Whale Bait

by Ed Meyer

posted on February 20, 2012 in General Discussion, Horse Racing | 2 Comments >>

WhaleI have worked at tracks for years. There was a big player who would fit the category of a whale. They said,  “you would never break him as he had so much money.”

We’ll call him “Big Daddy” as to not insult anyone. He loved to play horses, and bet football. Everyday I would walk into the private room, and he would ask me for my best play of the day. Sounds easy, and he was a good player. So, what the hell.. I’ll tell him who the regular player likes.

My best bets for races hit 8 days in a row, and my football plays were smoking at 13 straight. Now, Big Daddy didn’t bet $2.. His usual football bet was $10,000, and the ponies were around $2,000.

I walked in one Saturday afternoon, and he asked the usual question. I told him my best bet of the day at the track, and gave him Tulane the year they set a school record. My pony wager ran second by a head at 7-1, and the “Green Wave” won, but did not cover by one point. Most would have scratched the day as a tough beat, but not Daddy. As soon as he saw me the next day, he told me how much he lost and I should try harder.

Well, I did just what the man advised. I never mentioned another horse, and when he saw me on TV and my horse did well, he would always ask me why didn’t I tell him first…. I have to say that some gamblers can be fickle at best. You can give out a 100 winners and one loser, and they would get upset or complain.  Eventually we got back to normal, as he hated to handicap but loved to win. He was a great guy, and always had the best guests sitting at his table: big business owners, local celebs, and a gent that went by the nickname of ” Charlie Hustle.”  I gave out my best because he loved to win. I wanted him to win as much as I did.

Right before he passed away, I was filling in calling races. I was so happy to announce his name, and make reference to his stable’s colors as his runner was making his way into the winner’s circle. He was a gambler to the end, and could be fickle on days just like all of us. I look back with fond memories of Big Daddy, and how he would snap those fingers as his runners would cross the line first.