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Top Nine Things to Do On Oaks Day

To all the folks who aren't good enough horseplayers at Churchill Downs over the last five or so seasons to beat a 12% or so increase in rakes, this is not a good time. To all the folks who think racing is a mess with high prices and want to take a stand, this is not a good time either. What to do? Choose to bet and lose more money, or choose not to bet and not watch the Oaks?

It's a toughie.

Fortunately for you, Pocket has your back.

Here are nine things to do on Oaks Day that does not involve helping out a Churchill Executive's stock option exercisiment.... or exercisation, or exorcism. Whatever. These ten things also might help you keep your sanity; along with a few more dollars in the wallet.

Here we go!

1. Work (fr. "travalle"): This dog showed up yesterday and was going to for sure - not almost sure, but sure - get hit by a car. A young gal stopped her car, got out and saved the little man, who later I found out was blind. I took him in and spent most of the day trying to find his owner, trying to explain to my very confused beagle that this dog was not taking his spot on the couch for good, and feeding him processed cheese. Although the lovely little fella did get reunited with his family, my work day was shot.  I stayed up until 2AM working, but my day was still shot. So today we all work. Work is good and we make money doing it. So, let's all go to work.

2. Penn National Breeding Seminar With World Famous Breeding Expert Sid Fernando: Penn National goes tomorrow evening and overlaps with some Oaks races. At 6PM join me on twitter peppering pedigree expert Sid Fernando with questions on twitter. "Hi Sid, do you think the seven can handle the mile and 70 yards?" "In this next five claimer do you think the Jamie Ness off the claim horse can outrun the lack of stamina of his second dam?" "With all that slots money, why is the picture so crappy?" We can have fun like that all night. Join us!

3. Northlands Park Pick 5: Where's Northlands Park? It doesn't matter. If you want to be a bettor and not one of those goofy people who doesn't care if they lose money at the track, all you need to know is it has a 10% rake pick 5 and it starts at 8:30PM in race one. It even has a free program. If we can't beat a 10% takeout pick 5 none of us should be let near a past performance page ever again. If you don't play this bet and you're seen on twitter complaining about takeout rates, Andy Serling will block you, and he will be justified in doing so.

4. Play With the Kids: After you're finished betting the Northlands Pick 5, take the rest of the night off and play with the kids. If you don't have kids, go rent some for the night. Throw a ball, take them to soccer practice, watch a good kids movie with them like Let it Ride or Phar Lap. Just keep them away from the Oaks.

5. Call Up Ron Turcotte and Chat: In case you haven't heard, he ain't going to Churchill. He'll be home and he'll probably be bored. Give him a ring and you'll get to chat with a legend.

6. Get On an Email List With Churchill Downs Handle Updates: So I'm sitting here Tuesday and all of a sudden "ping!", another email. I figure it's a real email but no, it's like six dudes who are watching Churchill Downs handle, hoping it fades faster than a CDI Exec's approval rating. It's fun. If Oaks handle is really good they won't email you, so in that case, go play with your rented kids or something.

Real track execs hang on the apron
7. Play Some Harness Racing: Like really, the Big M has probably been one of the more player friendly tracks on the planet. The track owner is a swashbuckler who dresses like we do, the GM is a good dude who likes customers, @itsthejho works there, and even that Zocalli kid is getting nicer on twitter. Spend some money there; it doesn't feel like you are supporting the Death Star and you won't need a shower afterwards.

8. Find Tom LaMarra and Bet What He's Betting: Knowing LaMarra he'll be at some dive betting b-track horses off an obscure trainer angle. It's truly good to go back to our roots sometimes. Follow the man, you'll have a good time.


9. There Are Other Tracks To Bet, Honest: Horseplaying is the hardest betting vocation, bar none. It's the most maddening, hardest to win at, hardest to enjoy and most difficult to understand. What makes it great? When we figure out the puzzle and cash. Winning money is what we are here for and when more is taken from us through decreased payout prices, we're dead. That's not even negotiable. We're done. To help cure that, find another track today. That track might not have a lot of flashy ties or fascinators. It won't have an ABR bus out front, nor will it have bands, Grey Goose Vodka, or rich executives eating foie gras. But if it has a good gamble, you're home; it's where you need to be if you want to beat this game, and enjoy it forever. If you truly want to win and not just wish you won, it can start today. You just have to let it happen.

Have a great day everyone.

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