Posted by: guinness222 | December 8, 2008

“Come on 2, come on, you can do it!!”

    One of our “bar buddies”, as the sainted wife calls them, owns about fifteen or twenty “trotters”, or “Pacers”, (horseys that run around a track, pulling a “driver” sitting with his legs spread wide apart with a foot on either side of the horses butt, about 36″ behind it, on a little seat just big enough for his butt, attached to what looks like two bicycle wheels on the outside. .. )  First of all the thought of leaving my “crown jewels” that exposed, AND within 36″ of a horses hoof,….well let’s just say it’s a sport I will not be pursuing anytime soon!

       Anyway, they call the little cart the driver is on a “sulky” (I understand, I’d be sulking with the jewels that close to the horse!) Now the idea is for the horsey, who is expertly trained, to maintain a stride and rythmn and not to “break” the stride, for the entire race. Who ever comes in first obviously wins. Now if said “horsey” does break stride, the driver has to pull him out to the outside and go to the back of the line, get him back in stride, and then he may continue the race. (Sort of reminds me of the teacher saying “Ok children, line up single file and we are going out to recess, no running, everybody just walk nicely,  Bobby, walk, Charlie, walk, Johnny, walk and don’t shove Mary Anne again, Stevey, help Anna up and don’t let bobby step on her,…oh shit, just go outside and don’t kill each other!”

        They’ve got a big old Caddilac, or a pick up truck, with a specially built up back end, kind of like a backwards roof and windows on top of the car or truck, with a “starter” person inside, and two thirty or forty foot “gates” on each side. They start “tucked in” like the STOP signs on the school busses, and when they are ready they start driving forward slowly at first, then extend the “Gates” out like the school bus “Stop ” sign, all the horseys come up to it as it begins moving, get thier noses right up to the gates, and they start increasing the vehicle speed. When they reach the “starting line” the vehicle guns it and gets way ahead and pulls in the gates and pulls out of the way.  The horseys are then racing.

         It really is a fluid thing to watch, and we have a special TV channel at the Pub that is nothing but racing from like fifty different tracks. Most of my “Buddy “Woody”‘s horseys run in Montecello New York, Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania, and occasionally at Yonker’s New York. If you are a regular you will eventually be invited to “buy into” a horsey by Woody. This means you can fulfill you wildest dream of owning a piece of a race horse. There are always “Claimers” , or races where the owner of the horsey put’s him in the race , obviously called a “claimer” , for a sum of money. So let’s say it’s a $6,000 “Claimer” you can buy any horsey in that race if you put up a cashiers check before the race begins for the $6,000. As soon as the race is over, you own him, lock, stock, and barrel. SOOOOOooooo if you hanker to be a “Race Horse owner” you  kick in some bucks with a few others and the horsey is yours. Whatever he wins you get 50% of the purse, until he has paid back all the money everyone “ponied up” (pun intended!) to buy him, the other 50% goes to the trainer for the food, housing, training, motivation, etc. etc.. Once he’s paid for himself then the trainer gets 70% of the opurse and we get 30%, forever more. When they get old and tired from racing, we sell them off to stud farms, or to the Amish to pull thier buggies around.  So for three or five hundred dollars you can be in the winners circle as an “Owner” , get your picture taken, and be a STAR! (Even though the horsey is doing all the work!)

      Well, if any of the horseys owned by the group are running, the word goes out and we all show up and have the advantage of placing “off track” bets on them and watching them run. (Makes for some long lunches if they are running during the week!)

       On Friday evening we, a lot of the locals, meet at 6pm and “crank up” the races for the night. We use a deck of cards, take out the ace through 9, or ten if there are ten hoses in the race, study the “racing forms” so generously provided by Woody, then we collectively pick the 1st,2nd, and 3rd place horseys, kick in adollar each, pull a card (blind pull of course) and if you so desire as we can usually play what is called a “$1 Exacta” bet, with the “Offtrack” or “bookies” as well , which means two of those three horses must finish first and second, and if they do, you win. It costs $6 to play a “$1 dollar exacta box”, (There will not be a test today, so relax.) Usually the payoffs are like your $6 back plus 2 or 3 dollars in winnings. But, big but here, like last Friday evening was for me, I hit a couple of them just right and pocketed almost $45 PLUS the money I put in with the “Bookie” (Oh you get payout immediately on the spot by whomever is calling the bets in, and they get credited to thier account for the winnings. Better than the track, sit on your barstool, pass a couple bucks right, get a bunch o’ bucks back, and never miss a sip!). The “community bet” where we all kick in and pick a card costs you a buck ($1) and it’s a winner take all so whoever has trhe winning horsey card number makes a quick $7 or $8 bucks. (Hit that twice Friday night as well.)

        SO don’t let anyone every tell you that there is no way you can get paid to sit around and drink beer. We figured it out!!

      And during the NASCAR season, we have a pool on each weeks race as well that is $5, kick up $5, pick a number from a hat (1-33) and if that car, based on the starting position in the race, wins, you get $100 for 1st, $35 for second, or $10 for third. (I’ve usually hit that once or twice a year for 1st, so for the rest of the year it’s free gambling.)

      ( Now you’ve learned things to do at a pub when you are bored just drinking with friend and want a chance to get paid to drink.) Oh we also have the “Janice Rule” (named after one of our “Pub members” who is a special Education Teacher for the past 28 years) If you win more than three “community bet” races on any given night  you are disqualified for the rest of the evening,….gotta spread the wealth around you know!

-30-


Responses

  1. Not a good spot if the horse suddenly got the shits…or came to a sudden stop. There are no seatbelts on those little…racers…carriages…what ever they are called. Just a straight shot up the horse’s ass.


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