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Why Is Horse Racing Awesome?

Twelve friends contributed $20 apiece and hit the Pick 5 for $6,900

A recounting of a tale told by Dave Handeland

It all started in February with an innocent tweet from Austin, MN’s Martin Zellar about horses with mustaches.  One connection led to another which resulted in Zellar performing at Canterbury Park on Thursday, June 24 with his band The Hardways.

With the night of the 24th set, horseplayer, music aficionado, and Austin native Dave Handeland  (@superstatsdave on Twitter) began gathering up some friends from Austin to spend a night out at the Park for racing, beverages and  music that alone made for a perfect night.  Most of the crew was from Austin and due to the timing there were even buddies from Louisiana and Vegas in town.

About 40 minutes prior to the start of the Pick 5, the group, mostly beginners, decided they wanted to try to win some decent money.   The plan was that everyone, 12 bettors, would throw in $20 each and the ticket would be constructed.

The Pick 5 ticket, which ended up being $270, went deep in a few legs and would have to survive a solo in the third leg.  Many in the group had no idea it was possible to have multiple horses per race, so the concept of the longest option winning was something new. “Just trust me” was said a few times.

Leg 1- Six deep and an even money favorite won.  Oh well, we survived.

Leg 2- Six deep again but this time a longshot, Edgie Reggie, won and paid $111.  Now the juices were flowing.

Leg 3- This was the solo, the single, the favorite.  The luxury of multiple runners was gone now. We HAD to have this horse win to have a shot.   The trackside group went wild as Valiant Appeal won easily and kept the ticket alive.

Leg 4- Five deep here with two favorites and some longshots.  We hit a 3-1 winner so it was time for will pays.

Leg 5- The favorite was paying $1,900.  The #5 was paying $12,500 and the #8 Yesteryear was paying $6,990.  Not that bad! The group already had their money’s worth so now hopefully it was payday.

The #5 scratched at the gate. With only two options, things became a bit more tense.

AND DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME as Yesteryear rolled by the favorite and the group of 40-year-olds was jumping around, high fiving, hugging and acting like a bunch of little kids as they realized that the $20 investment was going to lead to huge score to cap off a fun night.

It all started with mustached horse tweet and ended with 12 friends divvying up $6998.70, getting their photo taken and having stories for a lifetime.

(Editor’s Note:  When you run with Super Stats Dave, you run hard. Follow him on Twitter for racing and sports insights with a strong lean toward NBA.)