Breaking Stride

Five Plays for the neophyte (Episode #2)

June 4, 2017

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by Trey Nosrac

This column is another in a series of wildly unorthodox methods to connect with people under the age of 40 who live on their phones and in their social networks; people who do not know our sport exists. Each entry targets people who might be willing to have a gambling fling but will not endure agonizing over a race program.

FYI – This script is presented in traditional font and format.

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HOOFPRINTS IN THE SKY

ACT I

SCENE ONE

(RICK and MIKE are in their late twenties. They sit in seats 8A and 8B of Delta Flight 807. The young men do not know each other. RICK pecks at his oversized cell phone. MIKE leans slightly towards RICK and asks

MIKE
What are you playing?

RICK
New game, been playing for a few months. It’s real time, real money, a real sport — horse racing.

MIKE
(Points at phone screen)
I saw that kind of racing once, with the carts.

RICK
Harness racing, it’s fun. This game is Race Triplet. It’s a simple way to bet on real races.

MIKE
No kidding.

RICK
Want to see a game?

MIKE
Sure
(RICK taps a button on the screen and points to a list of racetracks)

RICK
You just pick a racetrack and click on it. I’ll click on the Meadowlands, it’s a track in New Jersey. See how the screen reads,
Meadowlands, Race Triplet,
Races 4-5-6.
Race 4 begins in THREE minutes.
Click horseshoe icon to select number.

MIKE
So, it’s just random selection?

RICK
Kind of, the number you get for the first race is randomly selected after you click on a horseshoe, and you are stuck with the same number for all three legs. After the first race you have decisions to make, basically you cash out or let it ride. Here, watch. I get my number by touching one of these eight horseshoes. When I touch one, it turns into a number.
(RICK taps a horseshoe on the screen and the horseshoe morphs into a large yellow flashing number 6)

MIKE
I see. So now you have number 6, for all three races. What does it cost you? How much can you win?

RICK
$5 per play. The first race goes off in less than two minutes, see the countdown clock over here. If number 6 wins I will win $25. If any other horse wins the race, I lose my $5. Let’s watch it and see how I do.
(RICK and MIKE watch the live-stream broadcast of the horserace. The number 6 horse wins! Mike and Rick exchange high fives.

RICK
Now, I have a decision to make, and this is where it takes some skill and thought. I have two options at this point; leave my $25 in winnings or quit. If I wager my $25 on the next race, if horse number 6 wins the next race, my earnings rise to $250. This decision-making is important for legal reasons; it keeps the wager as a game of skill.

MIKE
What are you gonna do?

RICK
I always let it ride on the second level. Most of us who are not serious horse experts let it ride at this point. But, if you really, really know about racing and picking horses, if you believe the number 6 horse does not have a prayer, you might cash out. It’s a statistical thing.

MIKE
Backup, let me see if I have this correct. If the number 6 horse win this race, you win $250?

RICK
Yes, and I just looked something up on a link. The 6 horse in this race is one of the top choices, in racing they say the “odds are good.” Plus get this, the name of this horse is HIGH FLYING, so that might be a good omen.
(RICK and MIKE excitedly watch the horses warm up. Rick explains some of the details of horse racing like post position and racing strategy. The race goes off! Mike and Rick find themselves cheering aloud for HIGH FLYING. HIGH FLYING wins by several lengths.

MIKE
Dude, you just won $250. Now what are you gonna do? What are your choices? Did you ever get this far before? How much can you win if you play the next round?

RICK
Whoa, whoa, slow down. Let me answer one thing at a time in reverse order. If I let my wager go to level three, in racing that’s called “letting it ride.” If horse number 6 wins again, I will win $1,000. Yes, I have reached this point twice. Both of those times, I cashed out because the horse that I had in the last leg was a real longshot – longshots rarely win and I would lose everything. In both of those races, the longshot did not come close to winning and I was wise to have banked my money.

MIKE
What does the horse number 6 look like in the final race this time? Is it worth the bet?

RICK
Well, let’s see, horse number 6 is listed at 6-1. That means professional horse gamblers think the horse has a decent chance. The name of the horse is BOTTLENECK, it’s not a favorite, but it’s not a longshot either. If I let it ride, I would win $1,000. If BOTTLENECK doesn’t win – I would lose it all. We have less than two minutes to decide, what do you think?

MIKE
I say go for it! And, I say I think I’ll get this game.

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Next Play….
Henry, Buzzkill and Ludicrous Lydia are Trolling for You

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