#5 Bet on a Horse

Up until a few months ago I had no idea that Suffolk Downs had actual horse racing. I assumed it was a run down desolate vast wasteland with grass growing through pavement and chained “Do Not Trespass” signs lining the entrance ways.

Instead it’s full of open mouthed old men; cheap snacks; horsies; and, for one day only, Joe, Tim, and myself.

Walking into Suffolk Downs on a Wednesday is hilarious. Tim summed it up best.  “It’s like going to ‘The Beasts’ house. Like, you know people were there sometimes, but not recently.” The concourse was empty. Joe was convinced they were closed, but I pushed past the turn styles. None of the concession stands or betting windows were open, but as soon as we rounded a corner, we saw glass doors leading to a separate area where televisions broadcast other races around the country and the giant windows looked out over the race track.

“Excuse me, what do we do here?” I asked the lady at the information booth.

“Oh, uh, not a whole lot.” She threw a few pamphlets at us and pointed towards the end of the betting windows where there were two electronic kiosks. From those machines we were able to deduce that we needed to bet with the following information: The track (Suffolk Downs), the race (they were on race #5), and the horse (always the funniest name).

Race #5: I bet on the #8 horse, Rocky World, who had 8-1 odds. I have no idea what “odds” really mean, but I tried to steer clear of  anything that wasn’t between 5-1 and 9-1. Always one of those numbers to 1. Always. Rocky World finished first and my $2 bet got me $23.

Tim was thrilled that one of the Nabisco products offered was Ritz Bitz (cheese). He’s laughing because the wind spilled part of Joe’s beer and I was berated for having brought them there in the first place.

Race #6: Joe jumped on the bandwagon of whatever horse I was going for and this round I picked Shopper Wife. Tim picked the favorite, Miss Mulligan, who ended up finishing 10th out of 12. Shopper Wife finished somewhere disappointing. The horse wearing the clown nose won.

We ate our lunch at the Legends Cafe which listed “Nabisco” as one of the four items you could purchase at their snackbar. The other three were “Soda”, “Beer”, and “Chips.” Eventually a waitress found us and we ordered some real food while we watched the seventh race.

Race #7: Joe and I both won $9 after picking Swampy Town to win. Tim had wanted Swampy Town, but went with Lir Jet at Joe’s suggestion.

The people watching is great. I have never been in a less diverse area in my life. Lots of older guys in jean jackets and track pants with tinted sunglasses coughing and hacking up everything while shooting the shit with each other. I presume that these men referring to talking to each other as “shooting the shit.” Clearly this is a social activity for them and I understand why.
At $2 a bet, it’s a cheap way of gambling that is far more exciting (horses!) and since there is about 20 minutes between each race, it takes much more time than a slot machine. After all was said and done I walked away with about $23 after having spent $6 on bets and purchasing two beers and a bowl of Cream of Asparagus soup. All in all, not bad for a fun afternoon with some dudes.
More favorite horse names:
Glow Girl Go, Lipstick n’ Desire, Flightriskcowgirl, and Beaureal.

One response

  1. I would say Shopper Wife wins, hands down, but first I need to get something straight: There are no actual horses at Suffolk Downs? You watch races that are going on somewhere else in the country?

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