THE DAY A HILLBILLY ALMOST HIT THE PICK SIX
Of course we love the sport of Thoroughbred racing for many reasons. Here is a short narrative documenting some of those reasons.
The speculation on the sport is very intriguing. Some may be overwhelmed by the many different wagers on the menu, but the bottom line is back a horse and get paid. The pick six is the Dahlia Llama of wagers as you try and forecast the first place finishers in the final six races on the card. You can play multiple horses in each race, but that can lead to a very pricey gamble. Sometimes it can be hard to hit back to back races, so six in a row????
The attractiveness to a wager like this is two-fold. First of all, the payout can be quite handsome. Secondly, being right about something is always nice, so strutting your stuff six consecutive times…yeah baby.
I am fortunate to have a betting buddy. Guy is pretty quick on his mental feet, being an investment counselor is his day job. Hmmmm, imagine that. I have long told him putting his clients in the handicapping market can yield big returns on an investment…or not. And these days the ponies may yield a little more…at times.
Got a text from him Friday morning that said Thursday’s pick six ticket at Gulfstream Park yielded a $14,000 payout. We needed to get in on that action so he suggested a low budget play. Here is where it gets good.
First two race winners were favorites and I had them both. These multi-race wagers are difficult to hit when you go low risk with your ticket and hopes are you are at least alive long enough to let the excitement build.
I’m a believer in the omens of horse racing as it relates to life, always have been. The third leg had me taking a middle of the road shot. Favorites do not always win and playing the chalk all the time can lead to a torn up ticket. So when my selection, Arithmetic, came home first at 8 to 1 I immediately thought heck yeah… things are adding up!
So now that we are half way home with a live ticket, I’m feeling good. If nothing else, at least we were half right. Then came race 9. Jockey Luis Saez put his horse in the race early and rode him to a convincing win. The runner was named Jesus’ Team…Holy mother it’s divine intervention!
So here we are staring at the fifth leg of the pick six still with a shot at glory. My councilor’s selection shot up the rail and was first to the wire in 5 fast furlongs over the Gulfstream grass. Name of the horse…R Happy Ending…WOW!!!
Five winners in a row and the last three had come out of the Tarot card deck. What the???…The next twenty minutes were filled with anxious moments and dreams of glory. We were three deep in the last race and as I watched the tote board on my computer screen I saw we had the two favorites and still another as well. It was as much about being right as it was the potential payout…or not…but still the old blood was pumping for sure.
As the final race went to post I was cautiously optimistic. This may have been a maiden claiming race to some, but to me it was the biggest one of the day. The horses broke clean and the opening furlong of the 1 mile turf race saw our runners all in the top three. Covering ground with ease, they maintained position with the others a few lengths back. As they turned for home we still had the top three spots. Front-running Florado gave way and was passed by Quiet American. This was good as the Joel Rosario ridden runner was our 12-1 shot!
With my heart racing as if I were the one running, our American was still in the lead in the final sixteenth. Wait a minute… an outsider was coming with huge strides!!! I pleaded “Hold on baby hold on!”
In the final two jumps Noble Alma got up to win by a prevailing head…She was not on our ticket. This Helen of Troy had wrecked our empire. Befallen by a female (of course it was a race for fillies ), we were designated to the close but no cigar category.
With the adrenaline still pumping I realized what I already knew. It was one heck of a ride and just playing the game really is part of the fun. Me and a good friend got to enjoy some camaraderie and we shared some smiles afterwards even if we weren’t splitting the $2622.22 payout. Ahh yes, the sport of kings can crown you…if you let it.