Previously on America's best reality/game show/horse racing hybrid (also the only reality/game show/horse racing hybrid): Dean won a handicapped sprint and took his friends to the big house, Aaron won the stable hand challenge, Jewel and Deanna were asked to pick the horses, with Jewel on the losing end.
Since we have some time to kill before the action, let's take some quotes out of context:
• Aaron thinks that Deanna's success is due to pure luck and that she's definitely a loser. Then how come she has all the money, huh? Answer me that one.
• Susan is skeptical that Deanna can keep her winning run going. Fair enough, but her position is a lot stronger than yours.
• Dean likes being friends with big, young, handsome bucks like LeVar and Chris. I'm not touching that one.
• LeVar repeats the point that Aaron is Susan's puppet.
OK, enough dillydallying. Steve says it's time for this week's OWNERS' CHALLENGE, and who am I to argue with him. This week it's relatively simple. Horse racing questions will show on the Santa Anita jumbotron. All the answers are numbers. The first person in line gets to answer. If he or she right, he/she gets to pick a person to eliminate from the challenge (only, not the entire game) and a new question is asked. If not, Steve would announce higher or lower and go to the next person. Similar to "The Price Is Right"'s Clock Game, only this is not timed. The last person standing is the owner for the week. Not surprisingly, Deanna, Dean, and Susan were the first people eliminated. Thanks to a good position, a little knowledge, and a whole lot of luck, Sara answered the last three questions correctly. She became the lead owner, and she took Tara (C), LeVar, and Eric with her.
We next see our lucky owners trying out the mansion's hot tub. LeVar enjoyed being there - probably more for the view than the soothing experience of the warm water. Did I say that Tara and Sara were in bikinis?
To fill in an extra minute between commercials, they did a mini-profile of Sara. She says she admires horses but didn't have a lot of experience with them. She also notes that the money is too much for her to think about now.
Sara and LeVar both noted that they click with each other. I was expecting a little more, but (1) "The Bachelor(ette)" is on another network, and (2) GSN needs all the viewers they can get, so p'ing off the odd redneck is unwise.
Meanwhile, trainer Alex puts our unlucky stable hands to work - they get to feather the stables with clean straw for the horses to lie on, and clean out the feed tubs for the horses to eat from.
And back at the mansion, they sit around and dis the poor people in the stable.
At the stable, the talkers talk ill of Sara. They're convinced she picked the wrong people - that is, the people who didn't know a Daily Racing Form from a form letter. Deanna is miffed that she wasn't picked to head to the big house, but more miffed about Aaron & Susan's little talks. She is tired of being in the hot seat and hopes to be in a position to get out of it.
Then the talk turns to everyone's favorite, Susan. No one in the big house likes her. Deanna thinks she's loud and obsessed with the game. In a sidebar, Aaron says he doesn't like Deanna.
A little bit later, Aaron gets a mini-profile. He has all kinds of experience with horses, except for everything to do with horse racing. His favorite TV show is "Golden Girls", which is an odd choice for any number of reasons. Use your imagination.
Our next STABLE HANDS' CHALLENGE takes place in the Director's Room, which is a large step up from the stable. Steve told them the rules of this contest - they'd watch a steak eating contest and they had to pick who would win, and the time it would take them to finish. The one with the right participant and the closest time becomes the lead stable hand. LeAnn Rimes stopped by to give them a few details about our competitors. Chris was wowed to be in the presence of such a wonderful singer. I prefer Reba myself, but country really isn't my thing.
The twist was the people who would be competing in the steak eating contest would be our owners' reps, who didn't know they were participating in a contest. The votes were split evenly between Eric and LeVar, so it would come down to times.
While watching this, I realized that it's a lot more fun to eat a steak dinner than to watch it on TV. But our stable hands seem to get a big kick out of it. LeVar is the first to finish his steak in 11:55. Deanna's time was the closest to the actual, so she gets to be lead owner. She liked that a lot.
Then Steve tells the owners what was up, and allows them the opportunity to bet on who won. LeVar wisely refuses. The others are wrong.
Night falls over the Santa Anita area, and everyone thinks about the upcoming GUTS MATCH. Eric tells Sara that he wants to go for the challenge. She seems inclined to pick him, but later expresses nervousness at the possibility that Eric might lose. I think she skipped out on Ruthlessness 101, and in particular the "Screw Thy Neighbor" lecture.
Things were much more convoluted at the stable. Deanna expresses glee at putting up "powerless stable hand" Susan, saying that it is best for everyone if she departs the scene. Aaron and Susan strategize behind the barn and away from everyone else, clutching their Daily Racing Forms.
Now one last mini-profile on Susan. She wasn't good at math until her father took her to the track and made her cacluate some odds and payouts. Awww, isn't that special?
OK, back to the Chandelier Room. As expected, Sara picks Eric. He's not worried and thinks he will win. Do I hear Alanis in the background again? But Deanna does the unexpected - she chooses Susan's puppet Aaron.
Alex tells us that there are six scratches for this race and opens himself up for questions. Yada yada yada. Eric picks Free To Please. Aaron chooses Sharp As A Fox.
Deanna says some unkind thngs about Susan, Aaron, and their alliance. She doesn't like them very much, does she?
Aaron explains some of his logic for his pick - Sharp As A Fox was a mean one in the stable, and he felt it might translate to good performance on the track. Yeah right. Only two players bet on his horse, and one of them was lead pupeteer Susan.
Nags away! This time there were no stumbles and no bumps. Sharp As A Fox was ahead halfway through, but Free To Please showed his (relative) class, pulled away, and won by a length and a half.
Susan took Aaron's loss very hard. He responded by saying some nice things about her before departing. Deanna was happy to be off the radar for a week. But next week is a different story...