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.

Wayne More than 1 year ago
cayman, tough beat, been there done that. doesnt it always seem these horses that you have a very logical reason to toss suddenly turn it around when you have a big ticket going? the ofer life types that finally break their maiden, etc. steve has repeatedly written this is a very tough bet playing in this range, exactly where i, like you, can afford to play. we are the fish to the whales, but i have hit just enough of them to keep me diving back into these pools. well, off to handicap the carryover at the Big A. good luck.
Kevroc More than 1 year ago
to cayman: I feel your pain, I needed society hostess for a $30 pick three ticket alive with 2,5 and 14 in the final. $10 each. :(
Blue Horseshoe More than 1 year ago
Steve, That is an outstanding piece that you wrote for the NY Times! In fact, it's so good that they would certainly not want to debate it head on lest they make themselves look foolish and shamefully biased. They have their own political interests to look after...
Phil J. More than 1 year ago
Mike P. did you play Gulfstream last year? 90% of the cards were just like the one you just mentioned. It has really gone south the last couple years.
cayman01 More than 1 year ago
Took a shot at the $2 million Pick 6 at Santa Anita today. Now, I am anything but a big player and it cost me today. I crafted three tickets for a total of $88. i just do not have the funds to play the bigger spreads. Hit the first four and then watched in horror as Alexandra Rose passes horses for the first time in her life to pass my horse (society hostess)and knock me into conso land. Nailed the last race and took home 2 consos. Oh, the horror.
Diceman More than 1 year ago
Hi Steve, Gulfstream Park has become a major disappointment. It's no longer a serious winter racetrack. Under Magna management, it's become primarily a Racino! Slots produce more revenue than racing at less cost! In a few years, Gulfstream Park will become a full-scale Casino with slots, table games and a racebook. Live cacing, as we fondly recall, will disappear. The surounding land, worth millions of dollars, will be sold to real-estate developers for tremendous profits. Magna is the big winner and racing fans lose again! Goodby Gulstream - hello Calder! With Churchill Downs money and expertise, Calder will become Florida's major winter race track! Bet on it!
Marty More than 1 year ago
When I urged you to get your voice in the NYTimes, I was envisioning the hard-hitting, authoritative piece you just wrote, but had the op ed page in mind. In my experience, that's easier to make happen if you're proactive with someone on the editorial board, rather than waiting for the call. I just wish everyone could have seen it, starting with the good Mayor. Back to the Aqueduct issue, how come TVG told me this afternoon they couldn't show it, then when I went to HRTV for Santa Anita, I found they'd showed Aqueduct all afternoon. What's the real story here?
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
And as for your actually getting paid your P6 $...reminds me of a regrettable episode years ago... Friend of mine said he'd put the bet in for me, so I gave him the two football game picks. I forget now what the term was, but both had to win and back to back. The first game went exactly as planned, with a big underdog laying waste not only to the favorites, but their entire city and leaving behind them a scorched earth radius of @ 30 square miles outside the stadium gates. The 2nd game was pure hell, because the lead changed hands 89 times, but in the end, after I went thru four pairs of shorts, my team won, covered, whatever. I saw my friend a day later. "Where's the money?" "I didn't make the bet." "Why not?" "Because one of your teams announced that the starting quarterback was their 48 year-old third-string backup, and I don't think you'd want that." Obviously, what he wanted - and what he did - was to make the bet, collect if it won- and then, denying he made the bet, pocketed the dough himself. If NYRA gives you the same weasel run around, it might reduce their $4 billion deficit...I hope not, wish you a HNY, and for the life of me, I can't imagine why you'd agree to any pre-conditions laid out by TNY editors prior to publication. Each to his own. Regards Don Reed
Steve in NC More than 1 year ago
Nice column, Steve, and thanks for sharing the skinny on how the op-ed page operates. It would be a pleasure to read you there regularly instead of their new hire, Bill Kristol (ugh@!).
Diceman More than 1 year ago
Hi Steve, Thanks for your brillant response to the "NY TIMES" editorial blasting gambling and horse racing. Your clear, candid and factual response is priceless! You should be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism Award in 2008. Your unswerving support for racing, the greatest game on the Planet, makes you a deserving and distinguished award winner! Steve, congrats on your pick 6 score yesterday! Have a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year!