Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
I’ve always said that
I was an addictive person with a matching personality. And for all of my
addictions, I’ve been pretty good avoiding the gambling jones that calls so
many. I’ve never played the lottery on a regular basis. Oh sure, I’ve bought
the occasional ticket and have won at the most $50 dollars. But now I’ve gone
and done it, I’m hooked on the ponies.
It all started with Direct TV
channel 602, the TVG channel. It shows all the horse racing from around the
major tracks around the nation. Places like Saratoga, Belmont, Del Mar, Santa
Anita, and Woodbine. I love to watch horse racing. The speed, the grace and the
four legged ability of these animals is fantastic to watch. And they can do it
all at six to one odds. (You hope)
Channel 602 is the devil's channel. It
broadcasts all the races either on your TV or on your lap top. And it invites
you to open an account and bet with them. And I did. Now, I’m a jaded, wishing I had a cigar,
horse racing tout. And I’m having so much fun doing it. But that’s how I
started huffing gasoline.
I placed $50.00 into my TVG account
and I started to scan the names of the equines in the first at the Spa. Of
course, I’m doing this with the wife hovering over my shoulder as if she were a
Blackhawk helicopter. We looked at the names, the jockeys and trainers. We scanned
the bloodlines, past performances and then we placed a two dollar bet on a
horse called Cousin Michael because I have one. It’s real scientific this horse
“Cousin Mike, out of the gate first,
and is followed by A Head of Steam, Classy Lady, and My Mother Sam.” And that’s
how it goes for five furlongs. The quarter mile is done in a lightning 22.6
seconds and at the top of the stretch Cousin Michael slowly drops into second
and fights off Hotzy Carol for third. And then it happens.
“I told you to bet him to show,” Damon
Runyon herself pipes in, the Queen of the Show bet. The girl, who when taken to
the track, bets on a horse to come in third and acts as if she’s won the million
dollar triple for ‘winning’ .20 cents on the dollar. And she’s making dollar
bets. It’s embarrassing because people we’re with expect her to buy a round of
drinks with her obviously huge winnings. And now it’s starting at Carrier
Downs? Oh great.
We spent last Sunday huddled around
the lap top and the TV. Two dollars is covering a double, it’s placed across
the board and on the elusive exacta. And we lost eight dollars for the whole
day of racing. It could have gone worse for the fun I was having. But I said
that once with a champagne bottle stuck on my thumb.
From then on I’ve have been placing
bets during the week and I couldn’t pick my nose to come across the finish
line. Sure, I hit an exacta, which is picking the winner and the second place
horse. But I only had a dollar one it and it paid me $7.40. And that I blew
like a warm summer wind.
Showing off for my son, I placed 3 bucks
across the board on the favorite Sherriff Jack and old Jack came in dead last
having been boxed out on the rail at the top of the stretch. I’m down to $40.00
bucks in my account, but I’m having an absolute ball. That’s what I said when I
started with opiates.
I then had a brainstorm that it
wasn’t the player it was the game, so I did what any gambler would do on a bad
streak-I went to the trotters. And of course my bad luck greeted me in Yonkers
as it had in Saratoga. I’m down to $35.00 cold ones in my account. And how many
times have I said that while in the throes of a bender.
~Written by Johnnie
Carrier, a freelance writer who can pick a horse he just can’t pick a
winner. Riders Up!