A Day At The Track

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 18, 2008 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

I have the pleasure of working where the action is daily. Yes, you guessed correct. I work in racing. I don’t think there is a more unique place to not only see the action, but watching the characters that make the day. You know, I think they are more interesting at times. Here are a few observations of the kind of players that are found at every track.

Have you ever seen the “stooper” in action? He or she is the one kicking tickets and looking to hit the lottery by dumb luck, or out of the garbage can. They have a Daily Racing Form that is stained, torn, and covered in coffee. They have others, just like them, trying to put together cash to make a bet, find an angle, or just share a story. The stoopers won’t win any contest for the track-handicapper, but they are colorful to say the least. If you ever have a spare moment, stop by and ask them who they like. Don’t be surprised if they ask you to split a bet, or if you have a buck. This is what they do. They are stoopers.

The retirees. They are there as the doors first open. They bring in a coffee to save the buck at the stands, and usually hang with a few others in their demo. They pull bets together, and always have a nickname: Fat Guido, Blackcat, The Doctor, or Smokey. I like to chat with these guys. They are never in a hurry, because they are not here for any reason other than to spend their days before they go home to dinner, the news and off to bed. They are one of the guys I see myself being when I am their age. It is a club. Their fraternity with no handshake. Just look for them. They are talking when the race is running, and will be there in the morning.

The wannabees. These are the players who claim that they just got beat out of the bet of their life. They just missed by a nose at Where-ever Park for a million dollars. They have an angle, know the jockey and have a plan. They bet from 12p – 11:30 at night. When do they work? Well, most don’t unless they have to. They have a couple of pals they fall in and out with. Most of the time they complain about everything. Getting down to the nitty gritty, they just want to win. The night on the town will be worth more than any exacta, trifecta, or Pick-3. They are just average guys, frustrated athletes, and just want to be noticed. I always ask them how their doing. They always tell me just how much they are on top. Good to hear….

Overall, the track is one of the best places to be. You can’t get the thrill of pounding hooves from a slot machine. How many times have you heard people cheer for two minutes straight at the roulette table? You don’t… This was Grandad’s game, and now it is yours. Treat it with respect. The way it was suppose to be treated. And remember, a bad day at the track, awww you know the rest….