Hold Your Horses

One very windy Sunday morning, a rabbi was on his way shul when suddenly a strong gust of wind blew his black hat off his head. The rabbi ran after his hat but the wind was so strong it kept blowing his hat farther and farther away. He just couldn't catch up with it.

A young non-Jewish man, witnessing this event and being in better shape than the rabbi, ran after the hat and caught it. The young non-Jewish man handed the hat over to the rabbi. The rabbi was so pleased and grateful that he gave the man twenty dollars, put his hand on the man's head and blessed him. The young man was very excited about both the tip and the blessing.

The young non-Jewish decided to take his new found wealth to the racetrack. He bet the entire $20 on the first race that he could. After the races the young man returned home and recounted his very exciting day at the races to his father.

“I arrived at the fifth race,” said the young man. “I looked at the racing program and saw a horse by the name of ' Top Hat' was running. The odds on this horse were 100 to 1. It was the longest shot in the field.

“After saving the rabbi's hat, having received the rabbi's blessing, gotten the $20, and seeing ' Top Hat' in the fifth race, I thought this was a message from God. So, I bet the entire 20 dollars on Top Hat. And amazing thing happened. The horse that was the longest shot and who did not have the slightest chance to even show, came in first by 5 lengths.”

“You must have made a fortune!” said the father.

“Well yes, $2000. But wait, it gets better,” replied the son. “In the following race, I looked at the program. A horse by the name of 'Stetson' was running. The odds on the horse were 30 to 1'. Stetson being some kind of hat and again thinking of the rabbi's blessing and his hat, I decided to bet all my winnings on this horse.”

“What happened?” asked the excited father.

“Stetson came in like a rocket. Now I had $60,000!”

“Are you telling me you brought home all this money?” asked his excited father.

“No,” said the son. “I lost it all on the next race. There was a horse in this race named 'Chateau.' So I decided to bet all the money on it because the horse was the heavy favorite and the name also means hat in French. But the horse broke down and came in last.”

“Hat in French is 'Chapeau' not 'Chateau!’” screamed the father. “So what horse won the race then?”

“It was some long shot from Japan named 'Yarmulka.’”

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