From the time the first caveman bet the second caveman that the woolly mammoth would beat the saber tooth tiger that was chasing him, people have been winning and losing money. Losing is no fun. Maybe that’s why a lot of people don’t want to admit that it’s their fault.
They look for outside reasons for why that sure-thing didn’t come in. I’ve heard a lot of stories about how races are fixed. Some sound kind of logical, but some are pretty far out. Have you heard the one about the guy on the roof with the ray gun?
I first heard it at a track in New England where a stooper (someone who bends over looking for winning tickets that were thrown away by accident) swore to me that he’d seen the guy. “He had a green jacket on and a gimme hat and he was pointing that ray gun at the dogs. Just as he did that, the lead dog slowed down and the second dog crashed into it and there went my quiniela.”
“So how does this ray gun work?” I asked him. “How does it slow down the dogs?”
He just shrugged and moved off, looking for winning tickets on the floor. “I think it’s some kind of cosmic ray,” he yelled back to me.
I don’t think so. I think that it might have been someone clocking the dogs with a radar gun to check their speed. Or it might have been someone out on the roof for a smoke, with a big old cigar or something else in their hand and his imagination did the rest.
I’m not so naive as to think that no one ever attempts to fix a race at the dog track. I’m sure with that much money around, greedy or desperate people give it a go from time to time. One thing I do know though from knowing some owners and trainers is that they don’t do anything to permanently harm a dog. They’d be hurting themselves if they did.
They spend a lot of money, time and effort working to get dogs to the point where they make money. They’d be stupid to waste their time and effort trying to “nobble” dogs instead of working to make them faster and smarter about racing.
That said, I’ll admit that some of the races I’ve watched have been screwy to the point where I ask myself if someone wasn’t messing with the dogs. But then I go home and watch my usually graceful Black Lab chase her tennis ball and she manages to run into it and gets bopped on the head and I realize that even greyhounds can make mistakes when they’re running at 45 mph or more with their minds on catching the lure and nothing else.