Remember how I said there is always something planned for me in SD. This time it was the races. I have been wanting to go to the horse races for almost ever now. This experience was quite an eye opener. Firstly, the horses do not run multiple laps like I had imagined. Horses are not cars. They run 1 round of 1 mile or 3/4ths of a mile. At the club, there were as expected, ladies in their dresses and hats, and unexpectedly, there were children, some so young that they were in strollers. Unlike casinos, there is no age limit to enter the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club was also our introduction to Uber – the fixed rate call taxi service. We called Uber to be dropped and picked up from the club. We had Groupons to enter, but when we got there, there was a promotional scheme going on, and now I think we have some kind of membership to the club. The membership card gets us free entry. It also gets us discounts on food and beer, but as we discovered not on all beers or all foods.
When I reached the counter to place a bet, the lady on the other side asked me, “To win?” A little confused about the question, I nodded yes. When I was asked the same question while placing a bet for the next race, I asked the gentleman across, if it was possible to bet to lose. He laughed and explained that there were 3 types of bets that could be placed – win, place – that is to come second and show – to come third. I now understand that place means the horse you bet on must come either first or second and show means your horse must come 1st, 2nd or 3rd. I have found out that there is yet another type of bet that can be placed – exacta. This means you play two horses. They must come in first and second in exact order to collect.
Each race ends in less than a few minutes. The races are spaced about 20 mins apart. This gives you just about enough time to saunter up to the counter and collect your winnings, decide on your pick for the next race, place your bets, grab some food/drink and get back to the stalls. You need reservations for the tables in the balconies, but the stalls are open seating or standing. People had brought their beach chairs to sit in the stalls.
When we left a few hours later, we had made a net profit of $3 on our meager bets.