Sure Thing

Shortly before the first world war, British politician and horse racing afficionado Horatio Bottomley devised a sure-fire means of winning a fortune.

Prior to a race at Blackenberghe (in Belgium), Bottomley bought each of six competing horses. He then hired six English jockeys and gave them strict instructions concerning the order in which they were to finish the race. As an added precaution, he placed extra bets on all six horses.

Everything went swimmingly until, halfway through the race, a heavy fog blew in from the sea, engulfing the entire course. Judges couldn't see the horses, jockeys couldn't see one another, and those who finished at all did so in a muddled jumble.

Only one thing was clear: Bottomley had lost a fortune.

[To conform to a state post-race drug testing laws, every horse running at California's Santa Anita Racetrack must be trained to urinate at the sound of a whistle.]

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