More for the sporadic track patron than for the sophisticated regular, Spencer Drayton offers some warnings.
1. Touts, alone or in teams, often try to gain your confidence by flashing forged identifying data (i.e., jockey's agent card) and will usually claim "inside stable information" or knowledge of allegedly "fixed" races.
2. Pickpockets prefer Saturdays and holidays, when the crowds are largest. They operate mostly on the apron of the grandstand during the running of a race, when the crowd's attention is diverted.
3. Some pickpockets watch for carelessly carried pari-mutuel tickets. Your tickets should be with your money—and your hands on both.
4. Don't bet the results of a photo finish with a stranger. The stranger could have a confederate on the finish line who signals the real winner before the number is posted.
5. Even for a bargain, never buy a mutuel ticket from a stranger. The ticket could be counterfeit. If the horse loses, the victim will never know of the fraud perpetrated on him, but if the horse wins and he attempts to cash the ticket he finds himself in trouble.
6. Never cash winning tickets for a stranger. Counterfeiters use innocent people to cash their forged mutuels.
7. Don't buy watches or jewelry from a stranger claiming he needs cash in order to get home. His jewelry is probably worth about one-tenth what you will pay for it.
8. Attractive lady strangers may volunteer to run bets for you to the windows, then claim to be holding your ticket for good luck. The fact that they have not actually bought a ticket at all becomes apparent only when a selected horse wins—at which time the "lady" leaves to collect and never returns.
9. Watch out for the three-card-monte operator around bus-boarding spots, parking lots and on race trains after the races.