Thursday, January 15, 2009

Horse Racing as a New Dad

When I graduated college I got a job smack dab in the middle of a little horse racing town called Hot Springs, AR. Before I moved here I had only been to the horse track once in my life. It was fun but more of a party than anything else and I really knew nothing about how to bet the ponies.

Fast forward 9 years and you will find me as a horse racing junkie. I would go to the track everyday if it would not cost me my job and my marriage. I have learned how to bet all the bets, read all the forms, and talk all the talk. I go to the track every chance I get to make a few bets and drink a few beers. My friends come in from other parts of Arkansas to go to the track with me. I have become a true fan of horse racing following the big races on TV. There is nothing though that matches the excitement of live thoroughbred racing and it returns to Oaklawn Park this Friday January 16th.

This year I face a new challenge in the world of horse racing. I have never won particularly big. I take home a few hundred dollars from time to time. Most trips I gamble all day and have it only cost me for refreshments or less. Basically I can usually play the horses even and maybe even make enough to cover my adult beverages. By doing that I am enjoying some very cheap entertainment. Every once in a while I will take a beating and not be able to hit any races. I hate those days but in the past they have only been damaging to my pride. Now that I am a new dad things are a little different. My wife is no longer working and we have another mouth to feed. That is a nice way of saying that I cannot afford to take any big beatings this year. So what will I do?

I am not a rich man so I don't bet a huge amount of money but I like to place several different bets on every race because it increases my odds of winning. I think that if I cut down on my wagers I will cut way down on my chances of winning money or even breaking even. In the long run I think this will make me lose more. I am planning to make mostly the same bets on the slow days at the track. When I am partying with all my buddies I will cut way back on the betting. These are the days that I usually lose my head and make ridiculous bets. I think there could be some scientific correlation to drinking and and losing money. Don't anybody go and tell Las Vegas or Tunica.

This year I hope I can use my knowledge to have some good cheap fun. If I lose too much I could get banned by my wife or I could be relegated to screaming "Braden needs a new pack of diapers" as my horse heads for home.

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