By Amber Shortt
Matt Gillespie only needed three things to have fun at RyeSAC’s trip to Woodbine Racetrack last Wednesday:
a good friend, a cold beer, and a horse, of course.
“I didn’t really come here to spend a lot of money,” said Gillespie, a second-year Aerospace Engineering student. “I came out to have a good time and meet some people.”
Gillespie chose number five – a horse named Genska with two-to-one odds against her. After trading in his voucher for a ticket, he lined up with his peers to watch the race.
Shouts and hollers replaced the quiet chatter as the horses ran past the trackside tent.The moderator’s voice sounded over the screams: “Genska tries to catch them on the outside.” “Let’s go five!” shouted Gillespie, as Genska surpassed the pack and crossed the finish line. Gillespie joined about 150 students-more than one-third from Ryerson – for the all-ages event.
For $12, students got a buffet of stuffed pork and cheesecake, transportation to and from the raceway, a program guide, a $2-betting voucher, and a view from a trackside tent.
Maria Jouikova, a fourth-year Nutrition student, said the event was about experiencing something new. RyeSAC President Dave MacLean, up $25 halfway through the evening, was pleased with the event, which he said provides students with more than just a gambling opportunity.
“It’s an all-ages event. It’s a great meal, a great social atmosphere. “You don’t have to gamble,” said MacLean.
Spencer Rysdale, a first-year Business student, said he does not think students unable to gamble or drink would attend the event. “You have to have one or the other,” he said.
Rysdale wagered $35, but by the last race, had yet to win a dime. In a final attempt to make a profit, he bet $10 each on two horses with 20-to-one odds against them. He watched the race from the finish line.
As his horses crossed the line in the middle of the pack, he ripped up his ticket and threw it in the garbage. “Oh well,” he said.”The dessert was good.”