Bad Beats — “Wait, I Won How Much?,” Written by Dan Cronin

Wait, I Won How Much?

Here we are, a group of guys in the Carousel at Saratoga enjoying the
day, when it happened. Let me start at the beginning. We were staying five
houses from trainer, Ken Mcpeek, and he invited us to his barn. So, on
Thursday morning we go to his barn and, while there, we got to talking
with him, David Cohen and Cohen’s agent.

Ken pulled me aside and said “I heard you are a handicapper.” I said, “yes, I try.” We laughed. He then said, “I got one for you Saturday.” As we watched his horses walk,  he asked me to walk over to Saratoga with him because he had to school Atigun and Golden Ticket for the Travers on Saturday. I was thrilled.

We walked and talked from his barn to the Spa. He says to me, “Golden Ticket is going to run HUGE on Saturday.” I said, “really?” So, I watched him intently. He was beautiful, alert and coming out of his skin. Atigun was calm and looked almost tired. I said to Ken, “man he looks good!” He said, “Dan, he is going to run the race of his life on Saturday.”

So, I went back to the house and studied Saturday’s form and said man, I think he can win and he is 30-1. So for 3 days, I played around and kept my big stash for Golden Ticket. I even gave him out on twitter and everyone laughed at me.

The whole gang at Saratoga, knew I was firing on Golden Ticket. I mean, I got so many tickets you wouldn’t believe your eyes. The fatbaldguy was firing. So I get lucky and going into the Travers, I got a $1 P4 going and many other bets. My will pay is $14,000 per ticket for 50 cents. If Golden Ticket wins I bring down the house.

Well, as we Golden Ticket cut the corner and took a 2 length lead at the
1/8th pole. I jumped out of my seat in front of a stunned crowd and
started screaming, “Ride him David, ride him David… left hand, left hand
… oh god… oh god…” Right then, the track announcer says, “here comes Alpha with giant strides!” I start screaming, “NO NO NO NO, don’t do this to me GOD,” …and BANG, they hit the wire.

I am lying on the floor, I got my Let It Ride moment at hand. I have got 6 guys standing over me on the floor going “I don’t know, I think he got beat.” Everyone has an opinion. I can’t watch. It gets really quiet. I scream out to the heavens. God, please one time for the fatbaldguy please… please… a line that now
has lived on and been passed around all of Cincinnati by my peeps.

An entire crowd of now about 50 people are all around and they know how
important this is. All totaled, it is about 50k photo. Well, they hang DEADHEAT… the crowd erupts and there is a lot of hugging and screaming and dancing. We run to the winners circle and give Ken Mcpeek a hug, David Cohen a hug and then, the nightmare begins.

I get to the window and I am fully expecting $14k +$14k divided by 2 for
the dead heat. So, I should get $14k plus all my other winnings. I hand the teller my $1 pick 4 ticket and she says, “OH great hit, $1980.00!”  I said, “excuse me, what did you say?” She repeats, $1980.00 I said, “sorry, but that’s impossible. I hit the P4 … 2 times … and with a 30-1, the will pay was $14k!” She says, “no that’s not right.” I start coming unglued.

I made them page the mutual manager and explained everything. Four phone calls later, there are ecurity guards all around me as they handed me $1980. I was in total shock. I slumped against the wall and said HOW? How can this be? I just got cheated out of 12k …

In New York, and some other places, there is a little known rule if a deadheat happens in the P4 or P6 only. In those situations, the pool is split and here is only 1 payout. Not 2 like P3 , double, tri, exacta, win,place,show. Just 1 payout. So the will-pay for Alpha was $1050, my will pay was $14k and still, we ALL get $990 per ticket (see below for the payout).

croninticketReally fair, HUH? Steven Crist wrote an article the next day about what happened and how we all got cheated. My only saving grace was that I had the P3 5 times at $1907, the e exacta 5 times at $230 and the trifecta $2 for $5,275.00! So, don’t feel sorry for me. The trip to the barn to watch some  horses, hang out and drink coffee turned into a story to tell my grandchildren some day. Also, I got to experience all that with my 72yr old pops, my brother and my friends. We all keep talking about it everytime we see each other.

Thank you NY and Saratoga. See you 2013 Travers Week.

We thank Dan for sharing his story! You can follow him on Twitter at @fatbaldguyracin.

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