A Couple of “Bad Beat” Limericks

It is the stuff that stories and limericks are made off. Unfortunately, it isn’t a fairy tale and there isn’t a happy ending. But it is a good story and worth telling; and it is certainly worthy of a couple of limericks, that’s for sure. It’s a classic horse player’s lament, a woulda, shoulda, coulda.

I had been screwing around on Saturday, my birthday, playing numbers and grays. Amazingly, two grays came in and at decent prices, $42.80 and $23.80. I was playing those for $5 to win and place so I won enough to come out even on Saturday. I made a lot of bets playing every 6-4, 4-6 & 5-10 exacta boxes and every gray so I had plenty of action. It was trying to get lucky with karma on my birthday. And I did. I didn’t get slaughtered and I could have.

I thought I was going to do some back to school shopping with Mimi’s son and his family Sunday morning and then go watch my grandson play baseball, so I didn’t even buy a form until after my stepson called and said they were a late scratch. I continued to screw around with numbers and grays and I was getting the ass whipping that type of gambling deserves, so I decided I had to try and get back into the fray. But not before knocking down a sixteen ounce Coors Light, which loosened me right up. I couldn’t pick any worse with a beer buzz than I had been.

Now I need to mention that I did not get shut out before I decided to try. Just on my own picks. My friend, who is an expert handicapper, had a lot of faith in his Pic5 ticket and offered a partnership which I would never turn down. That came in. We split a $96 ticket three ways and we each got back $19 profit. It was the first winning Pic5 I was ever a part of.

So I decided to go after another first, my first Pic4. I was playing a $.50 Pic4 bet, where you have to pick the winners of four straight races. You can play a ticket with multiple picks in each of the four races but the more horses you add to the mix, the bigger the bet. Handicapping and making a ticket with the least amount of horses used is how to reduce the risk. I think I did my due diligence and made decent picks from reading the Daily Racing Form. I don’t overthink it, as if I could. I give jockeys and trainers a lot of consideration, and then past performance. I’m no expert but I can make an educated guess and trust my gut with the best of ‘em. I had decent coverage but also a decent amount on the line – $36. I had four horses in the last leg, if I got there.

I did. And in doing so, I got to benefit from a rare horse racing occurrence – a dead heat. I had three horses in the second leg and two of them finished in a dead heat. I had a three horse exacta box using my Pic4 horses and I got to collect for both winners so that was sweet. It also added to the Pic4 drama because now I knew that if I hit the Pic4 I was going to have two winning tickets. And then I hit the third leg of the Pic4, a favorite took care of business.

So here we go. I’m live to four horses in the fourth leg of a Pic4 for the first time. I have had three out of four a bunch of times and that counts for bupkis. This had a potentially sweet payoff and I would get paid on it twice thanks to the dead heat. The drama was building. My friend also had action on the race and he had one of the same horses I did. He had it in an exacta box.

Do you want to know what happened? Well, it led to this…..

Three straight winners and I’m wearing a grin.
And then I took one straight on the chin.
I hate to kvetch
But coming down the stretch….
I actually thought I could win.

But then that Fickle Finger of Fate,
When I was one jump from something great,
Wouldn’t let me close.
I got beat by a nose…..
All it takes for the thrill to deflate.


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