeys were herded into the video room. The Chief Steward was
"Sabrina Stanley-Stoker is dead from a gunshot wound to the chest. I want to know what happened out there, NOW!"
He pointed at the first jockey in the row. "What did you see or hear?"
"A 'pop,' then her doing something like an "augh!" then she was down," he said, visibly shaken.
"I didn't hear anything except pounding hooves and the announcer," said the jockey next to him. "I was too far
back. But I did see her go down."
"Maybe that's why my mount acted startled just before Sabrina went down," said another jockey. "The bullet
must've whizzed by in front of his muzzle."
"Could they have been aiming for a horse, and got her instead?" suggested the assistant steward.
Dr. Brackett and a paramedic rode in the back of the track ambulance, keeping a close eye on Mike's EKG. Cap
rode up front with the driver. The rest of 51's crew rode in Gage's Range Rover behind the ambulance.
The squiggle Dr. Brackett didn't want to see bobbled across the screen.
"PULL OVER! PULL OVER!" both doctor and paramedic yelled.
Dr. Brackett pulled out the defibrillator paddles as the paramedic readied Mike, then squirted the gel onto
"Three, two, one, CLEAR!" counted the paramedic as he watched the defibrillator charge.
Mike twisted grotesquely as Dr. Brackett sent the life-saving charge through the man's heart. The doctor backed
up and they watched the EKG.
"Hit 'im again!" Dr. Brackett ordered. The paramedic recharged the defibrillator. "MIKE!" Dr. Brackett yelled.
"MIKE, C'MON MAN!"
"Three, two, one, CLEAR!"
Dr. Brackett shocked Mike again. Once more, the tracer dipped to the bottom of the scope screen, then resumed
"MIKE!" Cap bellowed. He had been watching everything from the passenger seat, face awash with tears, lower lip
trembling. His crew silently stood in the open back door of the ambulance. Marco leaned on the open door and put
his head on the forearm upon which he rested.
"One more time!" Dr. Brackett commanded. "MIKE! STAY WITH US!!!" he yelled.
"Three, two, one, CLEAR!"
Another shock. The tracer dipped again, then started jumping. There was a collective sigh of relief.
"It's not sinus rhythm, but it'll do for now. Get us to Rampart!"
Their ambulance had to wait for another couple of sirens which were bearing down on them. A "Mayfair" ambulance
whizzed by, followed by . . .Squad 51???
The track paramedic pulled out into traffic, adding another siren to the cacophony.
Cap had caught a glance at the patient in the other ambulance--a little girl with pixie braids like what Sabrina had
worn under her racing helmet. The child had a mask over her face, and one of 51's regular paramedics was tending to
At Rampart, the track ambulance had radioed that they were coming in. The nurse flagged down Dr. Morton in the
"We've got two ambulances coming in from the track now," she said, a little stressed.
"What's the other one?"
"An apparent M.I."
Dr. Morton rolled his eyes and swore under his breath. "Do we have any rooms?"
"I think three's available," she said.
"Get it ready."
"Dr. Morton," said a nurse down the hall toward the ambulance entrance. "Fifty-one's here with the little asthma
"Put her in one," he directed. He was going to see what the second track ambulance held. The doors opened
and the white-shirted track paramedics wheeled in. . .
"MIKE?!" Dr. Morton exclaimed.
Dr. Brackett rushed ahead of the stretcher.
"I've got this one, Mike. Go take care of the other one," said Dr. Brackett.
"Treatment Three," said Dr. Morton.
Gage and the others came in the door next to the nurse-receptionist's desk, and joined Cap in the waiting area.
Once they were seated, Sabrina's little fans came through the same door with their advisor, and sat down facing Dr. Brackett's
Fifty-one's paramedics came out of Treatment One, and the girls' advisor jumped up to meet them.
"How is she? She's going to be okay, isn't she?"
"She's in good hands. You'll have to talk to the doctor to get more information."
"'Our Two Sons,'" said a red-faced Cap as he looked around.
"Albertson and Richardson," said Gage.
"Cap?" said both paramedics. They looked up and saw the others. "What are you guys doing here? What's
"Oh, you didn't hear?" asked the girls' advisor.
"Hear what?" they both said, looking very confused that two seemingly unrelated parties mutually knew something.
"We've been out on runs all day."
Roy motioned for the two to take the two seats on either side of him. The three leaned forward into a half-huddle.
"I guess the only way to say it is just say it--Mike's wife was shot off her horse today during the Southland Derby.
Mike's in Treatment Three right now. He coded once on the way in."
"You mean, she's dead?" asked Albertson.
"Yeah," nodded Roy. "And if Mike has his way, he will be, too."
"CODE BLUE, TREATMENT THREE! CODE BLUE, TREATMENT THREE!" said the hospital operator over the PA system.
Roy, Albertson, and Richardson looked up at the ceiling, then over to the hallway. Medical personnel were converging
on Treatment Three. Cap fell over onto Marco, unable to control his sobs. People in the treatment room were yelling
"Did you make us available?" asked Albertson.
Richardson disinterestedly lifted the HT to his face. "Squad fifty-one ten-eight Rampart," he said, then let
his hand fall to his lap.
"Squad fifty-one," acknowledged Dispatch.
"Albertson," said the nurse-receptionist. She held up the phone receiver in her hands. "Your captain."
We don't have to be clueless. . .