I'm Adam Sell and I have two months left before I leave Boston. My challenge? Do something in the city every day. Have ideas for my adventure? Send me an email.
I was never one of those kids who told the mall Santa, "I want a pony for Christmas". I was too busy wondering if tugging on his beard was going to get me in trouble or not (it did). But ponies still sometimes do have a certain allure, even to someone who can't stand the smell of horse poo. I go out of my way each year to watch the races of the Triple Crown and root for a horse to win, but I'm never right. Ah, but maybe it's because I'm watching those on television - maybe if I were to see the horses up-close-and-personal, I'd have a better sense of which might win.
Yeah, nope. Tried that strategy today when I went to Suffolk Downs to catch a few races. Over the course of five bets on four races, I got exactly zero of them correct. And I tried different tactics for every race. Some friends of mine follow the various circuits closely and gave me tips on what to do if you're only going to go to a track once in a while. My favorite? If you like the name of a horse, bet on it, cause you'll kick yourself if you don't.
My "cool name gets my money" bet went to "Saturday Sin"...who proceeded to get his equine butt kicked. One of my other tips was to look at the horse's history and morning betting odds, and bet on him if those odds had slipped before post time. I picked a horse that won his last three races, and four of his last five. But he didn't win today. Heck, the closest I came to a winning ticket is when I called a friend and told him "pick a number, 1-9, and I'm betting that horse". He picked the favorite, I bet on number 7 to win, and he came in second.
I think the best plan for someone like me visiting the racetrack is to admit right from the start, you're going to lose almost all the money you bring to bet. But that's okay - that's the cost of the entertainment. Go into it knowing you'll come out behind from where you started, and just go with instinct. If four is your lucky number, bet that horse. If the horse has a cool name ("I'm a Dilemma", step forward please), bet him. And every once in a while, send that text message to a buddy asking them to pick a number out of a hat for you. Cause hey, maybe it'll work.
It's not like you could do any worse than I did, anyway.
Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.
Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.
Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.
Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.
Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.