Sometimes, just ‘Let It Ride’

Mar 25, 2003 2:32 AM

There was a lot of response to last week’s article, mostly good but some questioned my accuracy on the dates. As I grow older and my mind fails I must concede that my dates were a little off.

I was just remembering what my good old mom would relate to me and her memory and dates weren’t that good either, but at least my message got across. I am sorry for my lousy dates, and appreciate those who wrote and e-mailed me and thank you for your sincerity.

Time to focus on some serious business. Tips (not tips like that) but on a good horse, game or hot stock. With the NCAA and NIT tournaments in full swing and the Kentucky Derby right around the corner, touts and tips are flying in all directions. I personally prefer to pick mine on losers.

In that way, I can only blame myself for losing my dough. But every now and then you get that big tip that really startles you and pans out. Sort of like the movie "Let It Ride" when the guy had the tape recorder in his cab and got the trainer telling the bookie how his horse couldn’t lose.

What a tip that was, and one of my favorite movies. A very similar thing happen to me in 1976 at the Kentucky Derby. The night before the Derby, my friend Craig and I were having dinner in the Galt House. At the next table was LeRoy Jolley, trainer of the KD favorite Honest Pleasure, owner Bertram Firestone and his son.

My friend decided to go over and wish them the best and get an autograph. It went well and he said they felt very confident. So with autograph in tow and their confidence in the horse, we were ready for Derby Day.

That morning as we got on the elevator to go to breakfast, Mr. Firestone’s son happened to be riding with us. We quizzed him as to how much, if anything, his dad was going to wager on Honest Pleasure? What he said turned out to be the best tip we ever got. His words still ring in my ear’s. My dad is betting on Bold Forbes.

Mr. Jolley really didn’t think they could beat him. Well BF ran down Honest Pleasure in the stretch. We cashed a big win bet and exacta, which paid for our trip and then some. So all tips aren’t bad, just choose wisely the one you want and where they originate.

Turning to the upcoming baseball season, things are looking good for Pittsburgh Pirates fans. My friend and futures handicapper Lou Âí­Lamatrice sent me an e-mail saying he made a big wager on the Pirates to win more than 71 games. The addition of Kenny Lofton, Reggie Sanders and Randall Simon to go with Jason Kendall, Brian Giles and Aramis Ramirez gives the lineup some real pop.

Kendall goes back to batting second with Lofton the leadoff hitter. So the first six in the lineup are very respectable at the plate, Pokey Reese is the new second baseman with Jack Wilson moves to short. Young arms Kris Benson, Josh Fogg and Kip Wells should get some run support. Jeff Suppan, added from KC, could be a good fourth starter and the Bucs already have a proven closer in Mike Williams.

This could be one of the best future bets of the season, if you don’t mind tying your money up for a few months. What the heck, you can’t get any interest on your money anyway. So why not!