Friday, November 7, 2008

Fall Rerun, The Horse Race

I've got a busy weekend ahead of me and I want to be able to catch up with all my blogging friends, so I am posting a rerun. Recently I had mentioned to David McMahon the fact that I almost won big betting the ponies. He asked me to post about it. I already had. Here it is, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


I have always loved horses and horse racing. The Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, the Belmont...I read everything I could get my hands on about Seabiscuit, that magnificent runner and descendant of some of the greatest champions known to man. When we arrived in England I was surprised (I don't know why I was surprised, but I was) to find horse racing nearly every day. They raced at Haymarket, they raced at Brighton, they were running at Yarmouth and Ayr...they ran on flat and they had steeple racing...it was a horse lovers heaven. We hadn't been settled in our new home too awfully long when I learned how to place a bet. I never bet too much, usually no more than a pound, sometimes only 50p. But like the lottery over here, I played a ticket every Saturday. Sometimes I won, sometimes I lost. Every so often I would play the ITV7, which was based on 7 races in a row... the races were held on Saturday morning. The boys would usually be out playing and Mac and I would be filling out our tickets then one of us would run down to the OTB (Off Track Betting) shop and place the bet. This one morning after we both filled out our separate tickets, it would be me going in to place the bets. Mac had worked all night (in London) and was planning on going straight up to bed after the tickets had been filled in. Now, you can bet the tickets Win Place and Show and doing it this way you have a better chance of getting some return on your money. If there are more than, say 7 horses in the race, and your horse comes in third, you get a bit back on him and your ticket is still viable. So anyway, I had my system of how I chose my horses. If I liked the name, or the horse was pretty, it didn't have to have blinkers...you know, very scientifically calculated...then that's who I bet on. If the odds were long, well that was a plus. Okay, so I have my ticket ready, Mac has his ticket filled out but now I'm marking the Win Place or Show when Mac glances over and does what men do when women are perfectly content to go on their merry way as they were. "I'd play it win only." I looked over at him and asked him to explain himself. "Well, that third race only has 3 horses in it, if your horse comes in 2nd, it won't pay out place or show. You have two races like that. I'd just play it Win only. Why waste money?" Well, it sort of made sense to me. I don't know now why I listened to him, it's not something I'm known for doing. But listen I did and win only was how I paid the ticket. Now, in the ITV7 you have to keep the ticket going, you have to win (or place and show if that's how you mark the ticket) all the races in order to collect on any. And this is how I almost became rich. You note I said almost, which only counts in horseshoes, not horse races...

The horses were lining up in race 1 and Mac had already gone up to sleep. I was sitting on the edge of my seat, jumping up and down and urging my horse on and he came in for me at 25 to1. The second race lined up and Clouded Vision, a vision at 37-1 was running his heart out and when he won (after I had been warned he was a dog by the fella at the Betting Parlor) I nearly fainted. The races proceeded and I won both the races that had only 3 or four horses and was feeling good and had one race to go. My horse was a shoo in, I was assured by all and sundry that all this horse had to do was show up. He was picked for me by Mac, who also had him on his ticket. I had figured up that so far I had 198,000 pounds in the bag and my heart was pounding as they lined up. I saw something that disturbed me so much, I stood up to watch the race. The horse had blinkers on. This boded ill, and I watched as the horses walked down from the paddock to the track and he was so beautiful and arrogant, his jockey so calm and sure, I relaxed when I watched him gallop sideways and try to reach back and bite his jockey, he was full of p*ss and vinegar, all black and glistening looking like the biggest hobbyhorse I had ever seen on any carousel...I loved this horse. This horse was going to make me rich. I began spending the money in my mind, imagined the beautiful red leather heels with matching purse I would purchase to take my trip into the city to collect my winnings. I'm telling you, this horse looked at me and said "it's in the bag". The bell went, the wire went up and they were off! There were nine horses in the race, and they all started out in the lead then gradually, most of them fell to the back of the pack. Now it was a three horse race and my horse was in the lead. On they galloped and my horse decided to stop and wait for the other two horses to catch up. I began to scream at the tv set for him to RUN DAMN YOU RUN, and when the other two caught up, they were off again. The race came to a photo finish end between the three lead horses . My horse, my beloved horse, came in second. SECOND. I sat straight up on the sofa and my eyes narrowed. My gaze went towards the stairs where someone lay sleeping, someone who had told me "I'd play it win only." Someone who had told me that all my last horse had to do was show up! I picked up a pillow off the sofa and slowly mounted the stairs. I wasn't sure what I was going to do when I went into the bedroom, kill him or merely maim him. Kill him was high on the list. I satisfied myself with beating him with the pillow, thus bringing him up out of a sound sleep. He never slept that soundly again before a race. Nor did he offer me any advice on how to play my tickets. At least not untill the second time I did the unthinkable and took his advice. More fool I.

43 comments:

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Well I've learned something new...John knows every word to Big Bad John with a few minor edits. ;>

I vaguely remember this piece about the horse race so now I'll go back and read it so that John, who is wailing about where his song went, can sing along.

Have a delightful weekend!

Lavinia said...

This is hilarious!!! I was breathless from the moment you started describing that fateful day.......and the way you described that big bonny black horse....then the 198,000 pounds...blimey that is a lot of money!! So cute about the red heels and purse for your city trip....but alas...not to be.....The very best part was picturing you tip toeing up the stairs with the pillow in hand....I was right with you....a quick suffocation ---the best revenge!! ha ha ha ha....oh well, you settled for a sound beating, that's good enough for me....

Glad you reran this as I missed it the first time round.

Wonderful story to tell for years to come.....

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

John is quite convinced that had you won, you'd have had a heart attack and Mack would have been a lonely, but rich widower. LOL!

ancient one said...

Great story... so glad you ran it again!

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

This is so wonderful Sandi!
I mean the text... not the fact that you lost 198,000 pounds!!
Christ! that's almost like winning the lottery but when finding out that you have the winning numbers you realise you forget to actually do it!!
Next time I'd go with what your instincts tell you to do!

justabeachkat said...

Great story. Oh.My.Word! He's lucky to be alive!

Hugs!
Kat

quilly said...

You let him live?! Ah -- yes. But you torture him with it still, yes?

Maggie May said...

He was lucky to escape with his life!
Enjoyed the story!
Maybe better off doing the Lottery!

jay said...

Hahahaha!! Oh dear... a miss is as good as a mile, indeed! Poor you! Those red leather heels would never be yours...

It's always unpredictable when they do something different with a horse for the first time, huh? Blinkers! LOL!

Moannie said...

Great story, had me from the off, cantering along, get to the last furlong and only comes in second. Husband's thinking was sound but there is no substitute for a woman's intuition.

thanks for re-posting, I would have missed a good read.

Sally said...

Wow, what a great story! I'm sorry you lost, but it sure makes for great writing which you are so good at. :)

Lee said...

LOL Loved this, Sandi. Also very glad you kept him alive. Do you live anywhere near a racetrack now?

Hugs!
Lee

CrazyCath said...

Oh my goodness he is SOOOO lucky to have lived! lol I think I would have kicked myself too for listening for the first time ever!!

Great post.

SandyCarlson said...

Ah, advice! Not for me--giving or receiving--and least not with horse racing. Your post was hilarious, as Lavinia said. The perfect word.

The horses that race are at once mighty and elegant. It's as wonderful as it is difficult to watch sometimes.

granny grimble said...

Hi Sandi!
What a thrilling story, sorry it had such a disappointing (to say the least) ending. I could picture you so well creeping up the stairs, your elongated shadow on the wall, one hand clutching the pillow the other clawed in anticipation of revenge!
Thank you so much for visiting my blog site. I started my story from the time I was a small child at the brink of WW11.
It was lovely to meet you and I do hope you visit me again.

Mima said...

You must have been so gutted. I don't normally bet on anything, but I have been known to play the lottery every now and then, and on occasion I bet on the horses (for the Grand National or something like that). I have never had a big win though, or come close!!

Glad to hear that you now do it your way, best way to go!!

david mcmahon said...

Priceless, Sandi. How my father would have loved your rendition of this story!

RiverPoet said...

Sandy, what a great story! Truly, this is the best horse racing story I've ever heard.

I'm glad you didn't kill him, but I'll bet he is a bit more cautious about giving you advice now....Peace - D

Sandy said...

Oh my stars! What do men know anyway?!

Patrice said...

I have been blog stalking this morning and found your blog through another. After reading your bio and at the end when you said "when my feet hit the floor, satans says oh hell, she's up" Made me laugh! You my kind of blog!!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

My Godfather is a big horse betting man. I'm sure he's got a few stories to tell...BTW have you heard about the big bet on Lewis Hamilton winning Formula 1? I think that netted the guy GBP198,000....and we all say to ourselves...I wish we'd done that! Well, you've had the guts to try it, Sandi, and your husband's lived whilst you tell your tale...and very good it was too!

Donna said...

I'd have used a baseball bat!!!Hahahaa...Funny story girl!!hughugs

Akelamalu said...

You only hit him with a pillow???? ;)

Veggie Mom said...

What a funny tale...Let's hear it for Re-Runs! Oldies, but Goodies, are almost always the way to go...BTW, Aunt Julie's hosting another *Recipe Week* over at my place, starting today. Remember how yummy the last one was?

merry weather said...

Ah, horse-racing. Yes! I live close by to Epsom, home of the Derby. It's an irresistible sport to follow. The horses are beautiful (but surprisingly small I think) and the characters there are fascinating. I don't bet much, but I do like the show.

My grandad died a few years ago, he always liked a flutter on the horses. I sat and studied the day's cards the day after I heard he'd gone, thinking of him and smiling. He'd have smiled too, I just knew it. I chose three horses and asked my husband to place an each way treble on his way to work, as was his habit some days. So later on, they came in, two firsts, one second. I wasn't surprised at all.

It was a shame that husband never put the bet on though! There are some things you just have to do for yourself.

Hope the RA has settled down? Take care x

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Great story Sandi - very funny - could just imagine you creeping up the stairs with the pillow. A valuable lesson learned by you both!

A x

lmerie said...

LOL Sandi - that is great. Men! Mine likes to throw his 2 cents in like that. It irritates me at times, at times I listen, only if I think he is really wrong so it will turn out that way to make a point -I HAVE a brain too! hehe He is a wonderful fellow though.

Lib said...

Hi,
The internet is working again. So trying to catch up, seems catching up is all I get done lately.
Have a great wk.
Blessins',Lib

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

LOL..great post..congrats for Davids POTD!!

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

LOL! What a great story!

i beati said...

I too love the ponies. I used to bet some whenmy husband was alive also love to ride ride ride sandy

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Hi Sandi,
I just came back here again to congratulate you on your nomination of David McMahon's Post Of The Day!
All the very best and I look forward to reading your next posts!

Lee said...

Hey Sandi, Congratulations on making David's Post of the Day list. Great story!

Hugs!
Lee

RBK's Realm said...

Totally enjoyed this horse race story and learned some new stuff also... Love your humor!

I plan to visit again.

Congratulations on being on the Blog of the Day list.

Coffee Bean said...

First of all... thank you for leaving that wonderful comment on my blog!

Secondly, I am home alone in my office and a minute or so after I pulled up your blog the "Casper Lullaby" started playing and scared the livin' beejeebers out of me!

Very funny post! I'm going to have to read up round here on your blog!

Tara said...

Oh, gosh, Sandi, really Toooo funny!

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

I read every word on the edge of my seat. Good post...m..m

~Red Tin Heart~ said...

My John was Irish and horses were in his blood. His Granfather bet on the horses and often won.
Great story, and thanks for the compliment on Velvet.
xoxo Nita

kari and kijsa said...

You always have the best stories...

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

smiles, kari & kijsa

cheshire wife said...

Congratulations on your POTD nomination. A great read. There must be a moral somewhere there. Thanks for rerunning it.

Terri and Bob said...

Your writing is so descriptive. I felt like I was there! In fact, it is such a good story that losing doesn't even really matter, does it?

NeereAnDear said...

OMG.... I am laughing so hard.... I can just imagine you slamming him with that pillow .... him waking up legs and arms flying all over the place a suprised look on his face like what the!!!

I have had that happen to me ...listening to a man is like signing away what ever is left of your sanity

HUGS

JO

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