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Horseplayers: Life at the Track ebook

by Ted McClelland

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Ted McClelland is a staff writer for the Chicago Reader, where he writes a.

Ted McClelland spent a year at tracks and off-track betting facilities in Chicago and across the country, profiling the people who make a career of gambling on horses

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Ted McClelland spent a year at tracks and off-track betting facilities in Chicago and across the country, profiling the people who make a career of gambling on horses

Ted McClelland spent a year at tracks and . Horseplayers - Ted McClelland. He’d begun his working life as a crane operator at the . Steel Works on the South Side

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You can make a life at the track, but you can’t make a living, says McClelland, a columnist at the Chicago Reader, as he sets out to prove himself wrong

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The author spent a year at tracks and off-track betting facilities in Chicago and across the country, profiling the people who make a career of gambling on horses. This account follows his personal journey of what it means to be a horseplayer as he gambles with his book advance using various betting and handicapping strategies along the way.
Ted McClelland puts cash in the kitty and takes a year to explore the real world of handicapping the races....from the cheap seats at Hawthorne Race Course to the splendor of Arlington Park and at tracks throughout the country.

In Horseplayers, McClelland shares the thrill of cashing the tickets with the nice payouts and the struggles of searching for that one needed winner in the last race, along with the dreams and frustrations of regular fans who find life at the track.

There is the husband and wife who have different handicapping strategies, the railbird with a theory that makes calculus seem easy, the fan who looks for cashable tickets left on counters and the veteran who rumor has it is now not welcome in one facility.

It is a journey away from the million-dollar races, world-class stables and majestic runners adding new pages to the history books. These regulars - who are found with comparable stories at any track - are more at home seeking out that big play with the hard-knocking claimers on a Thursday afternoon than elbowing through the crowd on Triple Crown simulcast days or on bobblehead giveaway weekends in the summer. And Family Days? Forget it.

Though there aren't as many fans going through the gates as in "The Golden Era" of racing, they are as dedicated and have as many conspiracy theories about why that runner should not have stopped in the deep stretch, unless the jocks were doing something - somehow - to fix the outcome.

And that is what makes Horseplayers such a great read; because life is about trying to get that edge, playing the odds and cashing the winning ticket at the end of the day. And if the "sure thing" doesn't hit the board, there is always tomorrow.
A well-written and interesting look at handicapping and folks who try to earn a living doing it.

What a pleasant surprise! This book paralleled my life in many odd coincidences, and that added to the fun, but even if you didn’t grow up near one of Chicago’s racetracks there is great material here of interest to any horse fan. The author, Ted McClelland includes tales of road trips to other tracks large and small, as well as a lot of material about off track betting at America’s great racetracks.

Ted somehow finagles his editor to give him a one year stake for betting the horses under the premise that he will write a book about his experience. This book is the account of that year and Ted’s attempt to come up with a successful system for handicapping. In the process Ted meets a blind man who handicaps with a numbering system that would confuse Fermat, an ex- Nun who successfully handicaps through her perception of the horses’ willingness to improve, a former college professor who develops a system that leads to paying off the mortgage (and confounding his father-in-law) and a whole cast of characters who live (or try to live) at the track.

The book is full of information on horse racing and gambling but it’s the personal descriptions of the people he encounters that really make the book worth reading. Ted is a gifted writer and he captures and relates the true stories of these people with humor and dignity. Since finishing this book I’ve found some of Ted’s articles and have found them equally well written and I will definitely be buying his other two books.

A good book by a good author.
I bought this book because I am very interested in horse racing and learning to be a better handicapper. McLelland gives a very good look at the life of regulars at the racetrack, primarily through the eyes of losing gamblers and their different personalities. If you are thinking about becoming a professional horseplayer, then I definately recommend reading this book first. It gives a good description of how one guy became a winning bettor, and how many have become losers.

This book will probably not make you a better horseplayer. However it is a very interesting look at the types of personalities you might find at the horse track and I found it to be a great read.
reminds me and proably a lot of other horseplayers what a tough way it is to make money.the book had some laughs though and some descent insight about playing.I WOULD NOT SAY ITS A INSTRUCTIONL BOOK BUT WORTH READING
I found myself enjoying the details as I prep my own bets on the Belmont. He's got a knack for meeting interesting people and sharing something significant with them. And gives good descriptions of the tracks he visits and what it's like to wait, bet and watch horse races through the seasons. I imagine betting has changed with the advent of online betting but a day at the races is still just that and well described in this book. He gives many betting insights he's learned from others. I find myself referring back to it after betting, win or lose. Good lessons, good writing, interesting people.
I think the author's experience at the racetrack for a year mirrors the experience of many horseplayers, including myself. You meet interesting characters and feel the high and lows of winning and losing bets. As the author painfully points out, handicapping is very time consuming and it is extremely difficult to make money at this game on a consistent basis. You go the racetrack because you enjoy the whole experience - the horses, the people, and yes, once in a while you cash a winning ticket. It was fun to relive my years at racetracks through this book.
Horseplayers: Life at the Track ebook
Ted McClelland
Puzzles & Games
EPUB size:
1793 kb
FB2 size:
1619 kb
DJVU size:
1237 kb
Chicago Review Press (May 1, 2007)
272 pages
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