12/30/2007 2:57PM

Is This the End of Rico?


I got involved in the mandatory-payout Aqueduct pick-six with $52k carry and am watching it unfold as I write, but perhaps my biggest gamble today was in not driving out to Aqueduct, poised to empty out my NYRA-One balance at day's end. There's still no official agreement for racing to continue past today's finale, and it's conceivable that if things blow up on the political front, the whole shebang could be shut down and frozen for a while.

Conceivable but unlikely, so I'm willing to take the gamble. Everyone sounds conceptually on board with a short-term extension through at least Jan. 23, giving the legislature two weeks to make something official when it reconvenes Jan. 9. Joe Bruno, the obstructionist in the process, seems to be modifying some of his more outrageous demands under pressure from his Saratoga-area constituents, who appear to be turning against him on this issue.

Oops. Bad result for me in leg 2, with a 1-2 finish by a 6-1 Dutrow entry I didn't much like. I'm badly thinned down now to an all-A backup ticket that includes two singles: 1/4,5,9/6,10/8. Yuck.

--A few weeks ago I went on a rant about a New York Times editorial about New York City OTB, and several commenters urged me to write a response for The Times's op-ed page. While I was mulling that idea, an editor there called and proposed precisely such a thing, with a couple of restrictions: I couldn't refer to or criticize the offending editorial and should write about what should happen with OTB as if the paper had never addressed the issue. Oh, and they needed it by 4 p.m. tomorrow.

So I wrote it and sent it in and they said they liked it and would run it soon, which turned out to be today, a month later, with bigger New York racing issues in the air. And as best as I can tell, it's not on the real op-ed page, but on a city edition-only op-ed page which is being discontinued after today's edition. But at least they ran it, and thank you for the encouragement, and here's the link to it.

Okay, got the single home in leg 3 at 1-5. So it's 4,5,9/6,10/8, a 3x2x1 countdown for the last NYRA card...of 2007.