A True Story from the JCapper Handicapping Seminar
Dateline: Keeneland April 16, 2009
They turned for home and the 3, Afternoon Stroll, the horse I had bet to win, was still there, trying to wire the field at 50-1, in front by a diminishing half length.
Each stride brought the wire closer and saw the margin shrink another inch. Ten yards from the finish line and the other horse was right there. They hit the wire right together and it was impossible to tell who won.
Our table was a crowded mix of players from all over the country. The table itself was covered with laptops, cords, racing forms, half empty cups of
coffee, and printed reports from various software programs. Before the race I had announced to the table that I was getting up to bet the 3 and only
the 3 because multiple UDMs and my Live Play Module were very clearly telling me she was clear speed at overlaid odds. Even though I had come to
Keeneland to give a hands on JCapper seminar, Don (who posts as STUBALL) was the only JCapper user who got up from the table and followed me to the
window. Everybody else just looked at their screens, reports, and racing forms for a brief assessment of the 3, and then shook their heads as if I were crazy.
I watched the slow motion replay twice and still couldn't tell who won. Finally they put the numbers up on the tote board: 3-4-6. Don grabbed my shoulders and shook me in elation.
But John Becker's voice immediately came up over the PA system: "Ladies and gentlemen, there has been an objection in this race, the second place finisher 4 against the unofficial winner 3."
I watched the head on replay of the stretch run. To my dismay the 3 had drifted out ever so slightly in mid stretch and the 4 had altered course just a little bit as a result.
After what seemed like an eternity John Becker's voice came back over the PA system: "Ladies and gentlemen, the objection has NOT been allowed."
When Don saw the win price on the tote board ($102.60) he jumped up and down and shook me by the shoulders again. "She WON!" he shouted. "I know!" I shouted back. Then we both looked around and realized we were the only ones shouting. The rest of the room was deathly quiet. I nodded my head towards the windows, where for the first time all afternoon practically nobody was standing in line. We walked up to the window together to collect.
I'll wrap things up with this final thought: One thing years of experience has taught me about this game is that the rewards you get out of it
are directly proportional to the work you put in. But sometimes all the reward you ever need comes from your customer. I don't think I'll ever forget the look on Don's face when he saw the win price go up on the tote board that afternoon. If you are going to travel cross country to do a handicapping seminar you couldn't write a better script than that.
Best of luck to you.
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