Integrated Wisdom

Playing the Ponies

The psychology of betting on the most exciting two minutes in sports.

Ever since I was a kid growing up in Queens, New York, I bet on the horses. As 14 and 15 years olds, my friends and I would sit on the stoop and handicap races. When I was older and a bit more prosperous, I took to owning thoroughbreds, although I got out of that business to avoid becoming too less prosperous.

Living right between Aqueduct, Belmont, and Roosevelt Raceway meant we had to be involved in that world — and we all loved it. It was a way to make a few bucks and build up the meager funds we had without any effort.

At least that’s how we, with the wisdom of our 15 year-old brains, saw things. Of course, we didn’t win more than we lost. In fact, nobody does, which suggests our brains don’t develop much as we get older and wiser, at least when it comes to the track.

Belmont Park

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