What do Tonight at Eleven, Wegotlucky, herwayalltheway, and Red High Heels have in common?  Whoa, partner, don't let your imagination run away with you.  These are but the names of 4 of the horses at Skihawks' Day at the Races, hosted by Bob Frasier.  On Sunday, August 30, about 35 Skihawks and their guests met at Emerald Downs Race Track to watch the horses run and test our skill and luck in picking the winners.  We have included a lot of pictures so that you can see what an exciting and high class affair the event was this year.  I believe that we were the best dressed group in the whole place.  The ladies looked especially alluring in their chic outfits.
    Most of us were not that familiar with race track betting, but we were fast learners and after the 10th race, we were pretty sure that we could make some serious money.  Unfortunately, there were only 10 races that day.  We were so close.  But losing a few bucks wasn't going to break our stride.  It was a learning experience we all enjoyed.
    Let me expound on the various methods we used to pick the winning horses.  Sandi Braget ran down 5 flights of stairs to view the horses and study their hindquarters.  The better the hindquarters, the more likely the horse would win the race.  That method worked only sporadically, but all that walking up and down the stairs was great for Sandi's exercise routine.  Another method, used mainly by the ladies in our group, was to pick a winner by the horse's colors or the horse's number.  Others bet based on the jockey's butt.  I believe Dean Wilson used this method.  Hey, don't get the wrong idea about Dean.  There were just as many female jockeys as male jockeys.  Did these strategies produce consistent results?  I would have to say, "Neigh".  
    I learned that to make serious money in track betting, you have to play the odds.  Just betting on the odds-on favorite to be 1 of the first 3 horses across the finish line (called placing a TO SHOW bet) is very conservative and, as I discovered, nets you very little money.  I placed TO SHOW bets on the first 3 races and ended up winning about as money as I would find if I searched my sofa cushions.  Abandoning that strategy, I talked with Art Hahn and Rick Walker, two knowledgeable betters, who informed me how to play the odds.  The core of the philosophy is that you need to play the long odds if you want to win the big money.  The other thing that you have to know is that, as other people at the track bet, the odds change.  So Snake Attack, starting at 20 to 1 odds could end up at 2 to 1 odds if enough people think that they should bet on her to win a lot of money.  Do you see the dilemma?  At race time, Snake Attack's odds could have dropped to 2 to 1, so even, if by some miracle, this nag wins, you profit about $1.50.  I needed a new strategy.
    For race #7, I sought the advice of a betting guru.  Bob Frasier and I devised an infallible strategy.  With much enthusiasm, he told me which horses to bet on, using a complicated, and little-used, Trifecta, Spread, Boxed, Call, Play the Field, Over and Under Straddle wager which was sure to make me an instant millionaire with a $7 bet.  I was just rounding the turn and heading down the stretch to the betting cage when I realized that all the horses that Bob named were running in the 8th race, not the 7th.  This unnerved me so, I reined in and reverted back to placing TO SHOW bets for the rest of the day.
    There are some dreamers who like to take really long odds with their money.  These people bet Trifectas and Superfectas.  Now you have to pick 3 horses AND the order in which whey will cross the finish line.  People who bet like this must be CRAZY!  This is akin to playing Russian roulette with a loaded 357 magnum handgun or who consider having unprotected sex with heroin-addicted prostitute from Haiti. 
    For cautious people, those who put on sunblock SPF100 just to get from your car to your office (and you are in the underground parking lot of your building), remember that there is no "sure bet" in a horse race.  That may have been the reason that Sue Widman made only "paper bets".  She kept her money in her purse and saved the walk to the betting cages.  Wise woman!
    We were treated royally by Bob Frasier, his son, (who is the General Manager of Emerald Downs), and his staff.  We even had the 5th race named in our honor and got to stand in the Winner's Circle for the official photograph.  The catered event was well-organized from start to finish.   Bob is definitely a winner in anyone's handicap book and the events he sponsors are never longshots. 
    We did have several Skihawks who walked away with more cash than they came with.  I believe that Dick Cormier was one of the lucky ones, judging that he was walking several inches off of the ground when he left.  Betting neophyte, Susan Wertz, also had a wide smile as she left the grounds.   Win or lose, we had a lot of fun, it was a beautiful day, and it was a great opportunity to make new friends and socialize with old friends.  Hope that you enjoy the pictures of THE SKIHAWKS DAY AT THE RACES.              Guy Moyer

Exotic Betting 101 lesson

Red Redding - winner of the Skihawks Purse - paid 9.80

Skihawks in the winners circle

Big winner

Oh nooooo - tore up the wrong ticket!
                                                                                Pictures courtesy Dean Wilson, Ron Ewert, Susan Wertz