Racing Resolutions, 2008

For me, September is really the beginning of the new year, so I am not much given to New Year’s resolutions…but September seems a foolish time to make racing resolutions. Actually, any time seems a foolish time to make racing resolutions, but I won’t let that deter me. Anything I’ve read about resolutions says that they should be few; they should be specific; and they should be manageable. So here goes:

I resolve that I will no longer make bets whose lowest possible payout could return less money than I’ve bet. No more of those exacta box/multiple WP bets that cover all the angles but include too many low-priced horses. They are great for the pride (“Hey, I won $19!”) but lousy for the wallet (“Yeah, but I bet $25.”). In other words, I resolve that I will no longer be the worst bettor in my family, and that includes my five- and ten-year-old nephews.

I resolve to get over the bad beats faster. No more stewing and fuming for hours, even days, sometimes months, when the horse I liked but didn’t bet comes in at long odds (see Latitude Forty in the Yaddo last August); when I forget to bet the triple (see the Cigar Mile and Gazelle); when I toss the idea of throwing a dollar to win/place on a huge longshot and it hits the board (see Al Sheetahn opening week of Saratoga: $55 to place). This time next year, I won’t be able to remember the bad beats with such keen precision, because I will have gotten over them and moved on.

I resolve to let go of horses. Once I decide I like a horse, I bet it every time I see it race. No matter of odds, competition, record, when my faves race, I put money on them because I can’t bear the thought of getting beaten by them. No more. I will let go of sentimental attachments to horses and use my head, not my heart, to handicap. At least until the next time Evening Attire races.

And I resolve that some time in the next few months (weeks?), I will erase this post, to destroy any evidence that might remind me that I ever made such foolish pledges. Resolutions? What resolutions?

Feel free to add your own…

6 thoughts on “Racing Resolutions, 2008

  1. I’ve seen those kind of resolutions before. And just like the “Lose 10 pounds”, “Cut back on wine”, “Write more”, “Do my taxes before April 15th”, and so forth, and they all get broken routinely.Best of luck … especially on resolving to be a better bettor.

  2. Great post and great resolutions. My big one vis a vis racing/gaming is to keep better records of my action throughout the year.

  3. Sue: Cut back on wine? Who would ever be so foolish as to make THAT resolution? Makes mine look positively realistic. =)Thanks, anon…good luck!

  4. Ok, you asked for it….My resolution, to start actually going INTO Keeneland instead of the drive-through betting windows. And to actually cash my tickets from those drive-through bets. I still have my Derby and Preakness tickets from 2006 & 2007 that I never drove back through to cash. I bring the ticket home, set it in my program, put the program up then forget about it until 6 months down the road. If I was inside the gates, I would have no reason not to cash them! Then when I actually do go to into Keeneland for the races do I take the tickets with me? No, because I’ve forgotten all about them or I’ve forgotten where I put the program. Guess, I’ll just start a new “collection” uncashed winning Derby tickets….hum, maybe, do you think someday they will be worth something on Ebay?

  5. For shame, Katie! While I love the idea of drive-through betting in theory (was charmed by it when I was at Keeneland last spring), you simply cannot use it as a substitute for actually going to the races…especially when you have tickets to cash! We will expect a published update of how you’re doing on this particular resolution…

  6. I agree on the exacta box thing. Unless there is a dead-heat, one of those bets is a loser. What I like to do is bet a one-way exacta with my first choice on top of my second choice and also a quinella on the same two horses- if the quinella is available. That way, if it comes in the order you liked it, you cash both tickets. If it comes in with your second choice on top, at least you have the quinella..

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