On the first day after Christmas, jockey Gary Stevens was striving to drain the last teaspoon of energy out of Camby down the Santa Anita stretch. The longest shot in the second race of the track’s 81st winter-spring meet opening day outwardly had secured an indisputable lead.

The few in the crowd of 40,023 people who to a large extent purchased a lottery ticket on Camby at the pari-mutuel windows could foresee a payoff big enough to put a dent in their holiday gift-giving debt.