Horse Racing

By Harvey Tobkes

About 25 years ago, I was the general sales manager at a Porsche dealership in North Miami. One of the salesmen had sold a car to a very famous jockey (let’s call him Jerry) who was riding to a very successful season at Gulfstream Race-Track. It seems he was on a hot streak and winning regularly. In any case, it was discovered that the finance contract was missing a signature. I told the salesman and the finance manager that I would handle it personally. So I called the jockey and explained the problem. He said he was too busy to come by our dealership, so I suggested I come out to the race track and we could meet in the jockey’s room, and he agreed.

Off I went, and when I finally found the entrance to where these diminutive but unrecognized athletes (you have to be strong riding those thoroughbreds) have their private room. It’s where they shower, weigh in, change into their silks…whatever. Two burly uniformed men guarded the door and I asked to see jockey Jerry, they were more than surprised, as I guess no visitors were allowed inside. I pleaded that Jerry invited me and it was urgent that I see him. One of the burlys went in and came out and then held the door for me to enter. Alright! My guy was wrapped in a towel, having just come out of the shower, and he dripped a little, but he signed properly, and just by way of making polite conversation I asked when he would be riding his next mount, and he said, “I’m on Mad Maxie in the 3rd. ” Whoops! a bright light lit up in my head! Nothing else was said, so I thanked him and left.

It was about 11 AM, and on the outside, I asked the gurards how I could get to the tote windows to make a bet. They said the windows didn’t open till noon, but they offered to place the bet for me. Boy O Boy! What “nice guys!” So, again my mind flashed to a bright idea (at least I thought it was) and I took a $20 bill out of my pocket and asked the one who held the door, if he would place a bet on Mad Maxie in the 3rd race, and I named jockey Jerry as the rider, just so there would be no mistake. and of course I told my “buddy” (the guard) I would be back the following morning to collect, if he won. The nice one took out a program and said, “Yeah! here he is, he’s the number 9 horse in the race and listed at 40 to one odds.

Smiling horse

Well, those 2 guards weren’t dumb and dumber. They put 2 and 2 together and got 5. Here’s a guy (me) who had urgent business with a jockey, and comes out to bet on the horse that the jockey, whom he just spoke to, is riding. Yum, yum, yummy! I am sure they bet on Mad Maxie, and so did their brothers- in- law, the whole guard staff at the track, friends, relatives and anyone else they could tell the story to. After all, it was a sure thing!

What a great ending to this story it would have been if that friggin’ horse won, but alas 25 years later he’s still running and I am still mad at Mad Maxie, as for the guards… Oh man! would they have liked to have gotten their hands on me.

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