The Question: Is it possible for a horse player to beat the races?

March 21, 1955

CHRISTIAN A. THOMSON, Ottawa, Canada
Dominion Fire Commissioner
"No. Horse racing is a great sport. If you follow racing as a sport, it's wonderful and rewarding. But if you try to earn your living betting on race horses, you may encounter disaster. Many players bet on horses as they would a roulette wheel, with as much chance of winning."

MRS. EVELYN L. HOPKINS, Cleveland, Ohio
Race-Horse Owner
"If you just bet, you can't beat the races. But if you breed horses and bet on your favorites you have a chance. I was fortunate in owning a good horse like Three Rings. He carried my stable for a year. Even so, you must have a generous share of luck to win and stay ahead."

EUGENE MORI, Vineland, N.J.
President, Garden State, Hialeah, Tanforan
"Yes. There are persons who make a good living betting. They know horses and they know the overlays. If a stock on the market is quoted at 50 and should be 100, the brokers know it. In racing we call that an overlay. A shrewd player knows the overlays and bets when the odds are attractive."

SHERMAN BILLINGSLEY, New York, N.Y.
Owner, Stork Club
"Under certain conditions, yes. One of the main requirements of a successful horse player is self-restraint. He knows horses. Usually, he will bet a horse to show, occasionally to win. Some days he won't bet at all. Generally he makes a pretty good living and enjoys racing at the same time."

ERIC GUERIN, New Orleans, La.
Jockey
"There are horse players who beat the races for a while. I've known some of them. Usually they've had a good streak of luck which they've played to the limit. But they kept it up, and the odds finally caught up with them. Every player tells you when he wins. But he says nothing when he loses."

H. F. KRIMENDAHL, Indianapolis, Ind.
Company President
"No. I've owned, raised and raced horses for 25 years. I bet on them whenever I'm at the races. The pleasure I have had has more than compensated for my small losses. I race horses for pleasure and not to make money on them. Done this way, horse racing is the greatest sport in the world."

JIM FITZSIMMONS, Sheepshead Bay, N.Y.
Trainer, Belair Stud
"I don't know anyone who has. I've trained horses all my life. Like everyone else I've tried to beat the races and-failed. If you enjoy racing better than anything else, bet what you can afford. Then forget it. I know a few horse players who died with money in the bank. They didn't live long enough."

WALTER H. DONOVAN, Haddonfield, N.J.
Track General Manager
"Certainly. It's been done and I know many who have. Of course, it depends on how it's done. A good handicapper knows when to bet. He wins. However, the thrill is in the actual race, not gambling. This lures the $2 bettor who is responsible for 80% of the total take."

BOB BRISCOE, Lexington, Ky.
Stableboy
"You can't beat the races every day. Not even the smart ones can. But some of them do make a living at it. They must, with those Cadillacs and cigars. I bet only the horses in my stable. They run for me like my brother. I've been around them for 52 years. Maybe I'm not ahead, but I'm not far behind."

TED ATKINSON, Old Westbury, N.Y.
Jockey
"No. But that's just one man's opinion. Percentages are against you because the 'takeout' is too high, meaning taxes, track cut and breakage. The way to play the races is for fun. Bet on an occasional horse and never bet more than you can afford to lose. Then it's such a pleasure when you win."

FRANK GAMMINO, Providence, R.I.
Building Contractor
"Certainly. It's done every day at Narragansett when the racing season is on. That's why the track is always jammed. Horse players are a shrewd lot. If the races were stacked 100% against them, they'd stay away. There's always that big daily double. Once in a while you hit the jackpot."

ILLUSTRATION ELEVEN PHOTOS

NEXT WEEK'S QUESTION:

Is there such a thing as a 100% honest golfer?

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)