A Day at the Races

Olivia   December 5, 2016   11 Comments on A Day at the Races

Every year, we go to the Neigh Savers charity luncheon at the Golden Gate Fields’ Turf Club. We adopted an OTTB from Neigh Savers years ago. I ended up selling her, but we still keep in touch with the organization and support them because they help a lot of retired race horses find new homes.

Every year we go and spend about $20 losing bets on the races. I generally have no idea how to bet on horses, but we’ve been going to this event for 4 years, so I’m slowly getting better. Of course, my general MO of betting on all the grays remains a terrible idea, but I just bet for fun so I don’t care.

There was a very cute gray in the first race so I bet on her. For a low end, maiden claiming race it was really exciting to watch. The grey, Guia, was a bit behind, but rallied on the final stretch and then 3 horses all crossed the finish line at the same time. Even on slow motion replay, it was impossible to tell which horse won. On replay, you could see that 2 were closer than the third, but you could not see it at all in real-time. It took a long time for them to pick a winner and they finally called for a tie. I didn’t even know that was possible. Apparently dead heats, while very rare, do happen.

Dead Heat in Race 1. PC Golden Gate Fields

Dead Heat in Race 1. PC Golden Gate Fields

Seeing a live race end in a dead heat was probably a once in a lifetime experience. They’re just that rare. It was really cool.

Last year the guy at the betting booth taught me how to do $0.10 superfecta bets, which is a bet on 4 horses to win in a particular order. The minimum bet for a straight win, place, or show is $2 and exactas and trifectas are $1, but a superfecta only costs $0.10. The thing is, your chance of winning a superfecta is incredibly low. However, it is possible to box a superfecta. Boxing a bet means you pick the horses, but they can finish in any order. It’s essentially a whole series of bets. You place a 10 cent bet on the race ending 2-3-5-6 as well as another 10 cents on the horses finishing 2-3-6-5 and so on until you’ve placed a bet for every possible combination. In a superfecta, there are 24 possible combinations, so placing a box $0.10 superfecta costs $2.40.


Because the #2 horse was at long odds, the payout for a $0.10 superfecta bet was $60.93. I spent $2.40 to make that bet, but I still won $58! I have never won that much money betting. Occasionally I win like 5 bucks on a $2 bet, but I generally lose or make tiny profits. This win was the most I’ve made. Totally makes me wish I’d spent $1 on the bet instead of 10 cents.

I ended up winning another box superfecta bet for $10.64. I also lost a bunch of other little bets, but still left the track $60+ in the black. And we won three of the prizes from the charity raffle. I don’t even know what I’m going to do with all of the prizes. I put a bunch of tickets into the ones I really wanted, but then just walked around putting some tickets in for random prizes and I of course won those prizes. So now I have a XXL Golden Gate Fields hoodie and a Breyer horse.

Still my best day at the track though. Unless we count how much we donated to Neigh Savers in which case I’m totally in the red.

11 thoughts on “A Day at the Races

  1. Megan

    oh man well done on the betting! i’ve never done a superfecta, i didnt know you could box it. the msot ive ever won betting was I put money on a 70-1 longshot in the belmont probably 8 or so years ago. buuut i just broke even for the day 😛

  2. L. Williams

    That’s so awesome! I generally can come out ahead if I go on dollar day. We had no luck at Del Mar when we went recently. T had the best luck his first time at the races, won about $75, hasn’t had the same luck yet.

  3. Emma

    Ha what a fun day!! I kinda love betting on the ponies just for fun too – tho leaving with a couple extra bucks is a serious bonus!!

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