Are you a fan or a gambler? A not-so-great moment in Big ‘Cap betting history …

Back in the day, the Santa Anita Handicap was one of the first major events that attracted me to the sport, er, gambling outlet of horse racing.

When I was a kid, most of my fellow teenagers played Nintendo. But I sweated whether Alysheba could hold off his nemesis Ferdinand in the Big ‘Cap.

Those days gradually gave way to only caring about the Big ‘Cap as it pertained to betting. Nostalgia be damned. By my late teens and early 20s, I couldn’t care less who won so long as I won my bet.

So, you’ll have to pardon me if I’m feeling more like sharing my fondest gambling memories of the Big ‘Cap and not some artistic remembrance of a past winner storming down the stretch of The Great Race Place while grown men in the crowd wept in disbelief at the beauty of the running thoroughbreds before them.

When I think of the Big ‘Cap, one memory comes to mind. It centers around one of the best yet simple philosophical questions I’ve ever heard asked at the track. And I’ve heard many.

The year was 1996 and the story centers around a character that those who work at TVG will know as “Laz” but back then was dubbed “Flyin’ J. Brian” by me and racetrack crew. Yes, there was also a talented thoroughbred sprinter around that time named Fly’n J. Bryan. The other major player in the story is a local jockey and one-time TV personality who we’ll call “Iggy.”

The combination of the three of us was a hot mess. We were three of a dying breed back then – guys in their late teens and early 20s fully consumed by the track. That breed is now extinct.

Anyway, for weeks leading up to the ’96 Big ‘Cap, Flyin’ J. Brian was touting long shot Mr. Purple. Almost every other thing that came out of his mouth for nearly a month was Mr. Purple-related. But once race day arrived, one of Flyin’ J. Brian’s biggest problems – hanging onto his money for longer than an hour after he came through the turnstile – reared its ugly head.

Back then, the concept of Santa Anita allowing its fans to bet on the races from up north was still new. It was simply too much for guys like Flyin’ J. Brian to bear. And predictably, long before the Big ‘Cap field took to the track for the seventh race of the day, Flyin’ J. Brian was busted out. That made for several hours of him pleading with Iggy to loan him money.

Finally, just minutes before post, Flyin’ J. Brian pushed too far, asking Iggy one too many times for a loan. It prompted Iggy to respond with an utterance that deserves to be put on a plaque, bronzed and placed somewhere next to Seabiscuit’s statue at Santa Anita.

“Are you a fan or a gambler?” Iggy asked.

Translated it means: Sit here and watch the horse you’ve been touting forever win the biggest race of the year at long-shot odds while you’re tapped, you degenerate idiot.

Soon, the starting gate opened. And if any of you have ever been in Flyin’ J. Brian’s shoes, you know what happened next … and it did. Mr. Purple circled the field on the far turn, took the lead at the top of the stretch and rolled home to an easy win at odds of 18-1.

What should have been a victorious procession to the betting window to collect a handsome return turned into an angry exit by Flyin’ J. Brian. Nobody knows for sure, but some accounts had him in the infield later that day kicking over trash cans.

Me? I cashed a nice Pick 3 only because I used Mr.Purple, who I did not like but felt compelled to throw in on my ticket.

You may not know it, but scenes similar to the one I just described will play out all over the track today. It’s part of what makes the racetrack culture so unique. Some of what you see on HBO’s “Luck” isn’t too big of a stretch.

Santa Anita will no doubt attract a lot of fans who make Big ‘Cap Day one of only a few trips to the racetrack per year. If you’re one of them, you probably don’t need to ask yourself whether you’re a fan or gambler.

But if you’re one of us who take it a bit more seriously than that, then embracing who you are, a gambler, may actually help you not follow Flyin’ J. Brian’s lead, and that could mean being in position to leave the track today with an epic Big ‘Cap score based on your handicapping convictions.

Follow me on Twitter @ChemicalAT

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Are you a fan or a gambler? A not-so-great moment in Big ‘Cap betting history …

  1. web design says:

    You have uploaded an awesome site.

  2. Great article! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our site.
    Keep up the great writing.

  3. win lotto says:

    Amazing issues here. I am very happy to see your article. Thanks so much and I am having a look forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  4. buen dia acabo de enterarme de tu blog y la verdad es que me parece muy bueno no sabia de mas personas interesadas en estos temas, aqui tienes un nuevo lector que seguira visitandote abitualmente.

  5. You’re truly a good webmaster. The website loading pace is incredible. It sort of feels that you are doing any unique trick. In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a great activity in this topic!

  6. payday loans says:

    I absolutely love your website.. Excellent colors & theme.
    Did you make this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my very own website and would love to find out where you
    got this from or what the theme is named. Appreciate
    it! payday loans bad credit direct lender

  7. Your style is so unique compared to other people I have read
    stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will
    just bookmark this page. http://www.textloans24.co.uk

  8. When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked the
    -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each
    time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment.
    Is there an easy method you are able to remove me from that service?
    Thanks! http://longtermhairremoval.webstarts.com/

  9. Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of the issues.
    It was truly informative. Your website is very useful.
    Thank you for sharing!

  10. more info says:

    Excellent post! We are linking to this great content on our
    website. Keep up the great writing. myquickloans.
    co.uk

  11. Spot on with this write-up, I actually think this website needs a great deal
    more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more,
    thanks for the info! payday loans

  12. Hi, I do believe this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it ;) I’m going to return yet again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others. this site

  13. link says:

    Right here is the right site for anyone who wishes to understand this topic.
    You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not
    that I personally will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject that’s been written about for decades. Wonderful stuff, just excellent! myquickloans.co.uk

  14. skybet says:

    I absolutely love your website.. Great colors & theme.

    Did you develop this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my own personal website
    and want to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named.
    Appreciate it! ladbrokes

  15. Hi there, I found your blog by the use of Google at the same time as searching for a comparable matter, your website came up, it seems to be great. I’ve bookmarked to favourites|added to bookmarks.

  16. I believe this is one of the most important information for me. And i’m satisfied reading your article. However should remark on few general things, The website style is wonderful, the articles is actually great : D. Excellent task, cheers

  17. This website really has all the information I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know
    who to ask. ppi claim

  18. Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe this amazing site needs much more attention.
    I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for
    the info! million dollar pips settings

  19. Very good information. Lucky me I ran across your website by
    accident (stumbleupon). I’ve saved as a favorite for later! personal injury solicitors

  20. Good article. I certainly love this website. Stick with it!

    live tv online

  21. Gerald 112 says:

    Est-ce encore le moment pour risquer ses économies dans le métal précieux ? L’achat d’or est votre supreme possibilité de vous séparer d’un tas de dollars encombrants !

  22. It is perfect time to make some plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy. I have read this submit and if I may I wish to recommend you few fascinating things or suggestions. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article. I wish to learn more things approximately it!

  23. I used to be suggested this website by my cousin. I am not certain whether or not this submit is written by him as nobody else understand such certain approximately my difficulty. You are wonderful! Thanks!

  24. Its such as you read my thoughts! You appear to know so much about this, such as you wrote the ebook in it or something. I think that you could do with some percent to power the message house a bit, but instead of that, this is magnificent blog. An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

  25. Hi there, I discovered your site by means of Google at the same time as looking for a similar matter, your website came up, it seems to be good. I’ve bookmarked to my favourites|added to bookmarks.

  26. I don’t even know how I stopped up right here, however I assumed this publish was good. I do not recognize who you might be but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger in the event you are not already. Cheers!

  27. Pretty great poste. Je simply suis tomb� par hasard votre sur blog et wished � mention que je have truly loved surfing autour votre weblog des postes. After tout I fera(sera) souscrivent(adh�rent) in your rss l’alimentation et I hope vous �crivez again soon!

  28. An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I do think that you need to write more about this subject,
    it might not be a taboo subject but usually people don’t discuss such topics. To the next! Many thanks!! loans for bad credit

  29. Simply desire to say your article is as surprising. The clarity for your put up is simply spectacular and that i can suppose you are an expert on this subject. Fine together with your permission allow me to seize your feed to stay up to date with drawing close post. Thanks one million and please continue the gratifying work.

  30. Somebody essentially lend a hand to make seriously posts I might state. That is the first time I frequented your web page and so far? I surprised with the research you made to make this particular post incredible. Great process!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>