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Beginner's Luck
[ Non-fiction : Humour/Prose/ ]

   
 
 

A few years ago I got into a habit of going to a race track and placing small wagers. I never truly understood the science and the art behind tracking past horses' winnings and performances of jockeys or multitude of other factors involved in analyzing the chances of any given pony winning the race.
I enjoyed the atmosphere of excitement and observing the spectators as much as the races. Some guys got so excited they would shout spewing saliva from their mouthes and jump up and down, holding invisible bridle, imitating the jockeys.
I usually placed small bets on exactas (a wager in which the first two finishers in a race, in exact order of finish, must be picked) and triples (picking the first three finishers in exact order). One spring weekend my wife and I after a prolonged debate placed an exacta wage of $2 and our horses won. The pay off was $200. We could not believe our luck, in fact my confidence grew by the order of 100.
I continued to go to the racetrack placing bets with intermittent success. During one of the big events (like triple crown)I placed a wager on a horse that I thought had a great chance of winning. Since I was "a pro" now I placed a larger bet of $20. My horse started off in the lead but by the middle of the race it started to lag and eventually it became apparent that I am going to loose my money on this one. But my fiasco had to be as big as my one-time luck, the horse had slowed down, stopped and fell in the middle of the track. It was dead. I watched with a sense of defeat and irony how the track employees brought out a special truck and pulled the body of a dead horse onto it.
It was clear for me that my luck on a race track had literally ran out. However, if nothing else, it taught me a lesson that beginner's luck eventually runs out and you better take you winnings and leave while you ahead.
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