There is a horse running in the Derby tomorrow called Stately Victor. 30-1. I think that I'll splurge and slap two dollars down on this thing in your honor, though I've ever bet on a horse before. This should be interesting as I imagine there are few things in life more obvious than a guy who's never been in one before trying o look nonchalant in an OTB, amongst the cognoscenti therein. Especially a guy asking a two dollar bet. I look forward to the experience.

Victor Niederhoffer says:

In my honor you should bet only a buck, as that's the figure that Bacon liked to bet.

Tom Marks replies:

Well, I'm in. Followed your risk parameters as well… Still made my two dollar wager to win, but went partners with my friend's mother at a buck apiece. All of which made for an educational scene in the OTB.

I approached some guy who, judging by his expressionless bearing, gave off an air of insider ennui. I've come across many a person with a been-around-the-block look about them, but it seems there's nothing quite like an OTB been-around-the-block look. This guy had it, rolled-up newspaper, pencil, and all. I've always sensed such resigned weariness while walking past the window of one of these places in NYC, as it's like looking inside a box of sadness.

Anyway, I asked him how to do exactly what I wanted to do. He proceeded to walk me through it, after which I mentioned that I was partnering with my friend's mother on the investment. With that he sighed deeply and shook his head, telling me that now he had to bet on Stately Victor. He didn't explain exactly why, but I got the impression that he didn't feel entirely comfortable with running his "system" up against the chances of two people with possible beginners' luck. It seemed as if he was now hearing a little voice in his head and would never forgive himself if he didn't heed it.

Superstitious bunch.





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