"The Genius" is a likeable person who generally tries to hide from people, even his friends, who genuinely seek him out despite the fact that by referring to him as The Genius they are simply being sarcastic. Actually, The Genius is more or less average in intelligence, is a clerk at night in a supermarket, and loves the race track for its excitement and a chance to make a few bucks for the small amount of money he invests.
The Genius actually looks the part to some of his friends. He is about five feet, two inches tall, has a large forehead and is almost bald, is round shouldered and walks with a shuffle, his toes pointed sideways. Despite his thick glasses he still has trouble reading the small type in the Racing Form. In fact, when his eyes are tired, he will ask a cronie to read to him, which draws him into discussions that he would really rather skip. The Genius finds such talk a complete waste of time. He bets automatically and couldn't care less about the records of the horses.
True to his character, he has devised a money-management system that is more defensive than offensive. When it does win, he hopes it will make up the losses of the previous days. After first betting $2, The Genius will then wager progressively $4-$6-$10 and $16 on the next four races whether he wins or loses. Following the fifth bet, he will start over again at the $2 level.
The Genius has figured out that if none of his horses for the nine races win, the most he can lose for the day is $60.
The problem is coming up with winners. As a result, he has turned to betting favorites or the top choices of the handicappers that he follows in the Los Angeles Times.
Simply betting favorites as indicated on the totalizator board, he has discovered, results in low mutuals, which makes for lower profits. Even with four or five winners, he can still end up losing for the day.
The Genius would rather bet one of the local handicappers. Although the handicappers also pick a lot of favorites, they sometimes choose a long shot that pays more than $20.
His best day for the system this season at Hollywood Park was May 9 when he chose to follow Bob Mieszerski's selections in The Times.
Mieszerski's first choice was Exploded Jr., which ran second in a six-furlong sprint for 4-year-olds and up. The Genius lost $2 and another $4 when he bet Swinging Juan, a third-place finisher in the second. Putting up $6 in the third, The Genius watched Cash In Now barely hold on for second place in a 1 1/16-mile route.
Behind $12, The Genius then bet $10 on Intrepidness in the fourth race. Intrepidness, which broke from the No. 6 post position, was second at the half-mile mark. The horse ran easily until the stretch, where he took the lead by three-lengths. At the finish, Intrepidness won by 2 1/2 lengths and paid $7 for every $2 win ticket. The Genius collected $35, deducted $22 in betting through the fourth race, and pocketed $13.
In the fifth race, Mieszerski picked Star of Riches, on which The Genius, making the last wager of the progression series, bet $16. The race was six furlongs for 3-year-olds.
Star of Riches started from the No. 2 hole, tucked in fourth behind the leaders and ran easily until the stretch where he made a move to take the lead by one-half length. At the finish, Star of Riches was 2 1/2 lengths in front and rewarded backers with a $12.20 mutual.
The Genius collected $97.60 for his $16 wager. Adding the fifth-race profit of $81.60 to his winnings of $13, he was ahead $94.60.
With the progression ended, The Genius went back to the $2 wager. Lucky Kate, Mieszerski's choice in the sixth race, also won, and paid $4.80, adding $2.80 to The Genius' winnings. Wood Spirit finished next to last in the seventh, and Spectacular Face ran second in the eighth. Going into the last race, The Genius had a profit of $87.40.
In the last race, a 1 1/16-mile route for 4-year-olds and up, The Genius bet $10 on Manifest Destiny, which was an $11.70 to $1 long shot.
Manifest Destiny waited until the three-quarter mark to move up to fourth and entering the stretch took over third place. Sweeping through the stretch, Manifest Destiny raced to the front, winning by 2 1/2 lengths.
Not only did the horse pay backers a pari-mutuel of $25.40, but The Genius loved winning the last race because he didn't have to bet any more and it allowed him to go home a big winner. For his $10 bet, he collected $127, profiting by $117 on the race. Added to the $87.40, The Genius happily left the track with a $204.40 profit.
Another good session for The Genius was May 28 when he had more winners but less profit. Betting favorites from the totalizator board because no newspaper handicapper held a hot hand, he won the first four races of the day.