Last weekend I had a chance to go to my first horse racing event ever. I couldn’t say no! My friend’s family and I drove over to Canterbury Park in Shakopee near Valleyfair where we stayed and watched six horse races.

First off, let me tell you that horse racing is pretty awesome. I’ve only ever seen horse racing on TV, and was never really interested in it. But to be there in person and to experience everything was really cool. Canterbury Park is enormous, with indoor and outdoor seating, tons of food venues, and it has an indoor casino as well. I was tempted to go in and play some roulette, but after reading this column you will know how much my luck would have gone against me.

The actual horse racing is fun too. The horses are beautiful, enormous creatures who have tremendous power around the track. The jockeys make the horses look even bigger. Most of the races were very exciting at the end, as some of the horses slow down in the final stretch while some others pull ahead for a late surge. The track announcer makes the race even more entertaining, especially if the horses have strange names, which they always do.

But the best part of the whole event was the betting. Unlike any other sport, both the athletes AND the spectators can legally win money depending on the result of the races. For the very first race, I wagered a whole $2 for a horse named “A P the MVP” to win. Just to clarify, I bet on this horse because its number was eight, not because the A P probably stood for Adrian Peterson. My lucky number is eight and always has been, so I decided to go with it. I had high hopes for A P, but unfortunately my horse took dead last. Talk about a great way to start off the betting.

My friend’s mom ended up betting on the correct winning horse, a horse named “You Be Gator Bait.” She also guessed correctly for the winning horse in the second race, a horse named “Fiskey.” She won a total of $35 over the two races. Because she had won so much, I decided to bet on the horse she was betting on in the third race. Makes sense right? Wrong! The horse that ended up winning was of course, the number eight horse named “Free Sailing.” I would have won $25 if I stuck with my lucky number eight. I only lost a total of $4 in the end, but I felt like a failure. Next time I’ll show those horses who’s boss.