one of my least favourite holidays. at least now that i'm in melbourne, and it's a public holiday, i don't have to find excuses to not go to work / not join in the "celebrations" (i used to hide in my office whilst everyone else ate chicken and watched the race).
instead of making a bet on the cup, maybe you could make some sort of appropriate donation, or sign the pledge to never bet on cruelty.
at the punch, ward has written about the brutal truth about the horse racing industry; and up at vegaroo, sharon has a list of other alternatives you can do today (including options for cities other than melbourne). there's a protest picnic near flemington (with free mr nice guy vegan cupcakes!).
or you could post one of these links on your facebook wall, and see if it starts a verbal fisticuffs, like it already has for some people. :o)