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View Full Version : Why do you love this Sport?


Bruddah
06-17-2008, 09:40 AM
We all have reasons for being participants in this sport and why we love it. There are as many reasons as persons. I believe my top three reasons are;

1. The intellectual challenge of the analytical process causes me to strive to understand more and learn from defeat.

2. The love of Horses

3. A fun way to make money as a Hobby.

To limit myself to those three in order of preference was near impossible. I could think of more than a dozen other reasons. But the truth won out.

I am interested to know how others might feel. I don't think there is any right or wrong answers. Just an honest insight as to why we participate. :ThmbUp:

JBmadera
06-17-2008, 10:12 AM
EXACTLY - would not change a thing.

levinmpa
06-17-2008, 11:42 AM
I first became attracted to this game as a kid when my grandparents took me to the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa, CA in the early 70's.

My reasons for falling in love with the game.

1. The thrill of the race. I just loved watching the jockeys ride and the excitement of the stretch run. Back in the 70's the grandstand was packed on the weekends and the excitement would build as the field moved down the backstretch and into the far turn. When they turned for home, the entire place was on their feet screaming and yelling. What a thrill.

2. Handicapping. I found a Daily Racing Form on the ground one day, and the discovery of being able to see the Past Performances was amazing. Unlike slots or lotteries, horse race gamblers could actually increase their chances of winning by outhandicapping their competition. The challenge of every race was the attraction for me.

3. Having a monetary stake in the outcome of the race and knowing I would get paid for being right. Even as a 12 year old, getting $5.80 back on my $2 show bet was a great feeling.

I could go on and on.

boomman
06-17-2008, 12:19 PM
I first became attracted to this game as a kid when my grandparents took me to the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa, CA in the early 70's.

My reasons for falling in love with the game.

1. The thrill of the race. I just loved watching the jockeys ride and the excitement of the stretch run. Back in the 70's the grandstand was packed on the weekends and the excitement would build as the field moved down the backstretch and into the far turn. When they turned for home, the entire place was on their feet screaming and yelling. What a thrill.

2. Handicapping. I found a Daily Racing Form on the ground one day, and the discovery of being able to see the Past Performances was amazing. Unlike slots or lotteries, horse race gamblers could actually increase their chances of winning by outhandicapping their competition. The challenge of every race was the attraction for me.

3. Having a monetary stake in the outcome of the race and knowing I would get paid for being right. Even as a 12 year old, getting $5.80 back on my $2 show bet was a great feeling.

I could go on and on.

levin: I also fell in love with horse racing in the 1970's at the old Aksarben racetrack in Omaha, Nebraska, and you NAILED the reasons why.......:ThmbUp:

Boomer

Dave Schwartz
06-17-2008, 01:08 PM
The Horse Player's Story

I woke up early this morning, just couldn't stay in bed. It's Saturday, I've got a few chores to do around the house - those rain gutters need to be cleaned and I've got to work on the law mower again. With a little luck, I'll have all that done by 10am and be ready by 11.

Today is the day. It's been a long time coming, this day. I have put a lot of time into this project, many late nights and weekends. Some guys build model trains or play golf. Not me. I figure things out. I figure this thing out.

I have so many friends who complain about their lives. It all sounds so boring to me. Go to work, come home. Pay the bills. Do it all again next week; next month; next year; next millennium, for God's sake. Camping trips, vacations, kids to college. Yeah, yeah, we all do that. But where is the excitement?

I'll tell you where it is... it is all found in three little words... "And therrrre OFF!"


After three months of testing and tweaking, today is the day that I am going to try my new system.

levinmpa
06-17-2008, 01:20 PM
Well said Mr. Schwartz. Santa Anita, Fairgrounds and Gulfstream warm our Winters. Belmont, Keeneland, Churchill, Hollywood and the Triple Crown come with the Spring. Arlington, Del Mar, Saratoga and the California Fair Circuit mean Summer. In the Fall we've got it all, with Belmont and Keeneland, Oak Tree and the Breeders' Cup. Then we do it all again. Our sport never has an off season. We don't have to wait around for six months to see our stars. The excitemnt never ends. We're the lucky ones.

fmhealth
06-17-2008, 01:27 PM
The primary reason I go to the track every week is the people, not the horses. While I enjoy betting a bit, my motivation is actually the dialogue I share with other 'cappers at various tracks & OTBs.

I've met the most facinating folks from around the world at venues in North & South America. Sort of like a traveling road show for "Guys & Dolls". I've found horse players to be a subculture of society unlike anything else I've experienced in my 62 years.

Most of us don't fit into the typical roles assigned by society. I know I never have. We're free thinkers & loners brought together in an insulated envoirment that is simultaneously comforting & challenging. For a few hours every week we're transported to "Nirvana".

Just one man's thoughts.

46zilzal
06-17-2008, 01:29 PM
The beauty. I have never gotten over the majestic, yet simplistic beauty or a horse in motion: ANY horse, but the thoroughbred is the master of it. Every November 5th, I take time to remember the first of two audiences I had with Secretariat and then every October 4th, I take time to think about just where I was when I heard the news of his passing. All these years later, I still feel connected to him.

The history: There isn't a day that goes by that I don't find a correlation to a lesson learned by knowing that it has all been done before. There are just so many ways a contest can play out. I have a tremendous respect for the history of the game.

The intellectual challenge and the knowledge that being different in that pursuit (parimutually) is an asset and not the hindrance it is in regular society.

The great people involved in the sport. They are (as I just wrote in an article) like an itinerant circus family: each capable of wearing many hats (groom, exercise rider, hot walker, etc.) but looking out for one another. The education they have offered me, answering "rookie" questions on my quest to become one of them. The warm responses from those I have written (I have a wonderful hand written letter from Penny Tweedy regarding Secretariat that I treasure), and all the help I have received from the Thoroughbred Owner's and Breeder's Association, NYRA, the Daily Racing Form, Woodbine Entertainment, the Jockey Club of Canada, England, Ireland, US, Germany, etc. etc.

It never gets old, NEVER. A Tuesday afternoon maiden claimer at Fort Erie commands the same respect, attention and analysis as the Breeder's Cup Classic. I can watch the Easy Goer/Sunday Silence Preakness and it is as fresh today as it was that May afternoon in 1989. I have almost worn out the tape of the 1986 Breeder's Cup Turf when I wore a shirt to Santa Anita proclaiming that Dancing Brave would bomb all the time yelling "Manila, Manila to the Whittingham entry!" Swale's Derby (Laffit's only triumph in that race) hangs on the wall behind me with his signature over the colt's flanks.

In the Autumn years now, I am a part of the sport and plan to make it even a bigger part in the near future.

RichieP
06-17-2008, 01:40 PM
The Horse Player's Story

I woke up early this morning, just couldn't stay in bed. It's Saturday, I've got a few chores to do around the house - those rain gutters need to be cleaned and I've got to work on the law mower again. With a little luck, I'll have all that done by 10am and be ready by 11.

I have so many friends who complain about their lives. It all sounds so boring to me. Go to work, come home. Pay the bills. Do it all again next week; next month; next year; next millennium, for God's sake. Camping trips, vacations, kids to college. Yeah, yeah, we all do that. But where is the excitement?

I'll tell you where it is... it is all found in three little words... "And therrrre OFF!"


There it is!! Thanks Dave :ThmbUp:

Overlay
06-17-2008, 07:09 PM
My top three would be:

1) the history and excitement of the sport itself;
2) the mental exercise that handicapping provides;
3) the pari-mutuel system, which both gives you a chance to win consistently through skill (as opposed to being totally dependent on luck), and also pits you against all the other people around you (which gets my competitive nature fired up).

jognlope
06-17-2008, 07:17 PM
The pounding of the hooves, faint then louder, coming around the clubhouse turn at Saratoga and even the post parade is beautiful, the jockeys in their silks, larger than life, sharp and grander than on TV. Actuall seeing the horses live run like that is something. The horses, the horses... but I enjoy 4H shows too for the same reason.

HUSKER55
06-17-2008, 08:41 PM
I like building a system, analyzing data and thinking of new ways to use data and then the day comes and it is a great feeling when the race goes your way.

Then there is the race. What can I say.

Making money along the way is also a great way to keep score.

But the other posters are also correct, it is great to wake up with something to do.

husker55
:)

Jeff P
06-17-2008, 09:24 PM
One of my first visits to a racetrack was at Turf Paradise. I THINK it was the fall of 1981. But it might have been 82 or 83. I was a college kid at ASU. On my way to an afternoon computer lab I somehow ended up 25 miles away... at the track. The details of how that transpired have faded with time. But the events of me falling in love with this game are tied to a specific race -THAT I remember very vividly.

As the horses were being saddled for the feature a dark bay named Factory caught my eye. There was something about the way he carried himself - somehow telling the world he was the man that afternoon.

So I bet $5.00 on him to win - a lot of money for me at the time.

When the horses turned for home Factory surged to the front. Another horse, a grey named Minntac, rallied sharply on the outside. The two of them drew clear of the others and dueled the entire length of the stretch.

Minntac gave everything he had.

But Factory refused to let him by and won by about a neck.

In my mind the race wasn't that close. To this day I know in my heart the outcome was decided when Factory and Minntac looked each other in the eye in the paddock.

They were just allowance horses at a minor league track. But there was no mistaking it if you were paying attention. There was something beautiful and majestic about them. They were competitors doing battle. But that doesn't quite nail it. In fact I doubt if I can ever really put it to words. But everyone who's ever watched horses knows exactly what I'm talking about.

On the drive home that day I KNEW I'd be back.


-jp

.

KMS
06-18-2008, 12:19 AM
It's like solving a live-action math problem. Okay, I admit I'm a geek....

Greyfox
06-18-2008, 01:29 AM
It's like solving a live-action math problem. Okay, I admit I'm a geek....

1. Sir Edmund Hillary scaled Mt. Everest. "Because it was there."
Sometimes I play races for the same reason.

2. It is there because it presents a "Problem."
Other than horses I am drawn to "cryptic crosswords."
Horse races present a very similar challenge, but there are definitely more clues that make the winner easier to predict. That makes, Daily Doubles, Pick 3's easier get, at least for me.

3. I have confidence. When I make a wager, I know that I will win or be very close to hitting it. I play to win, cover with an exotic, and if I think that
there is a lock, I delve on deeper exotics.

4. I only compare my winnings to the people in our O.T.B. , who in my opinion are a fair sample. I do well.

5. Dollar for dollar I am ahead of them. Month by month I eke out a small
but fair winning profitability, not betting heavy, but making a very good supplement to my earnings elsewhere.

6. Even at cheap tracks, I see beautiful animals. At the best tracks I see the cream of the cream. There are races that I will not bet on except in horizontal wagers. Even in the races that I don't bet on due to short fields I can still appreciate how wonderful thoroughbreds look going to the post.
For me, I shy away from races with less than 8 to a field. Having said that I have some very sharp aquaintances who will not bet when there are more than 7 in a field. To each there own.

7. I seldom play the first half of any racing card.
I do okay on the few races I bet per day.

8. My father was one of the best handicappers that I ever met.
If he were alive today and saw the chances that we have in each of the simulcast theaters, he would have thought that he was in Heaven.
Knowing that, I do very well.

thelyingthief
06-18-2008, 02:38 AM
there are more suckers betting stupid money than any other, ceptin' maybe football, at which an entire nation of proven idiots offers unlimited oppurtunities for gain.

money.
money.

self discipline, encountering my personal demons and conquering.

money.
money.

there are more suckers betting stupid money than other other, ceptin' maybe football, at which an entire nation of proven idiots offers unlimited opputunities for gain.

ain't that so?
tlt

CyberBet
06-18-2008, 10:56 AM
It is quite simple for me.....and two of my favorite quotes on the subject sum it up rather well.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire. ~Sharon Ralls Lemon

Lose The Juice
06-18-2008, 11:11 AM
Used to adore it. No more... a variety of reasons behind it, but the medication thing seems to stand out above all. It's a very different and in many ways much more unpleasant game now. Changes to the tax code in the 1980s which seem to have chased a lot of the big and traditional stables out of the business also hurt the game. It used to be a lot of fun to see the Tartan and Rokeby and Greentree babies come up and progress in quite predictable patterns, generally depending on breeding, year after year. Not much of that now.

I drive past the Belmont parking lot fairly frequently, and I am shocked to see how empty it is on race days now. But rest assured, there are reasons for it.

1st time lasix
06-18-2008, 11:33 AM
I need to be humbled.

KingChas
06-18-2008, 12:30 PM
1. The beauty of the beast.

2. My competetive nature.

3. Sure beats working OT. ;)

Robert Fischer
06-18-2008, 12:53 PM
playing against the public.



As far as the sport itself, i love it when all the stars align and there is a high quality event. I have mixed feelings about the game as a whole.

46zilzal
06-18-2008, 01:10 PM
As far as the sport itself, i love it when all the stars align and there is a high quality event. I have mixed feelings about the game as a whole.
I make most of my money with the cheapies, particularly maidens.

whyhorseofcourse
06-18-2008, 02:42 PM
All the reasons listed above.
Its also a very social game.

cj's dad
06-18-2008, 02:44 PM
#1- the parimutuel competition

#2- the characters - every track has them

#3- the horses

#4- watching the looks on kids faces as the post parade, the break, and the stretch drive unfolds before them.

#5- cashing- I mentioned once before that my first ever wager was a pretty hefty winner and I thought "geez, this is a snap" !! :lol: Boy, was I wrong!!!:bang:

46zilzal
06-18-2008, 02:47 PM
#5- cashing- I mentioned once before that my first ever wager was a pretty hefty winner and I thought "geez, this is a snap" !! Boy, was I wrong!!!

Same thing happened to me: first day was 7 cashed out of 9 bets made. I thought it was simple.