What I Don't Know Yet

Only Myself to Blame

In Betting, Breeders' Cup, Horse Racing, Losing on November 6, 2010 at 10:14 pm

L is not just for Laidman. Photo by Joey Harrison.

I’m a loser.

I lose keys, gloves, hats, phones, money, passports. I usually have to replace my driver’s license before it expires. I once lost my glasses the day after I picked them up from the eye doctor. I’ve improved with age. I have strategies: Put things in the same place each time. Double check. Buy many pairs of cheap gloves and hats.

But it seemed my losing streak was extending beyond its usual parameters this weekend. With my two dollar bets in race after race at the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs today and Friday, I was making horses lose. If I bet on a horse heavily favored to win, it came in dead last, or second last.

By 4 o’clock this afternoon all doubt was erased: I was jinxing horses. Goldakova proved it. I reached the betting window just as it closed and was unable to bet for her. She became the first horse to ever win three Breeders’ Cup races. Thank Aqua Buddha I had not betted. It was a thrilling run. Made me breathless just to see it.

My suspicions confirmed, I vowed not to bet on Zenyatta. I wanted to see her become the second Breeders’ Cup horse to three-peat. I wanted to witness her beat the boys again. So when race 11 rolled around, The Breeders Cup Classic, I picked Blame, No. 5. I bet him to win, place, or show, which for me was big money. I spent six dollars.

I never took my eyes off Zenyatta from the moment she broke from the gate. The crowd groaned when the announcer said, “And Zenyatta, dead last.” But hope is a thing with hooves. “Pick it up! Pick it up! Pick it up!” I screamed. The crowd roared like it hadn’t all day.

Then the unbelievable; as the horses came around the final turn in front of the stands, Zenyatta turned it on, covering ground with her legendary stride, and magically, she was gaining on the leader, No. 5, Blame. It was a photo finish, although we already knew the outcome. On the large screens midfield, the finish replayed, stopping at that moment when Blame’s nose was clearly ahead of Queen Z’s.

I was crushed. Then it hit me: I’d won. I’d actually won a bet! I put my hand into my right back pocket, the pocket where I always put my betting slips, pulled out the ticket and saw the No. 5. Across the top of the ticket it said “Race 9.”

Race 9? This was Race 11! Where was my ticket? I sat on a bench and dumped out my purse. I pawed through my wallet. I checked all my pockets. And then I did it all again. I started picking up tickets off the ground. I’m sure I looked pathetic.

But the ticket was gone.

My first winning bet, lost.

Gone.

Like I said, I’m a loser.

I’m a loser.

I lose keys, gloves, hats, phones, money, passports. I usually have to replace my driver’s license before it expires. I once lost my glasses the day after I picked them up from the eye doctor. I’ve improve with age. I have strategies: Put things in the same place each time. Double check. Buy may pairs of cheap gloves and hats.

But it seemed my losing streak was extending beyond its usual parameters this weekend. With my two dollar bets in race after race at the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs today and Friday, I was making horses lose. If I bet on a horse that was heavily favored to win, it came in dead last, or second last.

By 4 o’clock this afternoon all doubt was erased: I was jinxing horses. Goldakova proved it. I reached the betting window just as it closed and was unable to bet for her. She became the first horse to ever win three Breeders’ Cup races. Thank Aqua Buddha I had not betted. It was a thrilling run. Made me breathless just to see it.

My suspicions confirmed, I vowed not to bet on Zenyatta. I wanted to see her become the second Breeders’ Cup horse to three-peat. I wanted to witness her beat the boys again. So when race 11 rolled around, The Breeders Cup Classic, I picked Blame, No. 5. I bet him to win, place, or show, which for me was big money. I spent six dollars.

I never took my eyes off Zenyatta from the moment she broke from the gate. The crowd groaned when the announcer said, “And Zenyatta, dead last.” But hope is a thing with hooves. “Pick it up! Pick it up! Pick it up!” I was screaming. The crowd was roaring like they hadn’t all day.

Then the unbelievable; as the horses came around the final turn in front of the stands, Zenyatta turned it on, covering ground with her legendary stride, and magically, she was gaining on the leader, No. 5, Blame. It was a photo finish, although we already knew the outcome. On the large screens midfield, the finish replayed, stopping at that moment when Blame’s nose was clearly ahead of Queen Z’s.

I was crushed. Then it hit me: I’d won. I’d actually won a bet! I put my hand into my right back pocket, the pocket where I always put my betting slips, pulled out the ticket and saw the No. 5. Across the top of the ticket it said “Race 9.”

Race 9? This was Race 11! Where was my ticket? I sat on a bench and dumped out my purse. I pawed through my wallet. I check all my pockets. And then I did it all again. I started picking up tickets off the ground. I’m sure I looked pathetic.

But the ticket was gone.

My first winning bet, lost.

Gone.

Like I said, I’m a loser.

 

 

I’m a loser.

I lose keys, gloves, hats, phones, money, passports. I usually have to replace my driver’s license before it expires. I once lost my glasses the day after I picked them up from the eye doctor. I’ve improve with age. I have strategies: Put things in the same place each time. Double check. Buy may pairs of cheap gloves and hats.

But it seemed my losing streak was extending beyond its usual parameters this weekend. With my two dollar bets in race after race at the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs today and Friday, I was making horses lose. If I bet on a horse that was heavily favored to win, it came in dead last, or second last.

By 4 o’clock this afternoon all doubt was erased: I was jinxing horses. Goldakova proved it. I reached the betting window just as it closed and was unable to bet for her. She became the first horse to ever win three Breeders’ Cup races. Thank Aqua Buddha I had not betted. It was a thrilling run. Made me breathless just to see it.

My suspicions confirmed, I vowed not to bet on Zenyatta. I wanted to see her become the second Breeders’ Cup horse to three-peat. I wanted to witness her beat the boys again. So when race 11 rolled around, The Breeders Cup Classic, I picked Blame, No. 5. I bet him to win, place, or show, which for me was big money. I spent six dollars.

I never took my eyes off Zenyatta from the moment she broke from the gate. The crowd groaned when the announcer said, “And Zenyatta, dead last.” But hope is a thing with hooves. “Pick it up! Pick it up! Pick it up!” I was screaming. The crowd was roaring like they hadn’t all day.

Then the unbelievable; as the horses came around the final turn in front of the stands, Zenyatta turned it on, covering ground with her legendary stride, and magically, she was gaining on the leader, No. 5, Blame. It was a photo finish, although we already knew the outcome. On the large screens midfield, the finish replayed, stopping at that moment when Blame’s nose was clearly ahead of Queen Z’s.

I was crushed. Then it hit me: I’d won. I’d actually won a bet! I put my hand into my right back pocket, the pocket where I always put my betting slips, pulled out the ticket and saw the No. 5. Across the top of the ticket it said “Race 9.”

Race 9? This was Race 11! Where was my ticket? I sat on a bench and dumped out my purse. I pawed through my wallet. I check all my pockets. And then I did it all again. I started picking up tickets off the ground. I’m sure I looked pathetic.

But the ticket was gone.

My first winning bet, lost.

Gone.

Like I said, I’m a loser.

I’m a loser.

I lose keys, gloves, hats, phones, money, passports. I usually have to replace my driver’s license before it expires. I once lost my glasses the day after I picked them up from the eye doctor. I’ve improve with age. I have strategies: Put things in the same place each time. Double check. Buy may pairs of cheap gloves and hats.

But it seemed my losing streak was extending beyond its usual parameters this weekend. With my two dollar bets in race after race at the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs today and Friday, I was making horses lose. If I bet on a horse that was heavily favored to win, it came in dead last, or second last.

By 4 o’clock this afternoon all doubt was erased: I was jinxing horses. Goldakova proved it. I reached the betting window just as it closed and was unable to bet for her. She became the first horse to ever win three Breeders’ Cup races. Thank Aqua Buddha I had not betted. It was a thrilling run. Made me breathless just to see it.

My suspicions confirmed, I vowed not to bet on Zenyatta. I wanted to see her become the second Breeders’ Cup horse to three-peat. I wanted to witness her beat the boys again. So when race 11 rolled around, The Breeders Cup Classic, I picked Blame, No. 5. I bet him to win, place, or show, which for me was big money. I spent six dollars.

I never took my eyes off Zenyatta from the moment she broke from the gate. The crowd groaned when the announcer said, “And Zenyatta, dead last.” But hope is a thing with hooves. “Pick it up! Pick it up! Pick it up!” I was screaming. The crowd was roaring like they hadn’t all day.

Then the unbelievable; as the horses came around the final turn in front of the stands, Zenyatta turned it on, covering ground with her legendary stride, and magically, she was gaining on the leader, No. 5, Blame. It was a photo finish, although we already knew the outcome. On the large screens midfield, the finish replayed, stopping at that moment when Blame’s nose was clearly ahead of Queen Z’s.

I was crushed. Then it hit me: I’d won. I’d actually won a bet! I put my hand into my right back pocket, the pocket where I always put my betting slips, pulled out the ticket and saw the No. 5. Across the top of the ticket it said “Race 9.”

Race 9? This was Race 11! Where was my ticket? I sat on a bench and dumped out my purse. I pawed through my wallet. I check all my pockets. And then I did it all again. I started picking up tickets off the ground. I’m sure I looked pathetic.

But the ticket was gone.

My first winning bet, lost.

Gone.

Like I said, I’m a loser.

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  1. I have detected this precise phenomena with respect to my support of a political candidate. There should be some way we could capitalize on our gift, like they do in the stock market.

    I see a book deal. Selling Life Short: How losers can cheat death AND taxes by betting on them.

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