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HRN Original Blog:
The Weekly Tout

What are the Odds? I Really Don't Know

Pizza

Let’s face it, I can’t do math, never could. I’ve taken abuse from nuns as if I was a P.O.W, but I just can’t grasp something like fractions. If you want to blow my mind, talk to me about furlongs. I don’t know a furlong from a furlough. Sure, I can Google ‘What’s a furlong? And it tells me its 201 meters. Then I have to look up what a dern meter is. It’s roughly 1/8 of a mile. Not a big help.

 

Johnnie lost 150 lbs and became a jockey because he’s shrunken with age. Johnnie’s first race is the fifth at Aqueduct and he’s on Dunce Cap. The race is six furlongs and his horse going off as the 9/2 favorite. If 1/8 of a mile is one furlong, how many times will Johnnie scream like a girl during the race covering six furlongs?

 

I don’t know the answer, but I’m tickled pink to think that I’ve lost a buck fifty. Sister Marie Amy, where are you? I picture myself at the blackboard, only this time I got the ruler and glaring at Sister Marie Amy because I’ve escaped from out of the dreaded cloak room. Even in that fantasy, I can’t figure out 1/8 x 6. I admit I need special help. And not from my shrink this time, the only math he does is the co-payment.  

 

I Googled 1/8 x 6 and found that 6 furlongs is .75 or ¾ of a mile, you see they showed me the answer in pizza slices. Why couldn’t they have used picture’s of pizza’s back in the day, my knuckles would be a lot straighter.

 

Let’s go back to the blackboard only this time we’re going to look at the odds. I know favorites and a long shot and I guess that’s all I need to know. But who is the dude who establishes those odds. He must know his times table and gazinta’s really well.

 

But what’s the difference between two horses going off at 5/2 or 3/5? I went back to my gizmo phone and found out that a lot of people bet their hard earned savings without a working knowledge of the odds and it's fractions. I think there are support groups for the mathematically challenged like us. 5/2 is greater than 2/1 where as 3/5 is less than 2/1. So the 3/5 would be the favorite.

 

And then it would happen. I would raise my hand and tell Sister Marie Amy that I didn’t understand her explanation, “So how do you know that 5/2 is greater than 2/1?”  And the next thing I know is that I’m standing tall in front of the blackboard, which was always green! And people wondered why I don’t get math.

 

Heck, I don’t get fractions, knowing that a horse is 3/10’s faster than his last time out only means that it’s a good run to me. And as a fan of that sport, I should know fractions and decimal points. But I really don’t get it and I never did so if you see me at the track, don’t bust my hoof prints. Explain it to me, because I just might get it someday. Riders Up! 

  

 

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Older Comments about What are the Odds? I Really Don't Know...

Odds are just probabilities. In the real world, all the alternative probabilities of an event happening or not sum to 100% but NOT in the pari-mutuel game. Learn what booking percentages are, apply them to all the odds given in a chart for example and they usually add up to around 123-125%. This total is what the total probabilities in a wagering pool are based so tha the the "take" can be removed before the payouts get back to the crowd. There is a good explanation of this along with setting morning line here. http://www.aqha.com/Racing/Content-Pages/Racing-and-Wagering/Q-Racing-Aces-and-Handicapping-Information/The-Morning-Line.aspx
Math was never really my thing either, but fractions are thankfully within my realm of reasoning. It's the higher math that baffles me.
The math teacher in me says that I can show you the way. See you at the track soon I hope.
  • WeeklyTout · I'm not so sure about that Matt. I'm hoping to see you in April. If I make it through the winter · 234 days ago

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Aqueduct

Meet Johnnie Carrier

 

With 10 years of writing a humor column for his home town paper under his belt, Johnnie Carrier has decided to try something different. He is a graduate of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey’s Clown College Class of 1977 and traveled the West with Circus Vargas in 1979.

 In the 80’s, Carrier lived in New York City and Boston, but he settled down however in the smallest city in Massachusetts late in the decade and married Dawn Luskin in ’88. David was born in 1991 and has been blessed with his father’s sense of humor, but luckily his mother’s good looks.

 Racing has been more than a casual interest having lived so close to Saratoga. He started going to the track at a very young age with his parents and has tried to instill that passion into his son by taking him at the same age. In 2003, Carrier started to write as a freelance writer with the North Adams Transcript and can be followed there at the paper’s website.