Monday, September 14, 2009

A Day at the Races

I went to the Maryland State Fair the weekend before last for the express purpose of placing a few bets on the ponies. And by “placing a few bets” I mean study the program and tip sheets feverishly, analyze the odds, look for the biggest horse, scrutinize the jockeys and eventually place my piddley $2 Exacta box bets.

I like to bet the races at the Fair. I know I have the “legendary” Pimlico racetrack, home of The Preakness triple-crown race, about 5 minutes from my apartment. And by “Pimlico”, I mean that giant toilet sitting in front of a dirt oval track. I think the degenerate gambler factor is somewhat reduced at the Fair, as opposed to Pimlico. At the Fair, there are more casual bettors, who throw more money into the pot for people that pretend they actually know what they’re doing, like me.

As I mentioned, I usually bet 1 or 2 Exacta boxes per race, which is a $4 bet in which you pick any two horses to finish 1st or 2nd, in either order. (This is just a fancy way of making two $2 single Exacta bets, where you pick 1st and 2nd place finishers in order.)

Right out of the gate, I hit Exactas for the first 3 races. Whoo Hoo! Riding high, babeeee and now playing with $44 of house money. As you may have seen from my last posting, I’m all about the mojo, so I was going to the same teller, sitting in the same place and betting the same way. But in the 4th race, I tried adding a $2 Trifecta bet (picking 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in order) in addition to my 2 Exacta boxes.

Naturally I lost on the next 4 races. Funny how karma will whack you like that. I dared to alter the formula and got smacked. Eventually I won another Exacta in the 8th race and again in the 10th and final race. All in all, I played with house money all day.

Exactas won:
1st $13.40
2nd $14.00
3rd $37.00
8th $21.00
10th $14.20
Total: $99.60

Bet: $80.00
Net $19.60

So that’s nice. But then you have to factor out the $27.50 I spent on parking, Fair admission fee, the racing forms and tip sheets, 2 slices of pizza and a beer and I lost a grand total of a $7.90. Oh well… That’s 4 and a half hours of entertainment for less than the cost of a movie. I’ll take that bet any time. I may even have to get myself a special racing shirt.

Shot from the rail... this is what's fun about going to the track... feeling the ground shake when they run by. Papa Im noses Dutch Purple for 2nd. (The winner had already gone by.) I'm in favor of anything purple getting beaten, especially by something wearing black and gold. Plus, it gave me another exacta win. The winner, Royal Bayou. Hey, I didn't know Rush Limbaugh went to the track.
Steelers/Titans Post Game
It’s taken me a while to decide how to handle Pittsburgh Steeler game results. I took notes during the game, but to be perfectly honest, there are dozens of sites I know of and probably hundreds of site I don’t that already do recaps and analysis better than I. Ginny at That’s Church does the
funny recap better than anyone.

I know it’s been 5 days since the game the news is not exactly new any more, but geez, I already have the notes here, so I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the effort go to waste. So let me just hit some bullet points of my impressions of the game.

*Wow, the old ‘Burgh looks good all lit up. Nice fireworks. I wonder if they’re real, or Chinese Olympic’d up.

*Special Teams is going to be worlds better this year. Logan had a big night with returns and Daniel Sepulveda returned from injury last year to either pound the ball or drop it inside the 15-yard line. The first sequence demonstrated it all. Logan returned to about the 40 instead of last year’s customary return to the 22. We go three and out, then Sepulveda punts it 54 yards to the 2, rather than last year’s 35-yard shank. That’s about a 40-yard swing. When the Titans punted, we’re in business near the 50. Having a short field more often will pay off over the year.

*Troy Polamalu was just a torpedo out there. He was like that cartoon when Bugs Bunny plays every position on the baseball field. There’s Troy in the backfield. There’s Troy filling a hole in the line. There’s Troy pulling down a one-handed INT. Sadly then there was Troy getting his knee rolled up on after a blocked FG. Luckily, he’s only set to miss 3-6 weeks. Although Jerome Bettis said today that when he had the same injury, running straight ahead was fine but changing direction was a problem. As Troy is all about the change of direction, it might take a bit longer until he’s back to new.

*As all media outlets have pointed out, the Steelers running game was non-existent. I don’t blame the runners, however. There was nowhere for them to run. They were either hit in the backfield, or saw no holes in the line, unless you count the backsides of his offensive line. This needs to be fixed pronto.

*Welcome back Heath Miller. Dude was everywhere, early on. It was like he was the only one Ben could find. I’m glad to see that… Heath will latch onto any ball he can get his big mitts on and gets north/south immediately. Maybe a few more balls to Heath over the middle takes a little wear and tear off Hines.

*I’m the first guy to tell people that complain about the officiating to STFU, but the reffing in this game was horrible. When Steeler-basher Chris Collinsworth is saying the Steelers are getting jobbed, it must be really bad. They held Harrison all game, one time with full camera isolation on the horse collaring. No call. The holding penalty on Starks was bogus, as was the interference call on Troy. But the Steelers did what good teams do… they overcame it.

*How could you not feel for Hines fumbling on the 5, when all they needed was a field goal for the win? I don’t blame him for it, because it was a heck of a strip from behind by the defensive back. Hines could have went right down, but if you’ve ever watched the guy, he kills himself to get into the end zone any time he’s close. You don’t want to stifle that. I’m just glad rookie Mike Wallace came through with a long catch to the 15-yard line in OT and Jeff Reed knocked home the game winning FG. Skippy, the sluts are on Hines tonight.

1 comment:

  1. OMG, that photo of Jeff Reed almost made me pee my pants. He's so gross!!!

    Also, did you vote?

    Lastly, that's a nice photo of a turd. Always appreciate horse dung.


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