Al Jolson Tells of His First Bet on Horses, Daily Racing Form, 1922-09-03


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AL JOLSON TELLS OF HIS FIRST BET ON HORSES I "It was just eighteen years ago Christmas . day when I made my first bet on a horse race," remarked Al Jolson, the well-known ! black face comedian. "It didnt cure me of betting, but, strange to say, it did cure me of, a severe attack of stomach trouble. I was playing a matinee at Vallejo, CaL 1 was making all of 0 a week in those days, which was good pay. The house where I played was a combination of theater, poolroom, bar and other things. While I wa- on the. stage I could see the blackboard in the poolroom, and at times I had to halt in my song while the descriptions of the races being run at the old Emeryville track were being called off. Of course, I talked about the races in my monologue, and had been informed by the proprietor that I could bet the finger in case I wanted to make a wager. "On this particular Christmas afternoon Anvil was running at Oakland, and having heard somebody talking about the horse, I worked his name into my business. Anvil ! j I yelled, and threw up one finger. Out in the poolroom the keeper heard and saw my extended digit held up in the air, and booked me for a hundred on the horse. I was invited home to dinner by the proprietor after the show, and it was a regular old-fashioned home Christmas dinner. But I was so sick I didnt feel like eating a bite. My host i-e-marked that I was looking blue for a man who had won a big bet. I wanted to know where and how, and he explained that I had bqt a century on Anvil and that the horse had won. When it filtered through my dome, I forgot all about the sickness and ate half of the Christmas turkgy and most everything else on the table."

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