By Ted McClelland
This enjoyable and witty exposé of horse racing in the USA is going behind the curtain on the tune, supplying a major gambler's-eye view of the motion. Ted McClelland spent a 12 months at tracks and off-track having a bet amenities in Chicago and around the nation, profiling the folks who make a occupation of playing on horses. This account follows his own trip of what it ability to be a participant as he gambles along with his booklet increase utilizing numerous making a bet and handicapping innovations alongside the way in which. a colourful solid of characters is brought, together with the intensely disciplined Scott McMannis, "The Professor," a onetime university teacher who now teaches a path in handicapping, and Mary Schoenfeldt, a former nun and proficient handicapper who donates all of her winnings to charity. This relocating account of wins, losses, and private turmoil presents a sobering examine gamblers, playing, and existence on the song.
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For a tip, he’d sign his name to Fo rm W-2G (“Certain Gambling Wi nnings”), and since hustlers don’t file tax returns, we’d cheat the revenuers out of their 27 percent. I cashed the ticket myself. To further avoid the hustlers, I paid two dollars to “cross over” to the clubhouse. Hustlers were not appreciated there. Even if they had been, they wouldn’t have sprung for the admission fee. Crossing over to the clubhouse was like stepping from a Greyhound bus depot into the lobby of the W hotel. The dealer supported Hawthorne by raffling off cars and broadcasting an ad—between every damn race—that opened with a hyped-up announcer shouting,“Sale!
Pro b a bl y,” I said. ” Lewis gripped the head of his cane as though it were a wizard’s staff and lifted himself off the bu c ket with a hydraulic slowness. A blanket drooped over the rim. I peeled it away and found a raggededged Chicago Sun-Times racing page. It was something anyone could buy for thirty-five cents, but Lewis was hiding it as is if were a CIA codebook. ” I asked, unfolding the sheet so Lewis could sit down again. ” “Thirty-one,” I said, after summing in my head. ” “That’s seventy-one.
You can never make money handicapping,” he liked to say. ” And yet, the bet won. 80 for every two dollars wagered, which meant my ticket, which was a series of eight one-dollar bets, was worth . . 90. I ran inside, to hunt down Eli. “Those are the kind of bets I get. ” “You’ll get it,” he said. I never did. Eli still owes me a nickel, on top of all his other debts. At this point, my $4,000 stake was undiminished. In fact, it was still piled in a vault at my neighborhood bank. Thoroughbreds usually race every two weeks, but after two weeks, I was still making tiny wagers.