Let’s talk about the biggest win of the weekend.
No, not the United States women’s soccer’s big World Cup win. Sure that was a thrilling performance from a dominant team (that totally deserves equal, if not more, pay than their male counterparts) and they should be congratulated, but that’s not what I’m talking about.
That team is great, but the biggest winner, for me, was Davka. Now you may be saying “Who?” and that, quite frankly, is the correct response. I really hope no one reading this knows Davka off the top of their heads.
Davka is a horse, specifically a racehorse who competed in race No. 6 at Fairmount Park Saturday night. He, and I think he’s a he, won a close race much to my delight.
Let me back up a second. My buddy Stan was celebrating his birthday this weekend so a group of six headed to the horse track for a night of racing.
It’s become almost an annual tradition for the group. Honestly we’d all rather go more often, because it’s a lot of fun, but all of us are terrible at the whole betting aspect of the sport.
Terrible may be a bit harsh. Some years the trip has been downright good. One year I correctly predicted the winner of five of the seven races.
The issue, well one of them at least, is we still don’t know what we’re doing. Despite having done this for half a dozen years, we are totally clueless.
If you’ve never been to the track, there are so many different kinds of bets to make. Every single time we have to go over the difference of win, place and show and that’s even before trifectas and exactas come into play.
Since we know so little, the whole group leans on the cheap side. We bet on every race, but usually bet minimum or close to it. It’s the reason why on my big five win day I won a total of like $25.
I tend to just stick with the win bets, but some of the other guys like to go a little crazy. Stan in particular loves to bet the exotics as they’re called. He’s always looking for more complicated bets that we barely understand.
One time he bet a trifecta — a bet where he attempts to predict which horses will take first, second and third. Somehow the bet hit and we celebrated like he’d won the World Cup.
We figured this super hard bet would pay off in a big way. Based on the odds board, we figured Stan was due for at least $100. He went to cash in his ticket and ended up with a little over $30. Apparently picking that trifecta was pretty easy. And, apparently, we’re all bad at math.
Saturday all six of us became enamored with the win, place, show (WPS) bet. You pick one horse and say he’s going to take first, second or third. It’s like making three different bets at once.
For the first five races, I had hit on one bet — a measly show bet on a horse with a fun name where everyone but my friend Dylan won. My $2 bet won me $2.10.
Needless to say by the sixth race, I was looking for a real win. Which is where Davka comes in.
The betting sheets were split on his chances, but one called him a dark horse candidate. As a group, we realized his jockey had done well on the night and won a bunch of the earlier races.
I decided to place a simple WPS bet on Davka and then headed outside to watch the action.
I watched as Davka started strong and slowly moved to the lead. As he came down the home stretch I found myself jumping up and down and fist pumping like Tiger Woods at the Masters as it was clear he was going to win.
I won my bet, and really, won all three since little Davka won, placed and showed in the race. I managed, somehow, to win $19.50 on the race which is the most I’ve ever won. It wasn’t enough to turn a losing night into a winning night, but it brought me closer to even and that’s all that matters.
Thanks, Davka, for making my night little better and being the biggest winner of the weekend.