By Ray Wallin
Whether you are a causal horseplayer or you make your living playing the races, it is only natural to root for your horse. When he wins it is OK to celebrate a bit, with moderation of course. Likewise, if you lose a tidy sum of money on the race it is only natural to be upset. Previously, we looked at some crazy horseplayers at the track, but we have found some more entertaining folks for you to emulate!
In my days on the Monmouth Park grandstand apron there was one guy who always seemed to find me, Ryan the Trader. He may have been a wiz with stocks but he was not so great with the ponies. He claimed to be an exercise rider and always had a “hot tip” that never materialized. He was a great guy with a big heart, but by the stretch of every race he was “riding the phantom horse.” Not only was he pretending to ride the horse, he’d be yelling at the top of his lungs. Nothing beats drawing a little attention to yourself on a bad day of betting!
Sadly, I would learn of the Trader’s passing a few years ago. But he left a lasting impression in not only my mind, but anyone who watched his theatrics!
(Note that like many horseplayers, some of these videos contain some vulgar language!)
Beggin’ and Pleadin’
We’ve all been there. Trying to cut a deal, begging, pleading, or willing to sell our first born! I admit, I can’t always make out what this guy is saying. He is giving it his all to no avail. It doesn’t seem to go his way this day at Golden Gate. Note the classic tossing of the program at the end. Maybe program tossing for distance should be part of the horseplayer Olympics?
We go to the “Land Down Under” to see the reactions of a guy whose son is playing a prank on him while he is trying to watch the races. I am surprised he didn’t give him a heart attack!
Two For One Special
From the start, you think it is just the guy in the white shirt and black pants that will be getting into it. He springs up at the start of the race. Standing idle until he starts “riding the horse” himself. Not to be outdone, we have the added bonus of the guy in the white hat joining the party late. Looks like neither one of them is going home happy!
Keep your eye on the guy with the black jacket. First he has the jitters, then he really wants him to “open him up on the rail” while commentating to everyone who had no choice but to listen to him. At least he has the jockey who lost his mount in mind. Something tells me he’ll talk about anything to anyone who will listen, even if unwillingly!
The Whole Room is Crazy
It starts off mellow, but by the end of the race you can see a number of happy horseplayers. The guy in the front in the tan jacket looks like he is getting healed by an evangelist. The guy at the counter comes to life as the race ends. Another nice quiet day at the OTB!
Once again, for those of us that remain more composed at the race track, it is always fun to come for the live racing and stay for the show! What other great entertaining horseplayer moments have you witnessed at the track or your favorite OTB?
Ray Wallin is a licensed civil engineer and part-time handicapper who has had a presence on the Web since 2000 for various sports and horse racing websites and through his personal blog. Introduced to the sport over the course of a misspent teenage summer at Monmouth Park by his Uncle Dutch, a professional gambler, he quickly fell in love with racing and has been handicapping for over 25 years.
Ray’s background in engineering, along with his meticulous nature and fascination with numbers, parlay into his ability to analyze data; keep records; notice emerging trends; and find new handicapping angles and figures. While specializing in thoroughbred racing, Ray also handicaps harness racing, Quarter Horse racing, baseball, football, hockey, and has been rumored to have calculated the speed and pace ratings on two squirrels running through his backyard.
Ray likes focusing on pace and angle plays while finding the middle ground between the art and science of handicapping. When he is not crunching numbers, Ray enjoys spending time with his family, cheering on his alma mater (Rutgers University), fishing, and playing golf.
Ray’s blog, which focuses on his quest to make it to the NHC Finals while trying to improve his handicapping abilities can be found at www.jerseycapper.blogspot.com Ray can also be found on Twitter (@rayw76) and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.