You have probably guessed by now that the results I had seen from this guy were not an anomaly. However, at the time I was genuinely confused. I had looked at the past performance records for the horses on which he had cashed tickets. Some of them may have merited place and show positions on exotic tickets, but I had found no logical reason to bet them to win. None of my handicapping friends would have placed a wager to win on any of those horses either. Yet this stranger had cashed tickets on just such bets.
Even though I was on vacation, I decided to forgo wagering for a couple of days, intending instead to discover as much as possible about the process my unobtrusive adversary had used to uncover his long shot winners. So, on Thursday I focused solely on him.
The first thing I noticed was something I had failed to observe on previous occasions. He rarely consulted his Racing Form, but chose instead to watch the tote board intently. That suggested he knew which horses he was interested in; that perhaps he was looking for minimum odds before making his bets.
I then remembered he had always wagered on two horses in every race, but that turned out not to be a hard and fast rule. After the third race, he dipped his hand into his shirt pocket and retrieved a single ticket. He did not tear the corner off though. He rose from his seat and walked casually to the cashiers window and exchanged his lone ticket for $590.
Later that day, another long shot came home first, this one paying $34.20, and my “friend” had added $855 to his bankroll. At the end of the day, he was ahead $695.
To be continued…