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Let me preface my blog by saying I DID NOT bet on the Kentucky Derby. Also, I have never placed a bet on any online betting site. Suffice it to say, it is not because I am unaware of how to do it. How could I be? Is it my imagination or is every other commercial on TV these days an enticement to get you to gamble online? The ads make it look so easy.
Draftking, Parx Casino, Fanduel, BetMGM, and BetRivers are just some of the sportsbooks available to anyone who wants to place a bet from the comfort of their couch. This practice has always sounded very, very dangerous to me. Since gambling is both fun and adrenalin-pumping, doing it on my phone and in my house seems as easy as grabbing some beverage and chips. I do not believe either activity is good for you.
This Saturday, like millions of others, I watched the “run for the roses” – the Kentucky Derby. A once-a-year horse race, obviously the most popular in the US, is the perfect enticement for an average person to lay down a few dollars just to create a bit more interest. Known as “the fastest two minutes in sports” and costing just $2 to place a bet, it is the perfect combination to watch the race, get your heart pumping, and scream at your TV as the horses come down the home stretch.
I can also assume it is a mecca for gamblers. Take the case of Jim McIngvale who is the founder of Gallery Furniture and known as “Mattress Mack”. He placed $2.4 million on Essential Quality to win the race. Essential Quality was the favorite with 3-1 odds. Ironically, it was the massive wager by McIngvale that created the low odds. His reasoning for such a large bet was because he had offered to a free mattress to any of his customers who purchased a $3,000 or more mattress if his horse won. His horse did not win. In fact, the horse did not even finish in the money – Essential Quality was fourth.
Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby. The horse was a big underdog at 12-1 odds. If you bet $2 on him, you would have won $26.20. If “Mattress Mack” would have bet on that horse with similar odds (even though I know the odds would have been less with his money on the horse), he stood to win $14.4 million.
Medina Spirit was a great story. He was a huge underdog, took the lead from the very beginning (normally a sure sign that the horse would lose), and held on to the very end. That’s right – wire to wire. It was trainer Bob Baffert’s seventh Derby winner, the most of any trainer in the 147-year history of the race. Baffert was honest afterward that he never thought his horse would win. The story gets better when you realize the horse was purchased for around $1,000 and sold to the current owner for $35,000. By winning the Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit won $1.86 million.
That is a lot of roses!!
ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
- The Eagles appear to have had a good draft. They got a quality wide receiver, offensive lineman, a cornerback, a running back, a defensive tackle, and a defensive end. By position, these were necessary picks – let’s hope that the personnel filling those spots prove to be worthy.
- If the trend continues, the Phillies can win or lose half their games and still finish in first place in the National League East. As I write this, they are 13-13 and currently in first place. That seems like a rather low bar to me.
- As I write this, the 76ers have nine games left in the regular season (72 games this year as opposed to the normal 82). They are ½ game behind the Brooklyn Nets. Winning the division could prove to be huge. They do not play the Nets again.
- Congratulations to Jevin Muniz, Brendan Boyle, Tyson Thomas, and Liam Joyce. All were named to the Pennsylvania All-State basketball first team. Central Catholic coach Dennis Csensits was named Coach of the Year. This is exceptional representation from our area.