Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ever Had a Hunch?

Several years ago, when I was working in program production for Santa Anita Racetrack, I made a hunch bet I will never forget. As I was driving in to work in the morning, I heard Pink Floyd's tune, "Free Four," on the radio. One of the lines in the song goes, "Who is the master of foxhounds, and who says the hunt has begun?" I was still singing that line to myself as I walked into my office.

I picked up the daily program, which included the card for the opening day of the Fairplex meet, and the name of a horse running that afternoon at Fairplex jumped right off the page at me -- Master of Foxhounds. Well, I put $2 to win on him (I'm not a big bettor!), he won, and I cashed a ticket for $100.

Now, I'm not saying I make bets on hunches all the time; but, when I get a really strong hunch like that, I know -- really KNOW -- that it's going to win. Like many racetrackers, I'm a big believer in luck. I believe that luck is a real phenomenon, and that it is cyclical. Some people are just better than others at recognizing when they're having a "streak."

I'd love to hear anyone else's "hunch" experiences. Please leave a comment and share your stories!


Alfredo said...

To my detriment, I'm afraid that I look at hunch bets rather cynically. I remember being at the races with an uncle that won a tidy sum because he wagered on a hunch bet. “That’s just stupid! C’mon how can he pick that horse my handicapping gives him no hope?” I have made a small concession to silliness; I have allowed myself a hunch bet if I happen to be at the races or ITW and it is my birthday. This has happened no more than a half a dozen times.

I remember my first successful hunch bet. It was August 10, Herbert Hoover’s and my birthday, and I was at the ITW. A horse called Teresa's Boy was running, since my mother is named Teresa, I ventured to the window with my two bucks. The Boy crossed the finish line first and paid $17.

Recently I've been kicking myself because I have passed on several opportunities when a little voice has told me to wager on certain horses. I am a teacher and occasionally the kids will call me Mr. Rod. Yup and he won a big Hollywood Turf Festival race Thanksgiving weekend.

And did I bet him?

NOOOOOOOOOOOO! "Hunch bets are silly! I'm not betting this horse even though his PPs look good.”

I really have to learn to loosen up more! Put my fate in the hands of the Racing Gods and the little voice more often.

Wind Gatherer said...

The first bet I ever made was a hunch bet. I was at Hawthorne and had just read Ambrose Bierce's 'The Devil's Dictionary'. An AlwN1x was carded and the filly that jumped out at me was Book the Devil.

She won going away and I thought they were just giving money away at the track. I think I have cashed two tickets since then but one of them was Giacomo in the Derby.

Theodore L. Grevelis said...

My wife insisted that I bet a trifecta on Cal Cup Day at Santa Anita three years ago. She doesn't look at PPs, nor does she bet colors or anything else, but she said that these three horses are in her head - period. To appease her I placed the tri bet, but rather than betting it straight, I boxed it. You guessed it - her numbers were spot on (though I was happy I boxed it!) and we cashed for $187. Not a windfall, but still pretty freaky!

acpaul said...

My first hunch bet was in the '93 BC Classic... I put two bucks on a horse to win because I thought that 1) his name was funny and 2) no one would ship a horse all the from France unless they knew something that I didn't.

Arcangues won the Classic with a payout of $269 for my two dollar bet.

I also bet my gut at the Kentucky Derby, since, as we all know, the favorite almost never wins. I'm rarely wrong, even though I don't really believe in luck.

Anonymous said...

Back in 1992, I managed to get a dinner date with a girl I could only dream would agree to go out with me. The afternoon of the date, a horse named Fantasy Fulfilled ran at Aqueduct. The price wasn't much, I bet it and it won.

Anonymous said...

Years ago there was a horse running and its name was my brothers three initials spelled out(ex, s=ESS). My mother used to bet it everytime it ran (and she wasn't a bettor) and she did very well with that "hunch" over the course of a few races.

Anonymous said...

I remember a horse called Patriotism running on Presidents' Day many years ago.

I was sure that "they" would guarantee a victory for Patriotism on the National Holiday and got a $9 winner and a memory.

Anonymous said...

This probably isn't a hunch bet but it was something I will never forget. I was at Bay Meadows and the jockeys and valets were walking into the saddling ring. I was right by the dirt track and the jock said something under his breath to his valet. The valet turned right around and headed for the windows and was taking out his wallet as he climbed the stairs. I'm telling myself, "go bet this horse, go bet this horse".

I didn't bet the horse and the horse won at great odds. stupid stupid stupid!

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