During the past year I had to cut back on my horse race gambling hobby. There has been no money in the budget to gamble with. I still log into TVG, but only to play their free pick 5 and pick 8 contests. I only had about $8 in my account after a bad run on the Breeders Cup races last year. This past Easter weekend I got an email from TVG saying that I had been selected for a special $50 free bet promotion. It was only valid for Saturday and Sunday and it was already Sunday. All I had to do was opt-in and they would put $50 into my account. Although the contest rules were not that clear, I’m not going to pass on free money from TVG. Since the promotion was called a “free bet”, I assumed the money had to be used on one wager and any money left over would go back to TVG at the end of the day. I clicked “opt-in”, and a few minutes later, the money appeared in my account.
On Easter Sunday they were only racing at 4 or 5 tracks. For me, it came down to Santa Anita or Gulfstream Park. I seem to have better luck at Gulfstream, so I started looking for a multi-race wager. I looked at the pick 5 and the pick 6, but decided my best chance was to go for the late 50 cent pick 4. I used Equibase to find the 3 best horses in each race. The price for the wager came to $40.50. Later in the day, I watched as my picks cross the finish line in each race. The payout for my pick 4 wager was $449.10. Happy Easter! After that, I decided to place a $4.50 pick 3 wager at Santa Anita. But An 18 to 1 long shot came in on the 2nd race and ruined my pick 3. I ended the day with $462 in my account. I had wagered a total of $45, so I was curious to see how TVG would settle the promotion. The next day I had $455 in my account. $7 less. I started with $8, they added $50, I wagered $45, and won $449. That comes to $462. It looks like they took out $7 from the $50. Maybe the $5 that I didn’t use and a $2 tax? Anyway, I came out ahead and that’s all that matters. Thanks TVG!