Since Preggie got sick, I was at the Winner’s Circle off track betting, eating their pretzel bites and betting on horses. Liked the environment so much, I got a job there when Hoosier Park changed the format of the OTB site to include the Voodoo BBQ restaurant.
But the story of me and horse racing did not begin there. It actually began in 1985, the year when Spend A Buck won the Kentucky Derby.
In California, Santa Anita Park and Los Alamitos play their commercials regularly. My dad used to work at an Italian restaurant where Joe the boss has a penchant for horses and the Rat Pack. I thought gambling on horses was cool. AT SIX YEARS OF AGE. I would read the green sheets in the Sports pages of the newspaper. One year, Joe asked me what I thought of a certain race. I said that Brave Raj would win. Sure enough, he won and I got 20 bux. :D
Other concerns pressed on my mind over the years. And add the Evangelical/Pentecostal dictum to avoid gambling, and then college studies. Got married, and then focused on working.
Then the Brewpub opened. I wanted to visit, but I did not know how Confessional Lutherans would react to me going there. That changed when I’ve heard of American Pharoah and his Triple Crown bid. I’ve spent my breaks reading on the right trifecta box. Carpe Diem and Frosted? Maybe.
Got word of an undercard race the day of Belmont and I’ve heard that Big Blue Kitten and Sleeper will do well. So, after work, I stopped at the Brewpub and used their kiosks. I bought a program for 3 bux and studied it a bit and I did an exacta for Big Blue Kitten and Sleeper. I also did a trifecta for Materiality and Madefromlucky with American Pharoah, plus an exacta for AP and Frosted. Picked up Preggie, went back and found out I won the undercard. WOW!
Visited for food regularly only after that, but it changed when Preggie went to Parkview. I would watch Delta Downs or Charles Town while thinking of how would Preggie would live, with his health problems. Jonah would make me a cocktail, I get pretzel bites, and relax. Several of the staff would ask about Preggie’s health. I did not want to bother cooking big meals at home. Just give me a Diet and a burger, please.
My work as a sample lady was great. However, it was a far commute. When I have heard that Winner’s Circle was hiring, I applied and went to the job fair for an interview. I was stoked when Human Resources extended a job offer on the spot. And from that point on, I decided to reimmerse myself into horse racing, just like I was a kid. I’m still learning, and I am just learning how to read the workout sessions– 12 seconds per furlong is decent. I stick to two main tracks, Gulfstream and the New York Racing Association circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga). My favorite jockey is Javier Castellano.
My ability has improved. No, not gonna enter a handicapping contest, I fear I’d pick all horses that would go into last place. But I would look at various sources including the Daily Racing Form and make some reasonable guess. My bosses would call me to ask me what would be a good horse for some stakes in the future. I thought I would stink at the Preakness, nearly avoiding wagering altogether as it was a muddy mess. BUT, I received various information I cobbled up and used them to make the guesses. I even had weird Preakness dreams. NOT supernatural woo woo, but the re-organising of information in my brain as I rested. (Listen, guys. I believe in Sola Scriptura. Dreams, no matter how clarifying, can NOT replace Scripture as the SOURCE of enlightenment and salvation– even if said dream “reveals” the winners of the Preakness, okay?) This was the gist of the information: 1) Cherry Wine won his maiden race in the mud. Chances are, he will excel in the muck. 2) Exaggerator is a mudder as well. Nyquist has not tried running in mud at that time. 3) Stradivari is a threat. So I would follow these contenders and I made a trifecta box and a superfecta. Showed these observations to the bosses. Gave the usual disclaimer. They were foolish to take my advice and they were amazed at the results.
My workplace wanted me to improve in this craft. I am not at liberty to discuss specific plans until things get official, but I will say that the bosses would like to see me to become a handicapping expert so I can teach new gamers how to wager with confidence. When things go through, I’ll announce it on Facebook and on this site.
“All I want is for the illusion of competency to pass over me once a day.” –Nancy Gabalac.
In the meanwhile, I will post some stuff, some guesses that may or may not be crappy. I am excited that I’m doing something that I did as a child, and maybe I would get paid for that. Keep your eyes peeled for Belmont thoughts!