Thursday, August 23, 2007

Day Two at the Races

That beautiful animal you see getting a post-race rinse above is Judge's Pride. She didn't look so beautiful on paper, though. In fact, in the nine races she had run in her lifetime before today, she had not only never won, she had never finished less than 12 lengths behind a winner. But, that's why they run 'em. She won today's last race at odds of 32-1, and left many a bettor looking like this fellow as the crowd headed for the gates:

But, as Steven Crist points out, Judge's Pride did make one person very happy. See, the last race was the final leg in the Pick Six, where bettors try to pick the winners in six straight races. This would be nearly impossible if you weren't allowed to bet more than one horse in each race. (And of course, the more horses you pick, the higher the price of the bet; it gets expensive pretty fast.) One "sixer" chose the entire field in the last race today. If Judge's Pride had lost to the favorite in that race, the Pick Six would have been split among 33 people, paying them each $1,579 -- a healthy amount, no doubt. But as it is, the one person who had Judge's Pride on their ticket claimed the entire pool for him- or herself: $53,717. (Or themselves, since groups of people often form syndicates to maximize the amount of money they can spend, and thus the number of horses they can choose.)

I had two winners again today -- Longingfortheone in the fifth and Metro Meteor in the seventh -- but again they weren't enough to make me a winner on balance. Not many great names today, though I liked At Attention, and being a Monty Python fan, I was partial to He's a Lumberjack. On the other side, I didn't care for Explosive Heat, which sounds like a Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle, but was more annoyed by Wheresthmonymaggie. Naming a horse, you're limited to 18 characters, including spaces. It's bad enough running words together to begin with -- dropping letters in a desperate attempt to fit is even worse.


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