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Please Hold All Tickets

If you’ve ever grappled with an existential decision “to bet or not to bet” on a horse, then you may very well find yourself in Please Hold All Tickets. Above all, this is an engaging story of the glorious 1980s period in thoroughbred racing that contains all the ingredients for bringing back the vibrancy of the sport today, and a gut-deep view of transitions in American history between the 70s and 90s.

Excerpts from reviews of the first printing of Please Hold All Tickets:


“I read this book by Mark Cramer called Please Hold All Tickets that changed my entire outlook. It was a fictional story that described these two guys, who were modeled after Don Quixote and Sancho Panza and their odyssey through racetracks all over the country. Through their dialogue I picked up the idea of using the exacta as place bet, and I haven’t had to worry about the bills ever since.”

—Longshot Larry, as quoted in a Daily Racing Form column by Dave Litfin.


“Cramer’s tale of two horseplayers proves that fiction can be an excellent vehicle for tackling many of the problems that a serious bettor faces. In an entertaining and informative manner, this story manages to cover the logical, psychological and philosophical dilemmas which all astute players find themselves up against.

—Nick Willett, from Handicapper’s Notebook


“Please Hold All Tickets is Kerouac with dashes of Sayles in an original new gonzo voice. A whimsical on-the-road adventure of a Quixotic horseplayer’s quest for pari-mutuel nirvana.”

—Cecil Suzuki, “Man at His Best,” Win Magazine, January, 1992.


“Please Hold All Tickets is a brilliant work. In its own unique way the best non-instructional bit of handicapping instruction ever written.”

—Howard “Doc” Sartin



Mark Cramer lives a life of calculated risk with his fearless wife Martha. He’s blended over 50 jobs and avocations on three continents, including university professor, investigative journalist, urban farmer, bicycle travel guide and studious horseplayer.  In comments on Mark’s newest literary “wager”, Old Man on a Green Bike: Chronicles of a Self-Serving Environmentalist, Dr. Paul Tranter, esteemed specialist on transportation and sustainable cities, has written: 

“Mark Cramer is a master storyteller. His vast experience and research enables him to create descriptions of places and events that come to life in the mind of the reader, often creating laugh-out-loud humor.”

Additional information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 5 × .5 in

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