9-2-5 or “The Nine Deuce Five” will probably always be my favorite combination.  My dad always played our birthdays for trifecta’s as a kid when I went to Longacres with him.  I was the 5-1-8 for May 18th.  My sisters was 11-5 for an exacta and my dad’s was 6-1-4 for June the 14th.  We didn’t do it all the time, but every once in a while my dad would play the birthday combos.
The birthday trifecta was mastered however by a friend of mine.  Chris.  His birthday is September 25th so when he would go to the track with me he would always play the 9-2-5.  I mean every time there was a nine horse race he would.  We always attended the races at Emerald Downs, and in recent years, finding a nine horse field there is like seeing Sasquatch, it happens, but not too often.  But even if there is only 1 or 2 nine horse fields while we’re there, he’ll play the “nine-deuce-five”.

I’ll never forget one night, Chris played his 9-2-5 and we were on the apron watching the race.  The field came barreling down the stretch and the 9 took over the lead late, winning at 6/1.  There was a mad scramble for the minor awards, and the 5 was on the outside and was in the mix.  Chris looked at me afterwards and said “Fuck Ball (I’ve known him 18 years, he’s never called me Jason, only Ball or J-Ball)  I didn’t see the Deuce anywhere”.    I told Chris, “I think he was down on the rail, that might have been him getting up.”

We ran to the replay screen and sure as shit the two was flying up the rail and I told Chris “Dude I think you might have got this man.”  The 2 was 40/1.  The five was a favorite, but when the 9-2-5 flashed on the board, Chris, still keeping his beer still in his left hand, pumped his right fist in the air and screamed.  He got back $887 for his one dollar straight bet.  I figure, he goes to the track 5 or 7 times a season, and there are maybe 2 nine horse fields each day, so he can probably make his 9-2-5 bets for the next 40 years and still be up.  I know he hit it another time for $125 bucks, so that adds another 5 or 10 years.

It’s Chris birthday and I always laugh when it’s 9-2-5.  Chris is one of my favorite people in the world.  When my dad died, he’s whose house I went to.  When he got married, I was standing a few feet from him.  If I ever get married, I hope he’ll be my best man.

Happy Birthday Carp

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