In September, after a long campaign to reach him through friends and colleagues, I received an email from Benter. “I have been avoiding you, as you might have surmised,” he wrote. “The reason is mainly that I am uncomfortable in the spotlight by nature.” He added, “None of us want to encourage more people to get into the game!” But in October he agreed to a series of interviews in his office in downtown Pittsburgh. The tasteful space—the top two floors of a Carnegie Steel-era building—is furnished with 4-foot-tall Chinese vases and a marble fireplace, with sweeping views of the Monongahela River and freight trains rumbling past.
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Club horse racing reappeared on a small scale in the 1990s. In 2008, the China Speed Horse Race Open in Wuhan was organized as the qualification round for the speed horse race event at the National Games the next year, but was also seen by commentators as a step towards legalizing both horse racing and gambling on the races.[64] The Wuhan Racecourse was the only racecourse that organized races in China.[65] In 2014, the Wuhan Jockey Club organized more than 80 races. Almost all Chinese trainers and jockeys stabled in Wuhan. However, with the demise of the event at the National Games and the government not relenting from the ban on commercial racing, various racecourses built in recent years are all in a state of disuse: The Nanjing Racecourse, which previously hosted National Games equestrian events, is now used as a car park;[66] the Beijing Jockey Club was shut down in 2008. The racecourse in Inner Mongolia has not been active after 2012.
As regards IT security, it is imperative that adequate measures are taken to encrypt sensitive information to keep the data protected. Some operators encrypt all connections, but often it is just the financial transactions which are protected using secure sockets layered (SSL) protocol. I checked for certification from reputable IT security companies which guaranteed the safety of submitting sensitive personal information.
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Benter, 61, walks with a slight stoop. He looks like a university professor, his wavy hair and beard streaked with gray, and speaks in a soft, slightly Kermit-y voice. He told me he’d been driven only partly by money—and I believed him. With his intelligence, he could have gotten richer faster working in finance. Benter wanted to conquer horse betting not because it was hard, but because it was said to be impossible. When he cracked it, he actively avoided acclaim, outside the secretive band of geeks and outcasts who occupy his chosen field. Some of what follows relies on his recollections, but in every case where it’s been possible to corroborate events and figures, they’ve checked out in interviews with dozens of individuals, as well as in books, court records, and other documents. Only one thing Benter ever told me turned out to be untrue. It was at the outset of our conversations, when he said he didn’t think I’d find anything interesting to write about in his career.
This is the vigorish, also known commonly as the “vig” or the “juice” — the bookmaker’s cut of the action. Oddsmakers try to set betting lines as precisely as possible to attract an equal amount wagered on each team involved in a particular game. They use money from losing bets to pay off people who make winning bets, while keeping a percentage for themselves. That percentage varies, but usually is around 10 percent, so that a successful $25 bet would earn you a $22.50 profit.
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Another popular form of golf betting involves matchup propositions, in which two golfers are paired against each other in a head-to-head wager, with a betting line on each golfer set by the oddsmaker. The golfer with the better (lower) score wins the matchup. (If one golfer continues play in the tournament after his opponent misses the cut, the golfer who continues play wins the matchup.)
Horse racing in the United States and on the North American continent dates back to 1665, which saw the establishment of the Newmarket course in Salisbury, New York, a section of what is now known as the Hempstead Plains of Long Island, New York.[30] This first racing meet in North America was supervised by New York's colonial governor, Richard Nicolls. The area is now occupied by the present Nassau County, New York, region of Greater Westbury and East Garden City. The South Westbury section is still known as Salisbury.
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The beginning of the modern era of racing is generally considered to have been the inauguration of the English classic races: the St. Leger in 1776, the Oaks in 1779, and the Derby in 1780. All were dashes for three-year-olds. To these races were later added the Two Thousand Guineas in 1809 and the One Thousand Guineas in 1814. (The St. Leger, Derby, and Two Thousand Guineas have come to constitute the British Triple Crown of horse racing.) During the 19th century, races of the English classic pattern—dashes for three-year-olds carrying level weights—spread all over the world. The French classics are the Prix du Jockey Club (1836), the Grand Prix du Paris (1863), and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (1920).
Afterward—it was probably 1984—Benter, Woods, and some of their partners earned a place in the Griffin Book, a blacklist that a detective agency circulated to casinos. On top of the indignity of having their mug shots next to hustlers and pickpockets, the notoriety made it almost impossible for them to keep playing in Vegas. They needed to find another game.
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There are three founding sires that all Thoroughbreds can trace back to in the male line: the Darley Arabian, the Godolphin Arabian, and the Byerly Turk, named after their respective owners Thomas Darley, Lord Godolphin, and Captain Robert Byerly. They were taken to England, where they were mated with mares from English and imported bloodlines.[19] The resultant foals were the first generation of Thoroughbreds, and all modern Thoroughbreds trace back to them. Thoroughbreds range in height, which is measured in hands (a hand being four inches). Some are as small as 15 hands while others are over 17. Thoroughbreds can travel medium distances at fast paces, requiring a balance between speed and endurance. Thoroughbreds may be bay, black, dark bay/brown, chestnut, gray, roan, white or palomino. Artificial insemination, cloning and embryo transfer are not allowed in the Thoroughbred breed.[20]
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