While frantic calls went out from the track to San Diego businesses for assistance and while the transport company attempted, unsuccessfully, to break into its own vault, the public-address announcer tried to explain to 21,000 fans a 15-minute delay in the start of the first race. When racing finally did get under way with the help of $250,000 raised locally, it proceeded slowly, because the cashiers could not pay off on win tickets until the money taken in by the ticket sellers had been counted.
Meanwhile, the transport company appealed to the Union Bank in Los Angeles, which made arrangements to send the missing money to San Diego by helicopter. But before the helicopter could take off, it was commandeered by the Forestry Service, which needed it to fight a fire. So the money was switched to an armored truck which set out on the two-hour trip south, picking up a police escort in San Clemente along the way.
Finally at 5:28 p.m., shortly before the featured seventh race went off with Bold Talent a heavy (2 to 5) favorite, the armored truck reached Del Mar, and the story ended happily for all. The last race was only an hour late, cashiers' windows remained open overtime, the track's mutuel handle was a quarter of a million higher than the same day last year and the sun set prettily over the Pacific, out beyond the first turn.
Almost all, that is. Bold Talent ran out of the money.
Audrey Scruggs, 19, is a left-handed pitcher. He is also a right-handed pitcher. "I was born like that," he says. "I've got a glove that fits either hand." He isn't sure how strong his arms are because he has never pitched a full game with either one. That's because he'd rather switch than be sore.
Except right now he's sore at the Atlanta Braves, the organization that owns him. He thought he was going to pitch for Kingsport, Tenn. of the Appalachian Rookie League this year but the club ordered him instead to Bradenton, Fla. of the Gulf Coast Rookie League, and he considers that a demotion. He refused to go, and the other day he received a letter of suspension.
As only a man can be who pitches with both arms, Scruggs says, "I'm confused." But if Scruggs ever gets straight, it could be the batters with the messed-up heads.
THE HEAT'S ON
For years right-minded sportsmen have been deploring the practice of "soring" show horses, particularly Tennessee walking horses, to add flourish to a gait that ought to be developed through breeding and training solely. The sordid practice, employed by some walking horse trainers, involves a variety of sadistic methods designed to cause a soreness in the horse's forelegs, so that when he reacts reflexively to his pain, he lifts his front feet from the ground quickly and smartly.