About a month ago, I got an email from America's Best Racing asking me if I'd like to join them for a day at the Del Mar Racetrack.
Earlier this year, I shamefully confessed that even though I've lived in San Diego for three years, I'd never been to the races here. But once I won my first bet on Opening Day this past July, I've been hooked.
It makes sense. I mean, my all-time favorite movie growing up was National Velvet, starring Elizabeth Taylor. I rode horses competitively until I was 12 and dreamed of one day owning my own. And much like one of my favorite authors, good 'ol Bukowski, I too enjoy activities where you can drink and win money. The racetrack is an easy fit for me.
On the Friday before the Pacific Classic (a $1M dollar race), ABR welcomed myself, Ryan, and several other San Diego bloggers, for lunch and drinks while watching the horses from their canopy. Their ambassadors, six social media masters from around the country, helped us to understand how to read the racing stats and place smarter bets. They also shared their various experiences growing up around horses and stories of their wins on the track. I have to say, they have an awesome job: touring the country in an RV during race season and hitting up various tracks and events to generate buzz around the sport for young people.
There are so many different ways and methods of betting at the racetrack that I tend to keep it simple. You can bet on a horse to win (1st place), place (1st or 2nd place), or show (1st, 2nd, or 3rd place). The horses are numbered and if you're doing it my way, you step up to the window and say, "I'd like to bet $$$ on # to W/P/S." My betting method is to look in the book (you get a book with stats for all the races) for the Jockey and Trainer stats and then see which ones win the most. Then, if any horses in the current race are being ridden or have been trained by those individuals, I bet on them. So far it's been a winning strategy!
Between racetrack fashion, winning money, the atmosphere, and the horses, I see ABR's point: I actually can't understand why more people our age don't get out and get in the game. Especially in San Diego! It's such an easy, inexpensive, and fun way to spend a summer evening or weekend afternoon with your friends. Plus, with the shuttle from the Coaster to the track, if you live near Downtown, it's super convenient to get there.
I'm headed to the races one more time this week on Thursday before the season ends this weekend. Tweet me if I'll see you there!