Mickey's $1.5M Derby Win
FOLLOW MICKEY FOR DAILY SPORTS INSIGHTS
Okay, in 1986, I was in Las Vegas playing high-stakes poker, and I got a call from a friend of mine who is involved, he’s a--he’s a horse owner, and he was an exceptional handicapper in the large races, and this was coming up to the Derby. So he told me, “Tomorrow I’m going to have--I might have something on the Derby.” And I was sleeping; I went, I went to sleep and I got a call about an hour before the Derby, and he gave me this horse named Ferdinand. And he gave me four other horses and the exacting. And I was so tired and I put in, I probably invested about $60,000 on the, on the race, and I put in exactors.
I did not even write down the bets because I was so tired. I went to sleep, and I set the alarm, and just before the Derby started, I told a few friends of mine, Gabe Kaplan and Eric Drake, to bet on this horse, Ferdinand. I traded with some friends of mine, like ten--we cross-booked, $10,000 a shot, and finally, the race went off. Ferdinand was nowhere to be found. And then about 1,000 yards to the finish, all of a sudden, he came up along the rail and he won the race out of nowhere; it was an incredible ride by, what was it, Shoemaker. Anyway, when I got the exactor prices, it was almost so staggering that I couldn’t believe it. The exactor paid five-hundred-and-something dollars, and I realized that I had put in a few $2,000 exactors. And then I scrambled, calling everybody, trying to figure out where I put my exactors. And when it was all said and done, I think I, I won about $1,450,000 on the race. And at that point in time, some of the places that I put the bets in said that they lost the tapes on the bet and they couldn’t validate that I had the exactor.
At this point, I knew there was gonna be a problem. And subsequently, I had a sit-down in Harlem with people from the syndicate. I was told by the connected people I knew that they could get me paid everything. However, if I did get paid, I would have been beholden to certain people for the rest of my life. At this point in time, I made the decision to take a moderate sum, something like 30% of the net, and move on. And that was my decision.