Horse Racing

Help Support Brothers of Briar:

RSteve

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Messages
1,894
Reaction score
334
In the past few months there has been a lot of news about horse racing. I know very little, but did make one significant bet.

As I've written previously, my mother died when I was a child in 1954. My father didn't handle things well and my older brother an I were farmed out to relatives and friends for several months. In the summer of 1955, to regain our trust and friendship, my father decided to take us on a roadtrip through South Dakota. Before we left, my father's sister, Aunt Rose gave my brother and me, each a ten dollar bill for spending money. In today's money, that's $98.47.

On the way to South Dakota in the '48 Plymouth, my father got sidetracked, and we wound up in Nebraska and the Ak-Sar-Ben horse racing track during the very short racing season. I think by that time, I was 10; my brother 14. Needless to say, I knew nothing about betting. The races were about 15 minutes apart, but it seemed longer. After each race, my dad would tear up his $2 betting ticket, curse, and go buy another one. I was plenty worried, because apparently my dad was gambling away the vacation money.

After one ticket tearing, my father announced his ulcers were killing him and if he didn't get to a bathroom, he'd s*** in his pants. He instructed my older brother to keep an eye on me and we were told not to move. He took off and I began scanning the near grandstand. Aha, just what I was looking for, an older man sitting in a wheelchair. I literally ordered my older brother to give me his $10 bill, which he coughed up with no resistance. I'd punched him out many times. I ran up to the betting window which had an older woman tending it. Keep in mind, I had reddish hair, some freckles and was small for my age. I went up to the betting window and told the woman my grandpa was in a wheelchair (pointing out the guy I'd spotted) and said he wanted to place a bet, but couldn't climb the stairs. He gave me $20 to buy ten $2 tickets on .........I can't remember the horse's name. The woman smiled and said she could get fired for doing this, but sold me the tickets, all on the same horse.

I joined my brother and it was still several minutes before my father arrived. Dad asked if we wanted to leave, he wan't going to bet anymore. I could see my brother was about to cry. Quite loudly, I said, "Please Dad, I just want to see one more race."

The horse on whom I'd bet must have been a ringer. From out of the gate to finish line, he led by several lengths. By the time the race was over, my brother was loudly sobbing, people looking at the three of us wondering what was wrong. My dad asked what was going on. I handed him the ten tickets. He looked at them, then looked at the big board. I thought he was going to faint. I admitted that I'd taken the Aunt Rose $20 and bet it all on that race. I said my brother was crying because you'd be so mad that we spent all of our vacation money. The horse was a 33 to 1 shot, winning $660, in today's dollars $6500. My father, all 6' 230 lbs. began to jump up and down. "Boys, this is going to be the best vacation any of us have ever had. He gave us each $100 and the rest was for a memorable healing vacation.

We hit the road to Chicago and Milwaukee. Our goal was to see Ernie Banks in Chicago and Henry Aaron, Warren Spahn, and Lew Burdette in Milwaukee. Different world in 1955, between my brother and me, we got autographs from all of them. I wish I'd kept them. Gene Conley, who was with the Braves, was the tallest man I'd ever seen.
 
Last edited:

D.L.Ruth

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
2,141
Reaction score
462
Location
NC
That's a great story. I've always wanted to go see a horse race but just never made it to the track. Just missed the Kentucky Derby too
 

Brewdude

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
B of B Supporter
Council Member
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
13,507
Reaction score
224
Location
Arid-zona
Wild story, Steve. That you remember it so well shows how significant that event was. So did you continue to bet on the ponies later in life?


Cheers,

RR
 

Timbo

Well-known member
B of B Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2015
Messages
1,455
Reaction score
79
Location
Australia
What an amzing story Steve, I had similar beginners luck betting on a greyhound that was at 30 to 1 odds when I was 18, sadly it was only a 5 buck bet, but it paid for a good night out with my mates.

Sadly now whatever I bet on is guaranteed to come last, my bad luck with betting even goes to the point of being a silent partner. My mates were betting on the horses at the pub and winning big. I chucked 50 bucks in and didn't have any input on choices etc. Nothing won. When the 50 bucks had gone, wham, the boys are back to winning again.
 

Zeno Marx

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
2,345
Reaction score
123
The horse racing world is more seedy and alien in my made-up world of it than any weirdness in Las Vegas. Though I grew up in a rural town and worked on farms, horses were a rarity. They freak me out a little, though I do think they're beautiful and majestic and trust all the horse lovers in the world that say they're so special. I wish I knew someone with horses. I'd like to be around them and maybe even ride.

I'm a David Milch fanboy. His HBO show Luck, about horse racing, was really good. It was canceled because horses kept getting injured and murdered (we can call it all kinds of things, but when you know the activity has a good chance in ending in death, it's some level of murder). "Three horses were killed during production of the series." - wikipedia. If that was the price for such a quality TV show about horse racing, I'm glad they canceled the show. Nevertheless, the nine episodes were good ones and come recommended.
 

RSteve

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Messages
1,894
Reaction score
334
I'm a David Milch fanboy. His HBO show Luck, about horse racing, was really good. It was canceled because horses kept getting injured and murdered (we can call it all kinds of things, but when you know the activity has a good chance in ending in death, it's some level of murder).
The number of race horses who are injured and put down in the U.S. is beyond belief. The numbers who were put down at Santa Anna led to to a wholesale investigation. A majestic thorobred who is "slow" by racing standards will be shipped to a Canadian meat processing plant. This is unique to the horse breeding/racing industry in the U.S. In Europe the breeders breed to a different standard and horses injured at races are very rare.

That bet was my only one.
 

Ranger107

Well-known member
B of B Supporter
Joined
Feb 18, 2019
Messages
2,398
Reaction score
2,004
When I lived in Omaha I would gi to Aksarben maybe 2/3 times a month. Never bet big but did win a few times. I had a knack for picking horses on the way they looked to me. Never followed the predictions or betting suggestions and I did okay most times.
Zeno, horses are wonderful creatures but they are all different just like people. Arabians in particular are magnificent creatures but headstrong and take a lot of training. You want a tame horse get an Andalusian. Big but very gentle with an in your pocket personality.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_2021-05-05-20-52-02.png
    Screenshot_2021-05-05-20-52-02.png
    1.1 MB · Views: 47

Zeno Marx

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
2,345
Reaction score
123
Zeno, horses are wonderful creatures but they are all different just like people. Arabians in particular are magnificent creatures but headstrong and take a lot of training. You want a tame horse get an Andalusian. Big but very gentle with an in your pocket personality.
They're super interesting. Like dog breeds, it sounds like. Part of the reason they freak me out is that everyone talks about how sensitive they are to the personality of the people around them, so if I'm freaked out, it could freak them out? It's cool how they use them for therapy, both for physical and mental difficulties.
 

Ranger107

Well-known member
B of B Supporter
Joined
Feb 18, 2019
Messages
2,398
Reaction score
2,004
They're super interesting. Like dog breeds, it sounds like. Part of the reason they freak me out is that everyone talks about how sensitive they are to the personality of the people around them, so if I'm freaked out, it could freak them out? It's cool how they use them for therapy, both for physical and mental difficulties.
Zeno, yes they are sensitive to how people react to them but don't think they would "freak out" just because you did, lol. They do seem to have a sense of when people are afraid of them, call it horse sense. Pretty easy technique to attune yourself. When you approach a horse, stop short, extend your hand, palm down, fingers curled but not into a fist. Do not look into the horses eyes. Let him/her come to you. When the muzzle/nose touches your hand, slooowly slide your hand up to the poll, the area between the eyes and rub slowly. Most horses react well to this. They.like the area between and just below the ears rubbed gently. A horse is a big strong animal, usually 1000+ lbs. But once you accept that they are not "out to get you" you will learn to appreciate them and not be freaked out by them.
 

RSteve

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Messages
1,894
Reaction score
334
I think horses have a sense of humor. Years ago, when my daughters were ages nine and seventeen, my wife and I took the girls to the Radisson Hotels resort in Alexandria, MN. Not far from the hotel was a riding stable, where you could book a trail ride through the hotel.(The booking agent was at the hotel, the trail ride didn't go through the hotel.) My daughters had both ridden at summer camps and I'd ridden quite a bit during my first marriage to a competition equestrian. My wife, to the best of my knowledge had never been on a horse. As we followed the trail guide, at a very slow walk, my wife began to shift to one side, and within seconds was in the saddle, holding the saddle horn with an iron grip, completely under the horse. Obviously, the saddle's cinch hadn't been tightened properly. My daughters and I couldn't help but laugh hysterically at my wife, under the horse, hanging on for dear life. As the angels above are my witness, our horses starting laughing as well. Needless to say, the trail guide immediately came to my wife's assistance. As she was extricated from under the horse, however, she landed in a pile of fresh horse manure. My daughters were absolutely howling with laughter. Just recalling the experience still makes me laugh. My wife was so angry at us laughing, that the manure on her back didn't seem to bother her. A few hours later, a representative of the hotel phoned our room to tell us we'd be guests of the hotel for the remainder of our stay.
 
Last edited:

Zeno Marx

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
2,345
Reaction score
123
Considering this to be the horse thread, not about horse racing, but about wild horses. All animals deserve to be treated with dignity and reverence. "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." -Ghandi

Roundups of wild horses cause controversy​


 

SteelyJ

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
261
Reaction score
121
Location
Delaware
I really loved reading this story. My uncles (dad's side) have always been big on horse races. Out here it's harness racing. They usually own 1-2 horses of their own at any given time. As a kid I used to go with with sometimes to the one local track. They taught me how to read a program, and they would place bets for me. I'd go with $2-4 and bet $2 to win on a horse. Pretty simple bets, but I remember the first few times I had $120~ by the end of the night. The first night we did this, I picked every race but one I think? It was always a good time. When the fall/winter came around - it was Saturday night buffet dinners (prime rib and steamed shrimp were constants) and simulcasting. Man - those were good times.
 

Ranger107

Well-known member
B of B Supporter
Joined
Feb 18, 2019
Messages
2,398
Reaction score
2,004
Horse racing out here isn't that big, but adoption of wild horses is. Mustangs, if you have the time and patience to train them, make great trail horses. I rode a friends for a while. He was a mustang morgan cross and one of the best horses I ever rode. Solid on the trails, great on the rocky trails we have here. Sound, sure footed. Even did mounted shooting off of him. Nothing fazed him. Would have bought him in a heartbeat, but my buddy wouldn't sell.
 

thedeep

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 10, 2008
Messages
359
Reaction score
9
From the age of 10 to 49 I was a horseman. Trained race horses in the late 70's and early 80's. Still follow horse racing. No horses anymore.
 
Top