Episode 5

Written by Scott Willson
Directed by Brian Kirk

Reading the morning paper, Ace and Gus are surprised to discover that their horse Pint of Plain is entered in a race. When they call Escalante, the trainer tells them he's just using the horse to fill in a slot as a favor to the track, and it's 90% unlikely the horse will run. Skeptical, Ace and Gus visit the stable to confront Escalante in person. Ace suspects Escalante plans to run the horse with the Bug jockey to increase the potential for a big payout on a bet with longer odds. Preferring that his horse win no matter the odds, Ace instructs Escalante to replace Leon with the best jockey available, threatening to take away the horse if Escalante doesn't comply promptly.

At the Oasis motel, Jerry and Marcus receive a visitor: Kagle, the track security guard, has been fired for loan-sharking, and wants to know if Marcus dropped the dime on him. Kagle confides to Jerry that he's been on a bender since it happened and ended up arrested in Nevada. He asks for a loan with the understanding that he'd pay "retail vig." Jerry hands Kagle a thousand dollars, to be paid back when he's on his feet, and sends him on his way.

Marcus berates Jerry for lending Kagle money and lets slip that he's been reading Jerry's diary. Furious, Jerry storms off -- but first orders Lonnie and Renzo to take Marcus to the hospital for his labored breathing. The doctor warns Marcus his heart condition is exacerbated by stress and asks if Marcus has anyone to talk with, to which he replies, "a horse." Later, high on the Valium the doctor prescribed, Marcus confides to Jerry that he worries so much about him he thinks he might be "queer for" him. Jerry assures him he's not; he's just not accustomed to friendship.

Escalante agrees to put top jockey Ramirez on Pint of Plain in place of the Bug Boy and Ace leaves five thousand dollars for Leon as a consolation. The trainer breaks the news to Rathburn, and gives him the money to split with his jockey. Rathburn meets Leon at The Long Shot to break the news, first telling him that he's guaranteed the mount on another horse Escalante trains, Mon Gateau, from now on. When Joey hands Bug the cash, Ronnie Jenkins, who's shooting pool within earshot, chimes in that it's probably a kiss-off fee - and Joey has to admit Bug Boy's been replaced on Pint of Plain. Ronnie then informs Rathburn that he's hired a new Agent. Feeling inadequate, Rathburn reaches out to his ex-wife, Lynn, offering to take her and their son out for dinner, frustrated that she doesn't return his calls.

Ace is disappointed that Claire didn't show up to collect the check. The next morning, she arrives after a sleepless night, and Ace invites her to join them at the races later in the day. When she returns home, she finds the amount, $367,000, is well beyond what she had requested.

At the track, the degenerates proudly wear their new "Foray Stables" T-shirts. Ace invites Escalante to watch the race with him, Gus and Claire. During the race, a horse running in front of Pint of Plain loses a shoe, which strikes the Irish horse, opening a gash in its right hind leg. The horse breaks stride for a moment, but regains its momentum and wins the race impressively. Concerned for the horse, Ace instructs Gus to take Claire home, while he spends the night sleeping outside the horse's stall.