Hold on to your tickets: Saratoga racing season off to a winning start
On the way to Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson's lovely Opening Day luncheon at Saratoga Race Course I made a pit stop at a betting window. My dad had asked me to box 5-3 -- the date of my parents' wedding anniversary -- in an exacta for the first race. I also bet my birthday, 4-1-7.
Too busy yakking at lunch with Jane Wait to pay attention to the race, I waited till I was heading out to ask a teller if my tickets were winners. She ran them through her machine. "Nope." Pause. "Do you want the tickets back?"
"Yes," I said, thinking, that's how I can prove I placed my father's bet.
Walking back to work, I called Dad, who watches the races on the OTB channel. "My exacta came in!" he said.
"No, it didn't," I insisted, the child knowing better than the parent. "The teller told me it was a losing ticket."
"That's a winning ticket," he declared. "Don't lose it."
"OK, OK," I said, crossing Union Avenue at Circular Street.
First task back at the office was to check with the Pink Sheet clerk for the results of that first race.
Did the teller make an honest mistake with a malfunctioning machine, or was she hoping I would unwittingly give up a winning ticket?