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Old 01-19-2021, 01:04 PM   #1
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The Royal Road to Riches: The Horse with Three R’s.

Prologue: Do You Believe in Dreams? The Occult? Then this story’s for you.

When I awoke that February morning, the wind was howling. Roads were impassable. A winter storm had slammed Eastern Massachusetts. It reminded me of a scene out of the movie, Dr. Zhivago.

That night before, I had a dream. In my dream I was sitting down in a seat at Boston's Suffolk Downs Racetrack. I remember that I had just gotten up to make a bet. I recall that as I was about to reach the windows, I ran into a dear friend, a former teaching colleague named Bob. He had recently died of cancer. As I looked at Bob, he appeared covered in a shroud. For a few seconds I just stared at Bob. I really wasn't 100% sure it was him (he looked older than I remember). "Yes," I thought, "it's Bob." I asked, "What are you doing here, Bob?" It was a foolish question. Bob was a regular at Suffolk Downs.

Seconds later, he answered, "I'm a jockey's agent." I wasn't surprised. Bob had been a high school business teacher for many years; yet he confided that he always wanted to be a jockey's agent. Sadly, Bob died before he ever got that chance.

I then asked Bob, "Like anything?" I remember he thought for a moment and then in a hushed, almost inaudible tone, said, "Ronny's Red Robbin." At least that's what it sounded like. I really wasn't quite sure. All I knew is that the horse that Bob was recommending had three "R's" in its name. Just then, Bob disappeared, as if into thin air.

I then rushed back to my seat in the tele-theater to tell my friend “Bucko” when suddenly ---- I woke up.

That next morning, “Bucko” and I had made plans to go the Foxwoods in southeastern CT. I took one look out the window and thought to myself, "I've got to be crazy to be driving an hour-an-a-half in this." Everything was frozen-solid. Good judgment would have cautioned: "Don't take a chance. It's too dangerous!" But no. Two degenerate gamblers cannot be kept from their appointed rounds. In this case, a visit to Foxwoods. When it comes to gambling, I would walk barefoot over shards of broken glass or hot embers to make a bet.

About a half-hour later, I had reached “Bucko’s” house (it usually took me 15 minutes). The roads were treacherous. We then proceeded south toward Foxwoods. I recall that we were literally inching our way along. In fact, one of our shortcuts was closed off by police because of numerous skidding accidents.

Eventually, we made it to the main highway. By now, DPW crews had begun sanding and salting the major roads. The worst, as far as travel was concerned, was behind us.

In a more relaxed atmosphere, I began chatting with “Bucko” about the dream I had the previous night. I recall that as soon as I mentioned the word "dream,” "Bucko’s” interest was piqued. It was like the pricked-up ears of a mule in a donkey race. I remember “Bucko” saying, "Walt, tell me about your dream." I recall replying, sarcastically, "Yes, Doctor Freud."

Over the next several minutes, as we were driving south through Rhode Island, I tell “Bucko” about my dream. I relate to him my chance-meeting with my late friend Bob at Suffolk Downs. I then said, "Oh, by the way, Bob gave me a horse." "A horse,” “Bucko” repeats. He then says, "What was the name of this horse?" I said that I could hardly hear Bob in my dream, but it sounded like "Ronny's Red Robin." I added, "It was a horse with three "R’s" in its name.

As I remember, “Bucko’’s” now lookin’ at me like I've just provided him with a map to "The Treasure of Sierra Madre." “Bucko” says, "When we get to Foxwoods, we've got to look at the Suffolk form for a horse with three "R’s".

Eventually, we turn the corner and gaze off in the distance at the teal blue roof of "The Palace in the Connecticut Woods." I park my car and we head into the gaming area not far from Foxwoods' race-book. I remember we shot craps for a while and then headed over to the nearby race-book to buy (actually we had enough wampum points) the DRF and an array of individual programs.

We find two carrels and sit down to study the form. “Bucko” immediately looks through all the Suffolk Downs races. Just as he's doing so, an announcement comes over the P.A. saying that Suffolk has cancelled racing because of unsafe track conditions.

I recall saying to “Bucko,” "So much for the horse with three R’s." Just then, “Bucko” blurts out, "I've found it!" At that moment, a wry smile crosses my face. I kept thinking of Archimedes running through the streets of Syracuse (Sicily), yelling out, "Eureka!" I then asked, "Found what?" "The horse with the three R’s," he answered. "Yeah," I said, "and the moon is made of green cheese." "No, seriously," he said.

He then shows me the 6th race at Calder Racetrack in Miami. There was a horse entered named Rory's Rolls Royce. "That's it!" I blurted out, "That's it! That's the horse with three R’s.” “Bucko” then says, "Besides, Rory's the name of my niece's husband."

As the sixth race at Calder was still close to three hours away, we had time to plan our strategy. We both agreed that we should definitely flat-bet the horse, but that we should also use him in a Pick-3.

Finally, the 6th at Calder was about to go off. I recall that it was a route race and that Rory's Rolls Royce was going off at 6-1. I remember that we each bet "a sawbuck" on Rory's nose (I'm sure it would have been more, but we both foolishly frittered away part of our “grubstake” betting earlier races). We also used him as a singleton in the first leg of a Pick-3.

I remember the Rory race like yesterday. Rory was lagging far behind on the backstretch as the front runners were blazing ahead on the front end. I gave “Bucko” this "We're in trouble look." But as the horses were reaching the far turn, Rory's Rolls Royce was pickin' em up and layin' em down. As the horses reached the top of the stretch Rory had hit his best stride and easily passed the tiring front runners. He went on to win by two lengths.

“Bucko” and I were ecstatic. Rory paid $14 and change. Our $10 wagers had help us recoup much of our earlier race-book losses. And --- we were still alive, as partners, in a Pick-3 that started off with a $14 horse.

In the second leg of the Pick-3, we had combined to pick three horses. “Bucko” picked one, I picked one and, by consensus, we selected another. As it turns out, “Bucko’s” pick, a long-shot, popped at something like 10-1. We were now alive with two horses in the final leg.

That race, the third and final leg, was about to begin as the horses were beginning to load for a mile-an-an-eighth race that had been taken off the turf. I had been intrigued by a MTO horse that was piloted by Jorge Chavez (then riding in Florida). I recall my choice, Chavez's horse, had the extreme outside post.

When the gates opened. "Chop Chop" (Chavez's nickname) had his horse (our horse) on the lead. "Our" horse was challenged several times throughout the race but was never headed. As the horses reached the top of the stretch, Chavez was feverishly getting into his horse with his karate-chopping motion. At the wire, there was a photo, but from the naked eye, he had appeared to have hung on.

About a minute later, the numbers were posted, our horse, the #12 horse, had hung on to win by a neck. He didn't pay a lot--- I believe $6 --- but he did complete a lucrative Pick-3. Needless to say, we were overjoyed.

On the way home, I said “Bucko" you've made me a believer. Before today, I didn't think much of dreams, but after today..." I then said, "Bucko,” didn't Freud call dreams 'The Royal Road to the Unconscious Mind'?” "Yeah," he answered, "that's right. But in this case," he continued, "It's been our 'Royal Road to Riches'." We both laughed.
Walt (Teach)

"Walt, make a 'mental bet' and lose your mind." R.N.S.

"The important thing is what I think of myself."
"David and Lisa" (1962)

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Old 01-25-2021, 08:00 PM   #2
Irrationally exuberant
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 712

Nice story! Congrats on the hits and thanks for sharing.

I used to have more dreams about horse racing. I always got pretty darn excited and they NEVER ran worth a damn! I finally had to give up on any dream betting.

Best, Frank
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Old 01-26-2021, 01:40 AM   #3
Ray Donovon
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 60
Bucko Kilroy ? He worked in Foxboro for the Patriots. Cool story. I like the Jim Hannon reference of pickin them up and layin them down.
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Old 01-26-2021, 07:37 AM   #4
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Best story yet, Teach. No hearts broken, or blue eyes cryin in the rain.
One of the downsides of the Internet is that it allows like-minded people to form communities, and sometimes those communities are stupid.
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