Cuomo’s OTB veto the right move for New York

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Whatever his motive, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s veto of the oddball legislation giving Catskill OTB authority to take over operations of the bankrupt OTB franchise in New York City can only be viewed as good news.

The last thing New York racing needs is more power in the hands of any of the six regional OTB corporations (New York City, Catskill, Capital District, Nassau, Suffolk, and Western Regional), especially at the expense of the New York Racing Association.

New York has the oldest, and worst, OTB system in America. The establishment of six regional fiefdoms that are competitors to the state’s racetracks was a huge mistake when the system was created more than 40 years ago. Nothing has been done to correct that error.


In my opinion, the state’s OTB system in general, and New York City OTB in particular, has done more damage to horse racing’s image in New York than any other development in my lifetime. The New York City OTB parlors were seedy, dirty, and horribly run for most of their existence. Though many of the city’s worst OTBs were closed and some of the shops transformed into semi-hospitable bars by the time of the December 2010 bankruptcy, it still seemed like a mercy killing when NYCOTB was shut down.

Ideally, the New York Racing Association would be in charge of distributing its product to New Yorkers. The OTB system, in addition to providing revenue to the state, should be designed to strengthen the racing industry and its various components, including the many agricultural jobs created by the breeding, raising, and training of Thoroughbreds.

That has not been the case. It has instead been a political plum for the dispensation of patronage jobs in a bureaucratic cesspool.

The 2012 takeover by Gov. Cuomo of the New York Racing Association through the reorganization board that he now controls presents a perfect opportunity to fulfill that desired outcome for NYRA and a New York City OTB system. Even if the five other regional OTBs continue their operations, now is the time for the governor to begin pushing for a restructuring of the OTB system in the nation’s largest city. He has appointed a number of smart people and successful businessmen who surely must see the benefits of a NYRA-run OTB system in New York City.

His veto of the Catskill OTB legislation is a sign the governor is not content with what had been the status quo.

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  • Nucky Thompson

    Never was the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words” more appropriate than the picture accompanying this story !

    • Cancilla45

      Brilliant Ray, NYRA most incompetent group around, they can’t run their own business!

      • RayPaulick

        “Most incompetent?” I guess you’ve never heard of New York City OTB. Besides, there is a new NYRA today. 

  • Nucky Thompson

    Never was the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words” more appropriate than the picture accompanying this story !

  • Concerned Observer

    Lets hope someone (Cuomo?) can restore racing in NY state to the high level of interest and participation it enjoyed years ago. Racing nationwide will benfit from a stronger NY presence.

  • Concerned Observer

    Lets hope someone (Cuomo?) can restore racing in NY state to the high level of interest and participation it enjoyed years ago. Racing nationwide will benfit from a stronger NY presence.

  • Lou Baranello

    Ray, Again you have told it as it really is.  Good work.

  • Lou Baranello

    Ray, Again you have told it as it really is.  Good work.

  • Richard Eng

    NYRA was offered the original NYC OTB franchise license in 1969 by NYC Mayor John V. Lindsey. They turned it down. There was actually a good reason for NYRA to say no, even though they would have retained a gambling monopoly. NYRA had just opened a brand new Belmont Park in 1968 at an investment of $30 million. They were solely interested in on-track attendance. The business of simulcasting and off-track betting, as we know it today, was unthinkable back then. Imagine how different horse racing might be if someone on the NYRA board had guessed right on the future and said “let’s do it”.

    • Don Reed

      Richard, it is good of you to remind us of the road that NYRA opted to ruin.

  • Richard Eng

    NYRA was offered the original NYC OTB franchise license in 1969 by NYC Mayor John V. Lindsey. They turned it down. There was actually a good reason for NYRA to say no, even though they would have retained a gambling monopoly. NYRA had just opened a brand new Belmont Park in 1968 at an investment of $30 million. They were solely interested in on-track attendance. The business of simulcasting and off-track betting, as we know it today, was unthinkable back then. Imagine how different horse racing might be if someone on the NYRA board had guessed right on the future and said “let’s do it”.

  • Kepp

    Ray.. Luckily these seedy, dirty and horribly run OTB’s
    existed and thrived 35 years ago when I was first introduced to the game.
    Otherwise, horse racing would have had one less diehard fan, player and admirer
    of the game. When I was 8 my father used to truck me over to what I remember to
    be the OTB on 233rd street in the Bronx. In those days there weren’t
    any TV’s just audio of Marshall Cassidy calling the races from Aqueduct as we
    mapped out our “E-F-C” trifecta wheels with the dinosaur letter betting slips
    using the alphabet system. Inbetween races we’d stroll across the street for a
    slice of pizza and a shot of whiskey for my pops.

    Unfortunately, today’s fan and the game have changed as
    such that an OTB environment isn’t a profitable or popular pastime. It’s hard
    enough to get fans to live races never mind an OTB parlor. You can congregate
    all the food and drink specials you want it won’t bring the bettors when they
    can wager from the comfort of their homes. I wish they can figure out a way to
    make it work but I’m skeptical regardless of who takes the political ball and
    runs with it. For what it’s worth those trips to the “seedy” OTB were some of
    my fondest childhood memories. I was hooked for life.

    • Eric Wing

      While I don’t disagree with the thesis of Ray’s essay, I, like Kepp, have great memories of the old joints.  Two of my favorites:

      1. Don Zimmer was a regular for the early double at the OTB across from the old Hyatt Regency on 42nd Street whenever the Cubs were in town.  He’d often have a player or two with him.  One day he was in there with reliever George Frazier, and there was an inquiry after the first race.  The stewards let the result stand.  Zimmer was furious, loudly complaining to Frazier that the horse should have clearly come down, even though, as Kepp notes, all anyone there had to go on was the rather spartan Cassidy call.

      2. The first ever OTB was in Grand Central Station at what are now simple train ticket windows.  Our 11th grade Social Studies class took a field trip into the city one day. Our class rode the train together and we were to gather after our ride at the main GC information booth for a quick head count.  Though too young to wager, I had earlier scoped out the Calder card and was convinced that a horse named Regal Sambler would win the 2nd race.  My friends Perry and Bubba wanted “in” and Bubba looked old for his age, so the plan was for Perry to distract our teacher (Mr. Caviliere) at the info booth while Bubba and I snuck off to OTB,  I was to fill out the betting slip and Bubba was to place the bet. It worked perfectly except that there was a line at the betting window that delayed us for a couple of minutes.  Mr. Caviliere eventually grew concerned that two of his students were missing, and one of our other classmates snitched that Bubba and I had ambled over to OTB. Our cover had been blown, and when we rejoined the group and pretended like nothing had happened, Mr. Caviliere (an otherwise calm, Bob Newhart lookalike) was the maddest we’d ever seen him. He threatened a week of detention, though he never ultimately gave it to us. The field trip was a successful one, and best of all, Regal Sambler won and paid $15.60.  I have lost track of Perry, but Bubba and I still laugh about it to this day.   

      • 3875waldo

        Great story!  But the
        OTB premises had their troublesome moments. 
        Too many of them.

         

        Mid 1980s at the old ROTB (rathole OTB) on 2nd Avenue/52nd St. (Manhattan):

         

        Next door, in a now-forgotten bar, someone who was a friend
        of one of the regulars wandered in one day & started making himself at
        home.   Nice.  Paroled convict.  Blunt, rude & built like an ox.  Knew nothing about racing.

         

        Months later, I’m in the ROTB making a bet.  The Ox came in, took offense at what had to have
        been an innocuous remark by an elderly, slightly-built man & punched the
        poor guy in the face.

         

        I jumped on the Ox & dropped him to the ground in a
        headlock, which was slightly inadvisable because he could have broken it with a
        snap & clocked me, too (his only victim, fortunately, turned out to be OK,
        just a broken nose & eyeglasses).

         

        Frightened out of my wits at what I had instinctively done &
        what the next logical event would likely be, I remembered that he was still on
        parole.  I yelled, “OX! THE
        COPS!  I HEAR SIRENS! [there were none] -
        You’re on parole!”

         

        Sheer paranoia overwhelming his anger.  He tossed me off his back & bolted out
        the door.

         

        We never saw him again. 
        Weeks later, a great racetracker from an era now forever gone, Davie
        Dymes – God rest his soul – thought it would be funny to make up the story that
        The Ox had been in the bar earlier in the week, looking for me. 

         

        Hilarious. 

         

        NO.  I don’t miss the
        old OTBs.  I never did get to go into one
        as a member of a school class led by Mr. Chips.

  • Kepp

    Ray.. Luckily these seedy, dirty and horribly run OTB’s
    existed and thrived 35 years ago when I was first introduced to the game.
    Otherwise, horse racing would have had one less diehard fan, player and admirer
    of the game. When I was 8 my father used to truck me over to what I remember to
    be the OTB on 233rd street in the Bronx. In those days there weren’t
    any TV’s just audio of Marshall Cassidy calling the races from Aqueduct as we
    mapped out our “E-F-C” trifecta wheels with the dinosaur letter betting slips
    using the alphabet system. Inbetween races we’d stroll across the street for a
    slice of pizza and a shot of whiskey for my pops.

    Unfortunately, today’s fan and the game have changed as
    such that an OTB environment isn’t a profitable or popular pastime. It’s hard
    enough to get fans to live races never mind an OTB parlor. You can congregate
    all the food and drink specials you want it won’t bring the bettors when they
    can wager from the comfort of their homes. I wish they can figure out a way to
    make it work but I’m skeptical regardless of who takes the political ball and
    runs with it. For what it’s worth those trips to the “seedy” OTB were some of
    my fondest childhood memories. I was hooked for life.

  • Cancilla45

    Brilliant Ray, NYRA most incompetent group around, they can’t run their own business!

  • RayPaulick

    “Most incompetent?” I guess you’ve never heard of New York City OTB. Besides, there is a new NYRA today. 

  • Citation

    Catskills OTB, LOL, wasnt that the place the FIX was in for the pick 6 on Breeders Cup day cicra..2002?.  I lived in PA during the debate of OTB in PA, they passed it as long as it would not look alike the OTB in NY.  Never been in a OTB at that time in my life.  Pa got the OTB and they are still classy to this day.  Thus had to see what was so bad about the OTB   in NY.  Stopped in one with my then GF, now my wife, in Albany NY, am WTF.  Anyone ever ask themself “how a bookie could go bankrupt’…OTB in NY is the answer you seek. 

    • Matt Tubby

      Yeah it was 2002.  I watched the HRTV special on the Fix Six and it was excellent.

  • Citation

    Catskills OTB, LOL, wasnt that the place the FIX was in for the pick 6 on Breeders Cup day cicra..2002?.  I lived in PA during the debate of OTB in PA, they passed it as long as it would not look alike the OTB in NY.  Never been in a OTB at that time in my life.  Pa got the OTB and they are still classy to this day.  Thus had to see what was so bad about the OTB   in NY.  Stopped in one with my then GF, now my wife, in Albany NY, am WTF.  Anyone ever ask themself “how a bookie could go bankrupt’…OTB in NY is the answer you seek. 

  • Don Reed

    FINALLY. I am proud – after Pataki, Spitzer & Paterson – of what a
    governor of my former home state has done.

    If anyone has mentioned this previously, my apology; but it’s worth repeating:

    The most obvious damage of this legislation would have been, if not now,
    eventually, a “back door cover” – the reinstatement of the NYS
    coverage of the benefits of the old NYCOTB employees and executives.

    No thanks. One bankruptcy of New
    York City – in the 1970s – was enough.  For those of us who didn’t live through that
    experience, take my word for it, it was brutal. 
    Almost as bad as Hurricane Sandy.

  • Don Reed

    FINALLY. I am proud – after Pataki, Spitzer & Paterson – of what a
    governor of my former home state has done.

    If anyone has mentioned this previously, my apology; but it’s worth repeating:

    The most obvious damage of this legislation would have been, if not now,
    eventually, a “back door cover” – the reinstatement of the NYS
    coverage of the benefits of the old NYCOTB employees and executives.

    No thanks. One bankruptcy of New
    York City – in the 1970s – was enough.  For those of us who didn’t live through that
    experience, take my word for it, it was brutal. 
    Almost as bad as Hurricane Sandy.

  • Don Reed

    Richard, it is good of you to remind us of the road that NYRA opted to ruin.

  • Vinniega11

    I agree with you.

  • Vinniega11

    I agree with you.

  • August Song

    A good move, now Cuomo should follow it up by lowering the takeout.

  • August Song

    A good move, now Cuomo should follow it up by lowering the takeout.

  • http://twitter.com/layton_l Layton L. Register

    Timothy T. Capps, former editor of the Thoroughbred Record, wrote about the “specter of simulcasting of Thoroughbred races in North America”: “We [The Thoroughbred Record] find it difficult to devise a scenario in which simulcasting in the vicinity of an operating track would not damage both attendance and on-track wagering handle. There can be no question off-track betting in New York has been the major cause of dwindling attendance at that state’s racetracks.” Add a host of other problems, and what is left is a sport in New York and throughout the rest of America that is pretty much in shambles. 

    • 3875waldo

      What was the date of Mr. Capps’s statement?

      • http://twitter.com/layton_l Layton L. Register

        Good catch, 3875waldo! I was afraid someone might ask that! The last page of The Thoroughbred Times was titled “Hoofprints,” which were excerpts from the Thoroughbred Record. Mr. Capps’ opinion was called “Casting for answers.” It was 25 years ago from the date of the Thoroughbred Times issue in which this “Hoofprint” appeared. Of course, I saved the excerpt without noting the date of the Thoroughbred Times issue! I’m going to guess though that Mr. Capps wrote his opinion around 1985. Would that sound right? I think this was about when OTB was getting established in New York.

        • Don Reed

          This sounds right.  Good of you to offer
          an estimate of when the quote was originally spoken.  I can’t be more precise; my guess is that NYC
          OTB started in @ 1970-71.

          I’m often plagued when I look up my own saved articles and then find out
          that due to my own carelessness, I “clipped” the date off the page in
          order to make the material fit the 8 1/2′ x 11″ restrictions of the xerox
          reprint dimensions. Serves me right, I may add.

          Chronology is the most important factor that has been ignored by journalists
          in the last 15 years, to which I attribute this wonderful trend to the American
          universities that since @ 1990, have been handing out diplomas to its graduates
          that cannot read them.

          Merry Christmas, and the main point being your above comment, I thank you
          for sending it in.

        • Don Reed

          I should also add that it’s inexplicable that news articles no longer automatically (if ever) begin with a literal “dateline” – so the reader knows how old the news is, and where it came from.  It’s such basic information, the practice of no longer providing it is – nuts!

  • http://twitter.com/layton_l Layton L. Register

    Timothy T. Capps, former editor of the Thoroughbred Record, wrote about the “specter of simulcasting of Thoroughbred races in North America”: “We [The Thoroughbred Record] find it difficult to devise a scenario in which simulcasting in the vicinity of an operating track would not damage both attendance and on-track wagering handle. There can be no question off-track betting in New York has been the major cause of dwindling attendance at that state’s racetracks.” Add a host of other problems, and what is left is a sport in New York and throughout the rest of America that is pretty much in shambles. 

  • SteveG

    Cuomo channeling Caesar: “Veni, vidi…veto.”

    • Don Reed

      Good one!

      What a beneficiary he has been of Paterson’s clown car regime (and the hatred of it).  Had Paterson been running the current NYRA reform, Caroline Kennedy would now be lecturing the Board of Directors…

  • SteveG

    Cuomo channeling Caesar: “Veni, vidi…veto.”

  • Stanley inman

    Isn’t the OTB concept
    Neanderthal?
    (Hopefully NYRA will ditch this
    knuckle dragging model.)

    • Figless

      NYRA would if they could, but they cant because Albany makes the rules

  • Stanley inman

    Isn’t the OTB concept
    Neanderthal?
    (Hopefully NYRA will ditch this
    knuckle dragging model.)

  • Eric Wing

    While I don’t disagree with the thesis of Ray’s essay, I, like Kepp, have great memories of the old joints.  Two of my favorites:

    1. Don Zimmer was a regular for the early double at the OTB across from the old Hyatt Regency on 42nd Street whenever the Cubs were in town.  He’d often have a player or two with him.  One day he was in there with reliever George Frazier, and there was an inquiry after the first race.  The stewards let the result stand.  Zimmer was furious, loudly complaining to Frazier that the horse should have clearly come down, even though, as Kepp notes, all anyone there had to go on was the rather spartan Cassidy call.

    2. The first ever OTB was in Grand Central Station at what are now simple train ticket windows.  Our 11th grade Social Studies class took a field trip into the city one day. Our class rode the train together and we were to gather after our ride at the main GC information booth for a quick head count.  Though too young to wager, I had earlier scoped out the Calder card and was convinced that a horse named Regal Sambler would win the 2nd race.  My friends Perry and Bubba wanted “in” and Bubba looked old for his age, so the plan was for Perry to distract our teacher (Mr. Caviliere) at the info booth while Bubba and I snuck off to OTB,  I was to fill out the betting slip and Bubba was to place the bet. It worked perfectly except that there was a line at the betting window that delayed us for a couple of minutes.  Mr. Caviliere eventually grew concerned that two of his students were missing, and one of our other classmates snitched that Bubba and I had ambled over to OTB. Our cover had been blown, and when we rejoined the group and pretended like nothing had happened, Mr. Caviliere (an otherwise calm, Bob Newhart lookalike) was the maddest we’d ever seen him. He threatened a week of detention, though he never ultimately gave it to us. The field trip was a successful one, and best of all, Regal Sambler won and paid $15.60.  I have lost track of Perry, but Bubba and I still laugh about it to this day.   

  • Don Reed

    Good one!

    What a beneficiary he has been of Paterson’s clown car regime (and the hatred of it).  Had Paterson been running the current NYRA reform, Caroline Kennedy would now be lecturing the Board of Directors…

  • 3875waldo

    What was the date of Mr. Capps’s statement?

  • 3875waldo

    Great story!  But the
    OTB premises had their troublesome moments. 
    Too many of them.

     

    Mid 1980s at the old ROTB (rathole OTB) on 2nd Avenue/52nd St. (Manhattan):

     

    Next door, in a now-forgotten bar, someone who was a friend
    of one of the regulars wandered in one day & started making himself at
    home.   Nice.  Paroled convict.  Blunt, rude & built like an ox.  Knew nothing about racing.

     

    Months later, I’m in the ROTB making a bet.  The Ox came in, took offense at what had to have
    been an innocuous remark by an elderly, slightly-built man & punched the
    poor guy in the face.

     

    I jumped on the Ox & dropped him to the ground in a
    headlock, which was slightly inadvisable because he could have broken it with a
    snap & clocked me, too (his only victim, fortunately, turned out to be OK,
    just a broken nose & eyeglasses).

     

    Frightened out of my wits at what I had instinctively done &
    what the next logical event would likely be, I remembered that he was still on
    parole.  I yelled, “OX! THE
    COPS!  I HEAR SIRENS! [there were none] -
    You’re on parole!”

     

    Sheer paranoia overwhelming his anger.  He tossed me off his back & bolted out
    the door.

     

    We never saw him again. 
    Weeks later, a great racetracker from an era now forever gone, Davie
    Dymes – God rest his soul – thought it would be funny to make up the story that
    The Ox had been in the bar earlier in the week, looking for me. 

     

    Hilarious. 

     

    NO.  I don’t miss the
    old OTBs.  I never did get to go into one
    as a member of a school class led by Mr. Chips.

  • Figless

    NYRA would if they could, but they cant because Albany makes the rules

  • http://twitter.com/layton_l Layton L. Register

    Good catch, 3875waldo! I was afraid someone might ask that! The last page of The Thoroughbred Times was titled “Hoofprints,” which were excerpts from the Thoroughbred Record. Mr. Capps’ opinion was called “Casting for answers.” It was 25 years ago from the date of the Thoroughbred Times issue in which this “Hoofprint” appeared. Of course, I saved the excerpt without noting the date of the Thoroughbred Times issue! I’m going to guess though that Mr. Capps wrote his opinion around 1985. Would that sound right? I think this was about when OTB was getting established in New York.

  • Matt Tubby

    Yeah it was 2002.  I watched the HRTV special on the Fix Six and it was excellent.

  • Don Reed

    This sounds right.  Good of you to offer
    an estimate of when the quote was originally spoken.  I can’t be more precise; my guess is that NYC
    OTB started in @ 1970-71.

    I’m often plagued when I look up my own saved articles and then find out
    that due to my own carelessness, I “clipped” the date off the page in
    order to make the material fit the 8 1/2′ x 11″ restrictions of the xerox
    reprint dimensions. Serves me right, I may add.

    Chronology is the most important factor that has been ignored by journalists
    in the last 15 years, to which I attribute this wonderful trend to the American
    universities that since @ 1990, have been handing out diplomas to its graduates
    that cannot read them.

    Merry Christmas, and the main point being your above comment, I thank you
    for sending it in.

  • Don Reed

    I should also add that it’s inexplicable that news articles no longer automatically (if ever) begin with a literal “dateline” – so the reader knows how old the news is, and where it came from.  It’s such basic information, the practice of no longer providing it is – nuts!

  • Lebon/Cinzano

    Ray: The most cogent, succint analysis of what was wrong with NYC OTB that I have ever read. If you ever decide to run for office in New York, you have my vote.

    For the gentlemen that have fond memories of their youthful journeys to an City OTB parlor, let me assure you that there never was nor will there ever be any “romance” attached to such a visit. When originally constituted, to wit, the 70s, OTB was forbidden to even have the calls from AQU, BEL, SAR, etc in the parlor. We had to listen to a taped call from Dave Johnson that WCBS-880 played every half-hour. Moreover, it was only the stretch call. Thus, you were really having a bad day when, as we used to say, you didn’t even get a mention of your horse during Dave’s call. If you waited in the OTB, all you got was a voice on the PA announcing the order of finish using the OTB letters that were assigned to each horse ( it would be several decades until OTB dropped the letters in favor of the program numbers). By the way, all of the parlors were filthy, smelly disgusting rooms with no working toilets. Ask any woman who lived or worked in the City to describe what the OTBs were like and you would unanimously be regaled with horror stories of phlegm, spit, and urine being shoved in their faces while being subjected to cruel, mysogynistic comments that were beneath contempt.

    So, goodbye and good riddance to NYC OTB. Its died forty years too late.

    PS- History shows that Governor Rockefeller offered the OTB franchise to the blue-blood NYRA board. Mayor Lindsay never would have been given such power by the Governor. Also, John Nerud has said on many occasions that he approached the NYRA board-Vanderbilts, Whitneys, Phippses, etc, and that he strongly advised them to take the OTB franchise from the State. Why the blue-bloods ignored Nerud is the true travesty of this entire sordid tale.

  • Lebon/Cinzano

    Ray: The most cogent, succint analysis of what was wrong with NYC OTB that I have ever read. If you ever decide to run for office in New York, you have my vote.

    For the gentlemen that have fond memories of their youthful journeys to an City OTB parlor, let me assure you that there never was nor will there ever be any “romance” attached to such a visit. When originally constituted, to wit, the 70s, OTB was forbidden to even have the calls from AQU, BEL, SAR, etc in the parlor. We had to listen to a taped call from Dave Johnson that WCBS-880 played every half-hour. Moreover, it was only the stretch call. Thus, you were really having a bad day when, as we used to say, you didn’t even get a mention of your horse during Dave’s call. If you waited in the OTB, all you got was a voice on the PA announcing the order of finish using the OTB letters that were assigned to each horse ( it would be several decades until OTB dropped the letters in favor of the program numbers). By the way, all of the parlors were filthy, smelly disgusting rooms with no working toilets. Ask any woman who lived or worked in the City to describe what the OTBs were like and you would unanimously be regaled with horror stories of phlegm, spit, and urine being shoved in their faces while being subjected to cruel, mysogynistic comments that were beneath contempt.

    So, goodbye and good riddance to NYC OTB. Its died forty years too late.

    PS- History shows that Governor Rockefeller offered the OTB franchise to the blue-blood NYRA board. Mayor Lindsay never would have been given such power by the Governor. Also, John Nerud has said on many occasions that he approached the NYRA board-Vanderbilts, Whitneys, Phippses, etc, and that he strongly advised them to take the OTB franchise from the State. Why the blue-bloods ignored Nerud is the true travesty of this entire sordid tale.

  • Don Reed

    The Perfect Horror
    Day In An Old NYC-OTB “parlor” [i.e., TB-Incubation Ward]:

     

    On a fall day in 1977
    - not that you could tell what season it was if you were inside the average
    “parlor,” windows last washed in 1971 – you bet on a Belmont race. 

     

    Your first toss-out
    was “Lebon,” beaten by 50 lengths last out – who won and paid
    huge.  No call, so maybe it stung a
    little less. 

     

    But a while later, when
    you found out that “Lebon” was actually “Cinzano,” a South
    American champion/ringer, big sting. 

     

    Lebon/Cinzano, wonderful
    recap of the horror dens that should NEVER come back to life.  Does anyone remember that really horrible
    wreck that was close to the World
    Trade Center
    (north of) in the early 1990s?  Is it
    still an EPA Superfund site?

  • Don Reed

    The Perfect Horror
    Day In An Old NYC-OTB “parlor” [i.e., TB-Incubation Ward]:

     

    On a fall day in 1977
    - not that you could tell what season it was if you were inside the average
    “parlor,” windows last washed in 1971 – you bet on a Belmont race. 

     

    Your first toss-out
    was “Lebon,” beaten by 50 lengths last out – who won and paid
    huge.  No call, so maybe it stung a
    little less. 

     

    But a while later, when
    you found out that “Lebon” was actually “Cinzano,” a South
    American champion/ringer, big sting. 

     

    Lebon/Cinzano, wonderful
    recap of the horror dens that should NEVER come back to life.  Does anyone remember that really horrible
    wreck that was close to the World
    Trade Center
    (north of) in the early 1990s?  Is it
    still an EPA Superfund site?

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