Oaklawn Diaries: ‘The Holy Ghost’ and Other Racing Superstitions

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A tiny elephant is one of the lucky charms you'll find at the Oaklawn betting windows A tiny elephant is one of the lucky charms you'll find at the Oaklawn betting windows

Have any superstitions about the racetrack?

Of course, many bettors, jockeys, horsemen and other racetrackers will tell you – don’t mess with the good side of luck and stay as far away from the bad side of it as possible.

From $50 bills to black cats and brooms, superstition is a long-standing tradition on the backstretch and at the betting windows. Ray Paulick and Scott Jagow continue their Rebel Stakes weekend visit in Hot Springs, Ark., with this edition of Oaklawn Diaries.

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  • Chantal Smithless

    I actually heard the superstition about the broom on the trailer all the way back from the time I was involved in small town horse shows but someone needs to tell Calvin Borel to do a little research on the black cat issue. There are many accounts where they have proven to be GOOD luck and I believe his thoughts come from his up bringing in the Louisiana bayou and his Grammie LOL!

    Loved the video clip however — nice change of pace for a Friday!

    • Ladyofthelake

      Chantal Smithless I just wanted to say I love your user name!

      • Chantal Smithless

        Thank you! I bet you don’t have to use much of your imagination to figure out how I came up with it (especially if you follow California racing) LOL!

        • Ladyofthelake

          Very clever! I’m no good at coming up with creative user names, I just got mine from a character in Spamalot.
          I’m not into superstition, it makes me think of when CNBC interviewed the Dutch speed skating coach during the Olympics & the girl asked if he agreed with the Americans who said bad suits caused their poor performance & he said yes the suit was the problem, but only because they thought so in their minds.
          Calvin Borel sure wouldn’t enjoy the farm where I work- they have three black cats! Lol

  • John McEvoy

    What a delightful piece of entertainment. Many thanks!

  • LL

    When we first got into horses, if we had a win, we would wear the same clothes the next time we raced. Then we’d try to stand in the same spot as we did for the win race. What a stitch!

  • Susan Crane-Sundell

    My Dad and I used to spend hours handicapping races but my mom would go to the paddock during saddling, turn around three times and pick a horse. She was almost as successful with this superstitious method!
    That was a fun, hardly anyone escapes superstition either at the theatre or the track!

  • SheaMizer

    Cool video, except for the drive by d-bagging at 1:11

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