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The Off-Season Blaaahgs June 5, 2007


By The Bitter Pill


     Most horse players who sing the blues, usually belt out ditties from the Money Management Collectors Edition. This well known, played out soundtrack has been re-recorded over time, but you can hear the music in its original phrasing at almost any racetrack where pari-mutuel wagering is permitted.  

     Perhaps you may be familiar with some of these not so one-hit-wonders:

     “Papa Saved Nuttin’ For the Feature”; “I Meant to But I Didn’t”; “I Should Have Reversed It”; “That All Button was Expensive”; and my particular favorite, “Had the Daily Double but I Played the Pick 3”

     Certainly these are timeless classics, but why can’t we change the tune…or at least the solemn rhythm?

     Remarkably, I have the one and only plausible theory:  RECOVERY.  Allow me to explain.  In my world, you wait weeks, maybe months for the perfect heist. Then, like manna from heaven, that nice three year old colt from the “list” is ready for action. I surreptitiously snicker because I and I alone saw the “trouble line” that somehow nobody else could see. In addition, I get the overlaid price of the decade, and so, like the well trained opportunist that I am, I go full throttle to the windows with the weekly paycheck and the “take the wife out for dinner money.”

     Because I am an experienced horse player, I have contingency plans. At odds of 12-1, there will certainly be a sizeable win bet, and the multi-race wagers will be keyed with our hero, but I am also a realist. By that I mean I realistically never get a damn break, so I make sure to have invested enough that should my horse finish 2nd or 3rd, through the power of intra-race exotics, I will profit, however marginally.

     What follows is the umpteenth nightmare of my horse player life. Have you ever seen Webster’s definition of dwelt?


     dwelt        (dwìlt)  Pronunciation Key 
v.   A past tense and a past participle of dwell

    Middle English dwellen, from Old English dwellan, to mislead, delay, dwell.]  


     Are you kidding me?  Nine lifetime starts, nary a gate misstep…and today, this savior of my financial kingdom has chosen to spot the field a dozen lengths. It does recover teasingly, to reach contention…and then with regular rider “_____ for Brains” going 17 deep around the turn, flattens out late to complete the superfecta. Yes, the superfecta. The one bet I did not make.

     And so our brains turn to recovery mode. We no longer see the big picture, nor gamble wisely. We remember only the evil…Dwelt?... Good God!!

     I think my point is, hell, we don’t train them, ride them, or own them (usually). If I have no money left for the feature race because I had a hunch on the 3rd race, so be it.

     If I swing for the fences and strike out, when a double would have won the game, who cares? I’m looking for the home run title.

     I can box, reverse, key, and wheel and it may not make a difference.  Horses stumble, bump, unseat and bolt…

     Sometimes taking a stand is noble and deserves no criticism.  Sure it often pays to hedge your wagers, but a horse may mislead, delay and dwell.

     As a horseplayer, singing the blues is part of doing business…

     Now sing along with me… “Shoulda, Coulda Woulda”. Originally written in the key of B flat…broke.


     Email the Bitter Pill

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