From now on, this weekly Newsletter will be called ROBERT A. MILLS'S OP-ED COLUMN. Access it and enjoy!
Newsletter Dated: 6/9/2012 6:03:42 AM
Subject: BELMONT - June 9
A paltry $100 bet on I’LL HAVE ANOTHER across the board in the Preakness would have brought you a cool $750 payoff, certainly enough to warrant a hefty bet today on the nag to win the Triple Crown at the Belmont. The only drawback is that he’ll probably go off as the favorite at, maybe, 9-5. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter: I’LL HAVE ANOTHER has been scratched! He has developed a swollen tendon, and if he ran at Belmont, it could well be his last race.
I’d have been willing to go another century note if he had hit the gate at 15 to 1, as he did in the Kentucky Derby. But that would have depended a whole lot on you guys, the betting slobs.
If you didn’t lay a fin or two on the horse to win, the odds would have shot up like Cupid’s arrow, but in any event, I’d probably have gotten a few sheckles down and made a mild killing, anyway. Now that I’LL HAVE ANOTHER is retired and out of the picture, the horse that came in third in Louisville (his name begins with the letter D) will probably win the Belmont, if anyone cares.
The Preakness paid the owner Paul Reddman a cool mill to nose out Bodemeister at the wire (not counting what Reddman and his family plunked down at the $500 Window). And that doesn’t even take into consideration what the Mad Men will pay for endorsements, liniments, laxatives, souvenir photos, oats and bubble gum cards—assuming that his leg injury is not life-threatening (which it ain’t).
I’LL HAVE ANOTHER will make about three mill per shot at stud, but just think what a romp in the hay would’ve netted the nag if he’d actually won the Triple Crown!
Here’s a horse Reddman paid 11 grand for (some other schmuck bid $l0,500 and then passed when the auctioneer went to eleven.) The nag so far has returned 600 thousand million, give or take a few drachmas. Just think how much he’d have lost if I’d been the successful bidder!
Could I’LL HAVE ANOTHER have won the Triple Crown? Who knows? If I knew for sure and the horse was running, I’d have bet all I could borrow or steal from unsuspecting relatives. But he more than likely would have run out of the money, anyway. Statistically, as Nathan Detroit might say in an immortal column by Damon Runyon, “he ain’t got a chance in Hell, unless Luck is a lady today.”
We’ll never know.
If I owned the nag, I would have entered him in the Belmont today only if the boys in the syndicate paid the entry fee ($33,000). I would then promptly have changed his name to Secretariat or Affirmed. And I would have hired a seamstress to alter his silks to lime green and chartreuse. His number would be 6 and his rail position would be 8. And I would not let that gnat-weight who rode him to the wire twice within shouting distance of him (a 3rd mount, if there somehow was to be one, would be the final jinx, the coup de gracie).
Then I would have sent one of my great-grandkids to the $2 window to cover a Show bet on him — and I would kiss the deuce off as a charitable contribution.
In my heart, I would know that if he had run my fate would be the same as the Big Time handicapper who clutched his chest and croaked just as his last hope of the day was tearing down the stretch. When Mr. Big Time got to the Pearly Gates, Saint Peter said, “Even though you wasted your life betting on racehorses, you were a good man who always took care of his family and friends. So, you may come forth.”
“Sonofabitch!” sighed Mr. Big Time. “Outta the money again!”
You gonna watch the Belmont anyway? Might as well; NASCAR ain’t on.
Copyright©2012 by Robert A Mills, all rights reserved