A factual account of money-making synchronicity; or: there was method in my madness.
by Sahib Kevin Lord Sanford, O.M.
I had entertained the idea of playing the horse races on acid for a long time. Since everything is a dream and anything is possible, who knows what I might dream up on the Supreme Sacrament. The sport of kings seemed a perfect setting for a tranquilized antakarana to produce quick cash, if that’s what I really wanted. I recently had the opportunity to give it a shot, and let the chips fall where they may.
It was heavily overcast as I began my journey to the race track in a dark blue Datsun 240-Z. I’d spent the earlier part of the day searching the public libraries for a book on horse race betting. I needed to know the definition of terms like “perfecta” to bet, and my puritanical two volume dictionary didn’t have them. The book I finally found, predictably named Horse Race Betting, was written by a Mr. Fred S. Buck, with the Buck underlined twice on the title page. Good synchronicity.
On the way out of town I stopped at a gas station for directions and found out the correct road was Route 22. Things were looking up! Twenty-two has been a big number with Court. I recently turned twenty-two and it was the 22nd of September two days earlier. I began thinking that I should bet a 2-2 combination on the daily double, which is a bet on the horses to win in the first and second race. I certainly wasn’t going to bet solely on McPozzm probabilities. As described in Millbrook, the “Swami” that Sarasvati won on was a 17-1 shot. If there was a horse named “Three-eyed Toad” or “Neo-American” or “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, I would bet on her no matter what the odds. The road connecting Route 22 to the track was Route 2.
After traveling over the winding road through the wooded hills and past the occasional factories of West Virginia, I arrived at Waterford Park, the race track. It looked splendid shining in the dusk, and I liked the relation between Waterford and Sanford, my surname. Water and sand go hand in hand. I parked the car, walked past the nursery course—a miniature affair where several horses were being exhibited—told a guy who wanted to sell me “tips” that I was going to win big and didn’t need them, bought a program, and went to the men’s room to consume 100 micrograms and a strong dose of vitamins.
Having made it a point not to look at the program before ingesting the S.S.—heaven forbid dreaming up its contents before beginning the trip—I exited from the bathroom and opened it. Far out! The #2 horse in the first race was “Chief’s View”. Talk about encouraging synchronicity. I quickly bet $10 to win on “Chief’s View,” who was a 12-1 long shot, and $10 on a 202 daily double. The #2 horse in the second race was “Big Knees.” There were only minutes to post time. I bought a beer, lit a cigarette and walked out to the concrete standing area between the grandstand and the homestretch.
Boom! The horses shot out of the 6 furlong chute. In the backstretch Chief was toward the back of the pack, but around the far turn he started to move up quickly on the outside. A woman yelled, “Come on Chief’s View!” The excitement mounted as the hayburners thundered through the homestretch and Chief was contending for the lead. I began screaming encouragement.
Shit! I was at a bad angle to see the finish, but it appeared as if Chief came in second. Over the loudspeaker, it was announced that another horse had won, but then, “Hold your tickets ladies and gentlemen. We have a photo finish.” Tense and anxious, with a heart full of hope, I waited for the results. Several minutes passed.
“The official winner is #2, Chief’s View.”
No shit! I went to the cashier and collected $189.
I had no doubt that things were going my way, and the second half of the daily double, which would be big money with one of the horses at a long shot, was the next race. Now, how could I parlay this situation into even more money? I knew which horse would finish first—knock, knock—but which horse was going to finish second? “#5, Fifty Bucks” whose parents were “Buy and Hope” and “Lady May?” Hmm… “#4, Two Two Much?” “Two Two Much?” What? Not only was the 2-2 combination there, but two and two equals four, which was the number of the horse, in Millbrook His Highness’ ex-wife is fond of saying “too much,” and it was the 24th. I bet $50 on the perfecta combination of 2-4, #2 to win and #4 to come in second, and $10 on #4 to place. Another beer, another cigarette. I walked out to the track and began pacing.
Boom! The horses were off and running. In the backstretch “Big Knees” was one of the front horses and “Two Two Much” was toward the back. As they rounded the far turn “Two Two Much” began moving up on the outside, just like “Chief’s View.” In the homestretch “Two Two Much,” “Big Knees” and another horse were neck and neck. At the finish line it was impossible to tell who won. A three horse photo finish! The photograph in the paper the next day showed that only inches separated them. Again I would have to wait for the results. I was becoming more stoned by the moment. Finally, it was announced. “Big Knees” came in first, “Two Two Much” in second!
The cashier looked rather dazed while figuring out my winnings. “It seems as if you hit the jackpot,” she said. I’m sure my pupils were as big as dimes. She disappeared for awhile and returned with the loot, something like $5,682.30. I gave the guy who sold me the tickets a $120 tip. My pockets were bulging with the rest of my good fortune.
Now what? I had been at the track for about a half an hour and won nearly $6,000. Should I act on basic greed and go for more? Or leave immediately, before I get mugged? Greed won.
In the third race I bet $50 on the perfecta combination of “#1, First Sermon” to win and “#7, Noblest Hour” to finish second. In retrospect, I should have completed the 2-2-2 combination and bet on “#2, Successful Ann” to win, with the religiously significant “First Sermon” to come in second. The pieces fit, now. But I didn’t see it at the time, so I lost, which may have been just as well. I left right after the third race and concentrated on arriving home with what I had, which was no mean feat, having to drive sixty miles through thunder and lightning stoned out of my gourd and not really knowing where I was. And then through Pittsburgh, which has its areas of questionable safety.
I arrived home at midnight with a case of badly shattered nerves and two pockets full of money.
A couple of weeks after my Big Win I was standing in a supermarket waiting in line to buy a pack of cigarettes. Just as I was about to order, a woman several aisles away began asking questions about lottery tickets and then cut in front of me to buy two for a dollar. During this whole exchange I had the same acid feeling of synchronicity fitting together for a win as I did at the race track. You might say the whole thing was a “flashback”. The cigarettes turned out to be in a machine by the door all the while, but naturally I bought two lottery tickets. Sure enough, I found out on the following day that I had won $5.
Chief's View: A factual account of money-making synchronicity; or: there was method in my madness
© 1977 Kevin Sanford