I am in a thick fog in some gambling areas.
Early in my gaming career I thought I would tackle horse racing – but do it in a smart way by getting inside information. A certain individual who had “inside knowledge” started me off with a great pick for one of the Triple Crown races. “This horse can’t lose. He’ll blow away the field,” said my source. I was convinced I would win a lot of money if I bet on this horse so I bet a lot of money on this horse – with my wife, the Beautiful A.P. saying, “I don’t think you should bet that much on a horse. You don’t know anything about horse racing.”
“Honey,” I said confidently, “this horse is going to blow away the field.”
My horse did not blow away the field. Instead he broke his leg midway through the race and had to be put to sleep. He had been a superb animal but a miserable betting choice.
My inside source gave me two more “can’t lose” tips, upon both of which I bet heavily. I explained to my wife: “Don’t worry, these horses can’t lose!” when she fretted about how much I was putting on my horses’ heads.
In the first of the two races my horse came bolting out of the starting gates and looked like he would destroy the field. However at the first turn he decided he didn’t want to continue the race and he headed for the stables. All the other horses went around the track but my “can’t lose” horse just ran to the right and into the barns. The jockey was whipping him, yelling at him; the fans were jeering him merrily – and I lost the first of two very big bets.
Okay, two races, two horses that didn’t finish, so my third horse had to at least make it around the track, didn’t he?
Don’t bet on that.
My third horse looked a little weird – if horses can actually look weird – as he walked to the starting gate. He didn’t want to go into the starting gate but that is not unusual, as many horses don’t like to go into the starting gate.
But when the race started, my horse leaped out of the starting gate and ran in a small circle, around and around as if chasing his tail, foaming at the mouth, bucking and kicking, and trying to throw the jockey who was hanging on for dear life. The horse looked as if he had taken a massive dose of LSD. It took a whole bunch of people to settle the horse down and save the jockey. The horse then walked meekly back to the stables while the race proceeded without him.
Three horses, three non-finishes, three losses.
My horse racing career was now over. It is one thing to lose a race but my horses couldn’t even finish a race. That had to be God telling me, “Scobe, no more betting on horse racing for you.”
I am not sure anyone can beat the horses in the long run, although I have heard tales of some long-term winners, but I remain skeptical. Too much is involved in horses running around the track, not the least of which is the enormous vig you have to pay when you win those races. You also have no idea if the race is fixed, to put it bluntly. Obviously my horses didn’t need to be “fixed” because they couldn’t even get around the track, but horse players always talk about how the smaller-stake’s races might actually be more like professional wrestling than real competition.
I have no idea really. I don’t want to have any idea, really. Because I really know that while horses are really the most beautiful of animals, betting on them racing around a track is not really in my cards. When it comes to horse racing I am the father of teenagers – I have no glory, no glow, no godliness. I am really just a dumb loser.