Tips for a good time at the Del Mar track

You had better hurry. The governor of our great state is considering selling the fairgrounds at Del Mar. That would put the San Diego County Fair (It will always be the Del Mar Fair to me) and the summer thoroughbred horse racing (where the Surf meets the Turf) in jeopardy.

Anybody who has been to both knows that the fair is much more expensive than betting on the ponies.

Since this might be your last chance to bet the ponies, I am going to be giving you some very valuable tips.

Let me begin by saying that horse racing is the best value for the buck of any major sport. If put in proper prospective and done with reason, going to the track is the least expensive and most exciting professional sports venue.

One can argue for years about who the true athletes are, jockeys or the horses. I will propose a compromise and say both.

The jockey colony at Del Mar is one of the best in the world. Hall of Fame jocks have worked the oval near the sea since it opened. The Southern California circuit is the hardest circuit to make a living in the industry. Great (Hall of Fame) jockeys have had to go east to make a living.

The best horses in the world have also graced the track. Sea Biscuit, Best Pal and Cigar, just to name a few, have all raced at Del Mar.

One does not have to lose a lot of money to have a good time at the track, especially if one does not have much money like yours truly.

I suggest this. Only take what it would cost you to go to a Chargers game or a Padres game. If you take the family, just take the amount of money you spend on adult tickets. Kids are free at Del Mar.

Here are some tips that I have learned in over 50 years of research. I have also consulted some very prominent experts in the field. Ramona’s own Billy “The Tout” Clark and Bob “Moosh” Verhoest have given me permission to reveal some of their most treasured secrets on wagering.

First: get a Daily racing form or a racing Digest and learn how to read it. While reading it, you have to learn how to read between the lines.  

If the horse went off at 20 to 1 in his last race and didn’t finish until 1/30, don’t bet on it.

If in the comments column it notes that the horse stopped in the stretch to get petted, don’t bet on it.

If the last track that the horse ran at was The New Jersey Petting Zoo, don’t bet on it.

If your jockey staggers to the paddock and when he is helped on the horse he falls off the other side, don’t bet on it.

If your horse has been claimed by Alpo or Doctor Ross, don’t bet on it.

Sometimes playing a hunch is better than going by the form. If your date says “that jockeys uniform (silks) match my dress,” bet on it.

If the same lady thinks that the horse is the cutest horse in the race, bet on it.

If the paramutual clerk at the betting window can’t stop laughing after your make your bet, don’t go back to that window.

If you check your ticket and it is not the number you wanted, keep it. Your luck might be about to change. The guy at the window probably feels sorry for you.

Good luck and have fun at the track.

   
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