How to be a Gentleman #469

Know How to Conduct Business at a Horse Track

Rule #1: Don’t bet your college savings on War Emblem

Taking a spin through the GP Archives, you will notice a lot of posts about the Sport of Kings.  Outside of Maryland sporting events, there may not be another sport that hosts more Gentlemanly Gatherings.  As a Gentleman you are not expected to be a master horseman, but you should know how to attend a day at the races and be competent.  Here is a quick cheat sheet:

Types of Bets: There are seemingly thousands of different bets you can place on a single race.  No need to get super fancy.  The tried and true bets are tried and true for a reason.  Just stick with these and you will be fine.
Proper Bet Language:  Race Number; Amount of bet; type of bet; horse number(s)
Example: Race 8, $5 to win on number 4

Win – Just like it sounds. You are picking the horse you think will win

Place – This bet pays out if your horse finishes first or second

Show – This bet pays out if your horse finishes first, second, or third

Across the Board – Places a win, place, and show bet on a single horse.  A $2 bet across the board will cost you $6

Exacta – You are picking the horses you think will finish first and second.  Horses must finish in the exact order on your ticket, which is where the…

Exacta Box – comes in handy.  If you pick a two horse exacta and box it, you are betting on both combinations.  So if you pick horses 4 & 6, you win with a 4-6 or 6-4 finish.  Once again, a $2 bet will cost you $4.  If you want to get fancy, you can even box an exacta with three horses.  This bet will cover all six combinations.  Consequently, a $2 bet will cost you $12

Trifecta – Picking the top three horses in exact order.  Like the exacta, this can also be boxed making a $2 bet with three horses cost $12

Superfecta – For those feeling super lucky, you can try to pick the top four finishers in a given race.  A $2 bet here with 4 horses will run you $48

Other Helpful Tips: 

If you go to the Preakness, people who live off Northern Parkway or Park Heights Avenue will charge you $20-$30 (or in some cases $100) to park on their lawns.  Instead, turn down Bland Avenue where you can park on the street for free.

Get Subway before going to the races.  However, just know you can’t substitute meats.  Also, don’t leave your sandwich on the counter

Research the cast of HBO’s Luck.  They really are horsefolk and it is cool seeing them in person.  Plus you can tell John Ortiz you love his IMDB picture

 If you see a guy that looks like Kenny Mayne or Jeremy Schaap, it is probably Kenny Mayne or Jeremy Schaap

When people ask “who won that race?” Sarah Jessica Seabiscuit or Sarah Jessica Pegasus are acceptable answers

If you find yourself in a Lemon Relay, just go with it.

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