A jockey trick, which used to be called “playing booty” —i.e. appearing to use every effort to come in first, but really determined to lose the race.
“Mr. Kemble [in the Iron Chest] gave a slight touch of the jockey, and `played booty.' He seemed to do justice to the play, but really ruined its success.” —George Colman the Younger.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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