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Tips! Not gratuities, but on a horse.

Horse bettors are a great group who are always looking for that one big tip. Not the ones you get on TVG but the one gem that rarely comes around. Every reader out there who has bet on the ponies for years has gotten tips. Some win but most lose.

Let’s take a look at a great tip. It was fantasy but one a degenerate horse bettor would call a cinch. It took the last 50 bucks out of his sock in a race to the window to make the wager.

It occurred in my favorite horse movie “Let It Ride” when a loser cab drive named Looney played by David Johansen plants a tape recorder in the back seat of his cab to listen to couples making out. Little does he know he tapes a trainer, in hock up to his eyeballs to some bookies, giving them a horse that can’t lose.

Looney and his buddy Trotter, played by Richard Dreyfuss, head to the track and Trotter turns his 50 bucks into $69K. He is having a very good day and wants to parlay the entire amount on the last race. He heads to the window and lays it down. The ticket writer asks if it’s all there and Trotter says he took a little out for the wife and a few things but bets the rest.

Tips are great for horse players as it makes the game exciting. We are always looking for one and they come in all shapes and forms. I got one while watching TV this past Saturday morning. I get up early to watch “Father Knows Best,” “Dennis the Menace” and “Hazel.” I love all three.

In a recent episode, Hazel’s maid buddy from next-door comes over and sells her a sweepstakes ticket. Later in the week she comes back and tells Hazel she won and her horse, Bonneville Flats, will be running in the big race. If the horse wins Hazel will win $250K.

So how is that a tip? Well, I get down to Palace Station and after looking over the baseball, I see that anemic card at Los Alamitos TB. Lo and behold there is a horse running in the fourth race by the name of Bonneville Flats. No kidding! You just can’t make this up.

I made one mistake and took a look at her form. She looked flat out bad but I decided to bet her. Flats went wire to wire winning with ease paying $19.20.

Time for Del Mar: Next week will be TGID, Thank God It’s Del Mar, as this will be the last week for Los Al TB. I just checked the weather at Del Mar and all week it will be between 69 and 79 degrees.

When this horse bettor and his buddies first started to take the five hour ride in the late 1970’s and through the 1980’s Del Mar was the best place to get tips and the majority were the real deal.

We would sit right in this perfect spot to see several big time horse bettors at the time who had the real info. There was Little Johnny, one of the nicest guys ever in Vegas, Bernie “the car guy,” Marty “the Jew,” and Big Frankie. These guys would always give us winners, mostly first time starters, tips you could bet on with confidence.

What days! And it’s amazing that with all the climate change, the weather back then at Del Mar was exactly the same as it is going to be this week.

Del Mar opens next Thursday, July 18 and we will be saying TGID, but the tips won’t be there. The faces and game have changed as well as the bettors, sad to say. The weather, though, has not and it’s worth that drive just to get away from this crazy heat. You could be eating, watching TV or taking a cab and get a tip in the most unknowing way.

Again next week we here at GamingToday want to kick off the Del Mar meet the right way. This handicapper and bettor will be doing the first five races for the opening day card at Del Mar in next week’s issue. We know it probably won’t be as good as the tip Trotter got or any I could get from Little Johnny.

Those days are gone but we will be looking at some winners and, as always, for prices.

Play of the Week: It comes at Los Alamitos TB in race 7. No. 7 Ike looks to be a solid single in the $1 late pick four. This 3yo colt gets his second start off the layoff and back to routing where he ran his best race when finishing second in the Northern Spur at Oaklawn Park in April. We love Drayden Van Dyke getting on for Bob Baffert, who gave him a work over the track on the 8th.

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