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What do horse players and Rodney Dangerfield have in common? WE GET NO RESPECT!

When is the last time you got something in the mail from your friendly casino telling you they were having a giveaway for horse players and you can pick up your free gift at the rewards center?


But if you play 20 bucks on slots you get free gifts all the time! We as horse players get no respect. We’re just second class citizens in the realm of things in the casino. We are looked down on and scorned.

Most horse bettors hit their favorite race books at least four or five times a week, and lose most every day betting hundreds of dollars, but are we ever invited to a free horse contest?


If you bet slots you get free gifts and are invited to free slot contests all the time. I have a Chairman’s card and that is the highest you can get. I bet horses and sports on a daily basis, losing my money like most race and sports bettors.

Last week I walked into the casino and noticed they were having a giveaway. There was no line as it was a little early so I walked up and there was a guy in front of me with a yellow card – the lowest you can have. The lady swiped his card, smiled and gave him the gift.

I was next and handed my chairman’s card to her. She swiped it and with a scorn (and I mean a nasty one) looked at me and said, “Slot players only!”

I was humiliated. You mean to tell me I can lose hundreds of dollars a day in the race and sports books every week and can’t get a measly cheap free gift that I don’t want any way?!

Believe me, it’s not about the gift, but respect and appreciation. As horse bettors we get neither – just a crummy $2 for every hundred we bet, and we can use it for food and rooms. I can get triple that in cash legally in North Dakota, but I want to support our race book industry.

Horse players are folding faster than yesterday’s newspaper. We are getting older and the industry has done little to attract new bettors as they only care about slot players. We get no respect. They just take their guaranteed percentage on our wagers and treat us like dirt.

We want to be appreciated, be part of the entire picture and not a horse player that gets nothing. If there are any casino managers out there reading this and wondering why their race handle is going down, give me a call or invite me over. I can help.

No respect, and just don’t care! California is a state that is broke and so messed up I can’t even get into it. At one time this was as close to utopia as you could get. Beaches, the race tracks, Hollywood and Vine, 77 Sunset Strip, Whisky a Go Go and, of course, Del Mar. It isn’t that way any longer.

Recently some geniuses got together to pass a law that says if you claim a horse and the vet deems the horse is not fit, the claim is void. This is just another reason why regulation-happy California is broke and stupid. As Forrest Gump’s mother told him, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

This past Saturday at Hollywood Park (soon to be torn down) a horse was claimed but the stewards, after the vet’s exam deemed he was not sound, voided it. The claim game has always been part of horse racing and a big part in the past for trainers like Bobby Frankel and Mike Mitchell.

A master of disguise, Mitchell would claim a horse for 20k and drop him in for 10k next time out as he would play a little poker hoping he got the win and no one bit thinking maybe something was wrong. He would get the win and the horse could move back up and run in a starter allowance race.

It was masterful. But now with this new regulation its takes most of the risk out of claiming a horse and that is not a good thing.

But back to the voided claim. I happened to bet on that horse and now, because the horse was not sound, wanted my money back. Why not?

The regulation people just don’t care about bettors. It’s OK that we lose our money on a horse that was not sound. Why didn’t the vet notice before he entered the starting gate? I want my money back! If the person or persons who put up the 25k for the claim got theirs back, everyone who bet the crippled horse should get their money returned as well.

So broke California, which several years ago could not wait to shut down Bay Meadows race track in San Francisco (just another once great city gone wacko) and cost all those people their jobs and livelihood so they could build some high end condos and shopping malls, now has little built and a big hole in the ground similar to where the Stardust was on the Vegas Strip.

Now broke California will be destroying one of the great and historic race tracks in the USA to build high-end housing and malls. What are the odds they will leave another big hole in the ground?

As horse bettors, all we want is a little respect.

If you agree or disagree with this article please email me here at [email protected].

Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper.  Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].

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