Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 413
Hot jock and jet-setter Pablo Diaz lives a nonstop racehorse life in the greed and lust of the United States in the 1980’s. Flying from city to city, horse to horse, woman to woman, and bed to bed, Diaz’s way of living parodies that of an American businessman with no morals.
Successful as a horse-race jockey, Diaz is misguidedly proud of his accomplishments and immorality. Living a hollow life with almost no friends or family values, he goes from race to race, winning most of them, only to wind up dead at the end of some sort of spiritual descent. Diaz has plenty of money, goes through women like socks, often buys expensive presents for his wife and two children, snorts cocaine, drives Mercedes and other expensive cars, and prides himself on all of the above. Perhaps with some recognition that something is wrong, he decides to take his son Lorenzo on a racing trip with him to Florida. He is unable to establish a relationship with his son, however, because he does not know how to have a friendship with anyone, and succeeds only at impressing the boy with such particulars of his lifestyle as big cars, women, and tips. He returns home with expensive presents for all, including a three-thousand-dollar Zuni Indian necklace for his wife.
Diaz loses, wins, or places in a series of races, as instructed by his trainer, Jeff Hialeah, and has a string of hotel visits with women such as Helen Stadler, a blond he meets on a plane, and Ginny Gottlieb, his on-and-off mistress. Then the hot jock is visited by his best and only friend, Rafael Laguna. Rafe has not come on a matter of friendship, however, but of business: He asks Diaz to “pull” a race, to make his horse come in second rather than first, in exchange for $100,000. Diaz vocally refuses the offer; nevertheless, his horse does come in second. Afterward, Rafe is arrested, somehow gallantly taking the role of fall guy, and Diaz is left pretending to himself that he did not throw this race for an unknown outsider, that is, the person for whom Rafe is working.
During the next race, Diaz hears a gunshot from the stands. The horse he is riding has been shot, and as the animal collapses, so does the rider. His last thoughts are a wish that his wife Ramona will pray for him. Like a racehorse, the hot jock has simply run himself out.
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