This Blog is about Gambling – FINALLY

Da Boomer heads to the winner's circle after his victorious first career start!

Working at Del Mar has given me many opportunities for academic and personal growth and has also allowed my bankroll to grow, too!

Early on my cohorts decided I would be the one to make the picks for Team Intern wagering based on my encyclopedic knowledge of racing history & the horses currently on-track.  After all, I was the one going out to watch the morning workouts, right?  I *had* to know something.

After about 3 weeks I finally got it together to actually do some handicapping, and Team Intern bankroll was born — with $2 from each of us.  I did the most basic bet, an across-the-board on a favorite.  Favorite won, we doubled our initial investment.  I looked at the second race, made the exact same bet on a mid-priced horse, and we hit again!  Long story short, by the end of the day the B-52s were playing Love Shack in the infield and Team Intern’s earnings were bang-bang-bangin’ on the door of $55!

Each week I’ve also worked the Sunday Handicapping Contest booth with honorary Team Intern member, Caso.  (If you’ve been to Del Mar this season, he’s the dude who looks like a secret service agent in the crisp white shirt & shades.)  I’ve tried to pick up some tips from the players, who all have systems and hints for making the best bets for the contest.  (I’ve also had a mini-heart attack each week when I cash out the bank because someone thought it would be a good idea for me to be responsible for the money.)   It’s a really cool contest (and I’m not just sayin’ that ‘cuz they pay me) and easy to play: $20 entry fee, $50 live bankroll, pick a single horse in 5 Del Mar races & bet it $5 to win/$5 to place. Biggest bankroll after the last race wins $1000.  It’s so easy I could do it (& I would have won it the day we made $55!) .

The best thing is going to the infield and hearing the folks out there talk about wagering strategy.  Saturday, before Weezer rocked the place’s face off, I took a trip back to where it all started for me.  There was a beerfest going on, too, which made for some very interesting, slurred conversations to eavesdrop on:  3 guys in fedoras deep into a discussion of the 4th race, making hilarious arguments for one horse over another, how losing tickets reflected on the player’s manhood, quotes from The Hangover, and some goofy guffaws… though the horses about to go to post were for the 6th race!

Today I worked my final handicapping contest, and it was a milestone – we got 150 players, the most ever!

During lunch, I sat with Julio Canani and had a surreal conversation – it started out me asking (probably dumb) questions about training, and then shifted to (pretty much verbatim what was said):

ME: I’m never going to be able to go to another track again, I’m spoiled for life.


ME: I’ve got this pass that gets me everywhere! I can go to the backside, to the paddock, to the Turf Club…

JULIO: I’d rather take a pass to the movies…

ME: Oh, that would be nice, too, if there were anything good out to see.

JULIO: There’s lots out now.

ME: What was the last movie you saw?

JULIO: Beverly Hills Chihuahua


I asked Julio if he liked anyone on the card today, and he shook his head no.  He asked me who I liked today.

ME: Number 6 horse in the 7th race, Da Boomer


ME: Because I fed him candy on Friday

JULIO: (Laughing) You should have fed him more candy!


Later, I met Del Mar’s Mayor of FourSquare, Weldon.  He’s a laid back guy, and he enjoyed his tour of the paddock that Amy & I did before the 7th race.  It was a maiden special weight for 2 year olds, all of them first time starters, an absolute nightmare to handicap.  Weldon said he always did longshots in those kinds of races and asked me who I liked, I said I liked #6, Da Boomer, because I knew his trainer, Tom Blincoe, and had fed the horse candy one morning.

Weldon and his friends had picked #2, Bruno B.  They kind of gave me that, “ok well good on you then” smile.

Tell me what happened after Da Boomer won the race?  I was the smartest person in the room then!  I was so happy for Tom, too!  I’ll have to give Boomer an extra candy next Friday;)  When I congratulated Tom after the winner’s circle photo, he gave me a hug – when I turned around I realized I was in front of Christina O and TVG cameras! YIKES!

The sad part of this story is, even though I picked Da Boomer, told Julio Canani & Weldon the FourSquare Mayor & Amy Intern, I didn’t place the bet!  Da Boomer paid $28.40, $13.40 and $6.40… talk about wouldacouldashouldas!!!



Filed under Brag sheet, Del Mar, Handicapping, internship

2 responses to “This Blog is about Gambling – FINALLY

  1. Pat Houser

    Hey Candice –

    Just found your blog this morning & am really enjoying it. You seem to be a pretty skillful horseplayer for such a young age! 5 exactas in a day? Wowza!

    As a novice handicapper myself, I’m really interested in your process when you handicap a race. What do you give priority? Are you a speed handicapper who looks carefully at the fractions? What’s your secret?

    (I won’t tell anyone, I promise.) 😉

    • Hi Pat,

      Thanks for reading my blog! I am always happy to talk racing and handicapping with anyone. I don’t have a hard and fast system for picking horses, but I believe the most important thing is to know your track well. The day I hit 5 exactas was a snowy day at Oaklawn. I knew the best mudder pedigrees and combined that with the leading trainer/jockey combos and BOOM! I am still shocked that worked so well! At Del Mar this summer, same story – I had been watching the horses in the mornings and payed attention to how trainers’ horses performed in the afternoons. Also, if a horse has an equipment change (especially shoe changes on the polytrack) I take that into consideration. I look at speed figures and pace data, but it doesn’t play as big a role as simply looking at the horse’s class movement and trainer/jockey. Also, if the horse has an Elvis Presley-related name, LOL, I have found that makes a little difference 😉

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