Tropical Park racetrack opened the Florida season on Thanksgiving Day, but $2 bettors were left with little to be thankful for. Saul Silberman, Tropical's president, substituted the $3 daily double for the ancient, revered $2 ticket. Fans have been in anguish ever since. Silberman, who knows a fast buck when he sees one, announced with his customary mathematical proficiency that "the double will now pay 50% more." He neglected to mention that it is equally possible to lose 50% more.
Silberman is ambitious. He would like to see the minimum for all bets raised from $2 to $3. For the reckless he has already opened $50 daily double windows as well as $3 and $10.
Many double addicts like to "wheel" a horse in the first or the second race with all the horses in the other race. Such a maneuver will now cost the poor and downtrodden $36 a throw instead of $24, thus making them poorer and more downtrodden.
We hope Silberman loses his playsuit on this new move, and maybe he will. The daily double pool showed a drop from last year on the first two days of the innovation. The crowds, too, were disappointing, despite fine, warm weather. Maybe not enough people had $3 bills on them.
One Tropical fan, Mario Quintero, said dolefully, "All I know is that up to now I only needed one guy to get a dollar from to bet the double. Now I got to find two guys." William Miller, another Tropical bettor and a horseplayer for 40 years, asked: "Why don't they put vacuum cleaners at the entrance gates and sweep the money out of your pockets on the way in?" Just be patient, Miller.
GANG-UP ON SOUTH SEMINARY
A few months ago we printed a story about Tom Affinito, a graduate student at New York University who had written a term paper on the inane methods by which colleges recruit basketball players. Affinito invented a mythical high school senior, planted fake stories in papers extolling the boy's ability and, presto, recruiters started bidding for him. Consider now the case of David Kent Wells, a 17-year-old senior at Madisonville High in Kentucky. Wells, a halfback, scored 208 points this season and had a rushing average of 235 yards per game, best in the state. Such prowess was bound to attract the attention of football's busy recruiters, and it did. The doorbell began to ring at Wells's brown brick home on South Seminary Street in Madisonville.
Last week, however, college basketball coaches started moving in on Wells, and this bewildered him. The reason for all this is simple, silly and astonishing. In a nationally distributed magazine Wells was listed erroneously as one of the top high school players in the land. "I'm only an ordinary player," Wells confessed. What set the basketball recruiters on Wells's trail was his height as listed by the magazine—6 feet 11. If your grandmother is 6 feet 11 she is going to get visited, by the recruiters. So the boys moved in. Alas a little typo is a dangerous thing. Wells is 6 feet.
THERE'LL ALWAYS BE A MAGGOT