The following story was contributed by my horseplayer friend, Vince The Volcano.
A regular horseplayer has many ups and downs in this game and each person’s individual personality determines which of these swings you remember the most. For me, it’s the losing stories that I remember fondly. Seriously, who wants to hear a person tell you they’re winning all the time? I love hearing the stories that we horseplayers can relate to. It makes us feel better about ourselves because as you listen to another’s tale you can’t help but think, “I’m not the only one.”
One of my favorite stories occurred in my early years of horse playing and I remember it like it was yesterday. It was October of 1989 and I was fresh out of college. It was the days of no wives, kids or any responsibilities. On this particular Saturday in October there was a group of eight of us hunkered down in someone’s living room with cases of beer and multiple TV’s setup to enjoy a day of college football (ah to be young again). What the group didn’t know was that I was about to sell them on the ride of a lifetime, by making a serious run at a Pick-6, the most elusive bet in horse racing.
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In a prior article we introduced the idea of a “Saver Ticket” and included a story of the author involving just such a ticket on July 27, 2013 at Saratoga. Click here for a review of that article. In that article we mentioned the story of a Saver Ticket that saved the entire season for our handicapper friend (Vince) at Saratoga in 2011. Today we recap the story, in Vince’s own words.
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Spend enough time with horseplayers, and you’re bound to hear, “Had that one on a Saver ticket.” Saver tickets are often last minute, “I’m not getting beat by this horse, trainer, or jockey again.” In simple terms, it involves making wagers on horses that are not your top picks, or even your second best picks. Sometimes it’s throwing horses in the mix that seem like they have no chance at all.
Most of the time you end up crumpling these tickets up, but at least with some peace of mind that you covered the bases. With a race coming at you every twenty minutes, there’s something to be said for keeping your “peace of mind.”
And for the times you do cash one of these saver tickets, it’s usually a windfall return … because chances are the majority of the betting public didn’t have these horses on their radar either.
So, two Saver Ticket stories come to mind. One last summer at Saratoga, relating to an article about a race involving a 2-5 favorite that I thought was beatable. Click here for a full recap of that story. The other a couple of years ago, that is not my story, but one of my horseplayer friends, Vince.
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In a prior article I introduced one of my horseplayer friends, Vince “the Volcano.” I explained that Vince is predominantly a Pick-3 and Pick-4 player. He prefers to focus on multiple contenders in successive races rather than single out individual horses for a Win bet. He explains it like this:
“The benefit in these is my 3rd choice can win the first three legs and my 6th choice wins the last, and I win $2,000. If I bet those four races solo, I lose all of them. This works for me.”
On Belmont Stakes day Vince sent me a text message: “Do you think Point of Entry loses? Other three legs are awesome races. I see a (3 x 7 x 1 x 6) Pick4 play in here.” Read More >>
What a wild ride!
This past weekend I participated in the annual Xpressbet Showdown tournament. I’ve been a horseplayer for 35 years, but only recently have I begun dabbling in tournaments. And, what a wild ride it turned out to be.
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