The Three Dumbest Moves in Gambling

We’ve all had that strike of rare genius when we make a blunder at the track.  I have to say I’ve lost count years ago, but from time-to-time another gem pops back up and makes me question what in the hell am I doing ?? – From the file of “what were they thinking,” here are a few oldies but goodies that will make you feel a little better about not pulling the trigger, betting the wrong horse, or just forgetting about the big runner you had planned your day around.


#1 – There should be an IQ test given before some folks get to wager. There was a guy who took $100 to the track on the marquee day. I give him a little break as he was young and just graduated from high school. All day long he was close but no cigar. He had a few small scores to keep him in action, and this was long before simulcasting was in place. – The last race came about and he loved a runner by the name of Tiger Man with Jesse Garcia aboard. The horse opened at 7-2, and went right to 9-2 and stayed there with three minutes to post. He had $20 left and there were 11 runners in the race. He loved this horse and wanted to wheel him in exactas, but that would have been his first $100 loss if it all went south. So, he looked up at the tote board and took him with all, and left off the longest shot in the race with a questionable in skill rider. – When his horse turned for home and opened up by ten, he felt pretty good. There was a bunch of runners fighting it out for second money, and some of them were box car prices. – About the time when his horse crossed the line, the rest of the field battled it out for second money. There was a little horse on the far outside with a rider jumping around in the saddle like a crazy person. He didn’t care as it looked like he was home free with a 25-1 shot laying against the rail, but there was a photo finish with three runners. – About now you have an idea who finished second. It was that ultra-longshot who was 50-1. – He didn’t seem to mind as he thought it may pay around $100, and he didn’t have his first $100 losing day. – When the exacta paid $585.00, it was a long cold walk to the car that day. But, I still had my $2 bucks in my pocket !


#2 – I was making a big pick-four ticket on the Preakness card. There was a huge guarantee, and I wanted to nail this thing for a big payday. – About that time my friend came in and wanted to put together a ticket with me. – Sounded good, and we could use more horses. The plan was in place. -We agreed on every horse except the third leg. I made my case and the horse looked good for a price, and his only drawback was he wasn’t going to play a rider named Harry Vega. – I know it sounds silly, but gamblers are fickle. – So, I went along with my pal, as he was my boss as well. – Leg #1 came home and paid $22. We had it ! – Leg #2 was home free and paid $12. – When the third leg turned for home we were 1-2-3-4 ! – Looking good as gold, and he said “we should have bet this thing twice.” – Well, I guess right about now you can guess who came scooting right up the rail like he did 10,000 times before. – Yep, Harry Vega’s mount. – He stormed out and slammed my door before I even said anything. – The pick-four only paid $3,000 +, and my good pal got his wish of not playing a rider with a name he didn’t like. – To this day if I see him, all I have to say in a hushed whisper is Harry Vega. – He will start cussing like a drunken sailor. Oh, I made a saver pick-four he didn’t know about. – I didn’t really mind as I had it that day. – What’s in a name ?? – Maybe Mr. Vega didn’t like our names that day.


#3 – The Big Pick-Six. – The big player room was stacked with the whose-who of gambling. Doctors, lawyers, and a former pro baseball player they called “Charlie Hustle.” – They were going to nail the big pick-six wager, and orchestrating the entire process was a man they called “Bowling Ball.” – Bowling Ball used to own a couple of alleys back in the day, and was talking more crap about his big super-secret horse. – They allowed Ball to take part and ante his money. Ball went up the window and was talking so much you couldn’t shut him up with a hammer. – Well, his race came around and all the big wigs were glaring at the screens watching Bowling Ball’s super-secret horse draw off at 20-1 to finish off the pick-six ! – They were jumping around and ordering drinks as Ball wanted to cash the ticket. – The payoff was $735,000, and they were going to split it four ways. Times couldn’t get any better. That is until Ball started arguing with the clerk about the ticket not being good. – The room was silent as a cemetery, and all eyes were on Ball. – Well, with all his big talking he bet the wrong horse in the final leg. His super-secret runner eluded him as his mouth was in high gear.- Ball left the track and didn’t return for six months. – The moral of the story. Keep your big yapper shut when gambling. You don’t win by who says the most, all opinions are backed up by dollar bills. – I like to call this one the one that got away.