Racing with the Devil

Saratoga Crowd 615 X 400
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 racing stuff.


“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!


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Older Comments about Racing with the Devil...

The Dutch is limited to odds ranges that make if a profitable venture..It is not somethig to depend upon as a single method.
thx for defining that term that was driving me nuts.That being said,one thing i can say for certainty.In terms of wagering,i have never gone Dutch.
The advent of colored saddle cloths shortened the price on the 8 in an empty field.
Then again, maybe you wouldn't have, t_v >> TM ours were 1-3 pinks to show, not a TRUE dutch.
Great for use on a false favorite's race
When the odds of multiple horses are sufficient enough to create one's own "entry" and bet multiple ones to win...Swept an entire card several times at the BEST track where it works Oaklawn....NOT uniform in its application when a single contender is too low
Sorry for sounding like an idiot.what does the terminology dutching it mean? maybe i should get out more!!!
T_V >> You might have liked my mom's system, she sometimes dutched a few :)
A lot bigger town than when I first visited it a few years back while on a seminar to Atlanta...Way back it was the nearest hospital to West Proint Georgia
I had no idea you were a fellow Georgian, tv. Just so happens that La Grange was one of my high school's arch rivals ;-)
Born in La Grange Georgia, glad I escaped when I did.
Clever article. Gave me my giggle for the afternoon.
buds, my home state of Georgia is another that does not allow online gambling.
I have a tote collection that is extensive and includes tickets from BEFORE the days of the first individually printed tickets at Arlington..Called "rack totes" they were printed with security codes the day before on each horse entered...Their accounting must have been very accurate to keep track of just how many were out and how many were not sold..Gives me a headache thinking about that challenge.
T_V >> YOU could screw up a wet dream.
different colors, or colours as it were, here at the higher denominations
stripe down one side told you the denominaton: black $2, Red $5, green $6 combined, Blue $10, Purple $20.00, Green $50.00 and Brown $100.00

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