Tyson got whumped; Still gained respect

Jun 11, 2002 10:03 AM

TWO TIMES WRONG! Bettors who thought War Emblem was something good to eat and that Mike Tyson wasn’t all washed up had to swallow hard after both bit the dust on Saturday.

By not personally liking Tyson I saved money. I wouldn’t bet on him to win. But, I thought War Emblem was a steal getting off at 6-to-5. I bet with both fists on him. And, as everyone knows by now, he stumbled coming out of the gate. The horse recovered, but not the jockey.

Victor Espinoza was all shook up. Perhaps the chance of winning the Belmont overcame him. I think he gave War Emblem a bad ride. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t blow the mount.

Why a bad ride? Down the backstretch he had the horse under a double Nelson. Today they refer to it as under wraps. Either way, War Emblem was so tightly restrained that he lost his spirit and couldn’t give it his all when Espinoza released him.

Tight restraints aren’t necessary on a good horse. If he’s a runner, let him run.

As far as Tyson is concerned, I thought more of him in defeat than I ever did as a fighter or champion. Lenox Lewis dealt out a lot of punishment. Tyson took it all. And, surprisingly, Iron Mike was very humble and gracious in his defeat.

Here’s a tip, Mike. Hang up the gloves now and enjoy the warm afterglow of the respect you just gained from the world.

HAPPY CAMPERS! Even though a major gaming tax hike has been passed in Illinois, casino operator Park Place Entertainment (PPE) remains interested in the Windy City.

MGM Mirage (MGG), on the other hand, is no longer interested and has withdrawn its $615 million bid to purchase the Emerald Casinos Inc. Chicago-area license.

The issue of whether or not the license is available for sale has been the subject of litigation between Emerald and Illinois regulators who believe the license belongs to the state. Foreseeing years of legal entanglements, PPE, which had been looking into purchasing the Emerald license, backed off and MGM stepped in. But, a PPE spokesman said that even though the tax hike complicates the situation in Chicago, they are still interested in pursuing a license in Illinois if and when one become available.

DOTS & DASHES ”” Being nosy! Ask the nose doctor. He knows that Michael Jackson just completed his sixth re-do. Look for the "new" Michael to greet his fans when he attends a children’s charity event put on by the English Soccer Club, owned by his buddy, mentalist Uri Geller. Keep your fingers crossed that an errant ball doesn’t smash into Michael’s face and mess up all the new surgery. There just isn’t enough bone left in his nose for any more alterations . . . Tribe good givers! The Mashantucket Pequots, owners of Foxwoods Resort, spend roughly $100 million a year on Connecticut. "The tribe is extremely sensitive to its position as a business entity in the region . . . We think we have a responsibility to contribute to the success of businesses in the region. The Tribe Council is committed to it," said Irwin H. Tronchin, chief procurement officer for the tribe . . . Behind closed Doors! MGM Grand and Caesars Palace are seeking approval for private gaming salons for high rollers. Oddly, Caesars, once the Mecca for big players, has been frowning them. Have thoughts changed? With the application of MGM set to come up for consideration in July, Caesars wants in on the play . . . What a gift! Chicago’s Pritzker Family said it would donate $30 million to the University of Chicago. It would be the largest single gift ever received by the university . . . Thanks for the pictures! When Nevada pioneered the simulcasting of live horse racing to its race books little did it know that the entire racing industry would follow suit. Not only did simulcasting help stabilize numbers at small track like Turf Paradise; it did the same everywhere else. Betting and attendance figures benefited greatly. But, more importantly, it kept the Sport of Kings alive . . . Like a prime minister should! Is there a prime minister in the world of race books? If so, who is he? Stay tuned for a follow-up next week.