It took, says
Professor of Govern-
Alan Draper, "a few decades"
before endless trips to the track with
his father began to make him feel as
his dad did about horse racing. But
once the love of the sport took hold,
well, you might say it took off.
Draper estimates that he spends an
afternoon just about every weekend
watching races online. "It's incredibly
intellectually and personally challeng-
ing," he says. "You have all this infor-
mation about the horses, the jockeys,
the weather, the track. And then you
try to figure out how the race is going
to be run and who will win. It's very
similar to picking stocks."
It is also, Draper believes, "a test of
character. You have to have courage and
conviction to go with what you believe
in.” But the best part, he says, is that
When the race unfolds exactly the way
you thought it would and you win, you
feel like you just won the Nobel Prize."
P E O P L E AT T H E
T R A C K A R E R I G H T
O U T O F A D AMON
R U N Y ON S T O R Y .
These days, almost any race can be seen by anyone anywhere
in the world, because most are available online. But when
he travels, Draper enjoys going to the track, in part because
he loves talking with other race fans. They’re “right out of a
Damon Runyon story," he comments. “They are ‘characters,’
outsized personalities, who can tell a great story.”
Involved as he is in teaching, research and writing, Draper
says that spending some time studying the
following the ponies is "an escape. It takes me out of my world
for a while."
SPRING 2013 | St. LawReNc e UNIveRSIt y Ma Gaz INe 25