My goal is to enrich other people's lives any way I can. Lets start with Horse Racing and see where it leads...
Read this page to learn about MC and our Staff. Many interesting family stories below. They should be put to paper before they are forgotten.
Stories below picture by MC_Excelsior - "The Stick"
This Page Last Updated : 5/10/07
MC_Excelsior, "MC", "The Stick", "Kid", "(expletive)". All these names and a few colorful others have been thrown at me. Many times, I threw them right back. However, with age comes wisdom.
Mr. Cohen is available to appear for : Horse Racing Handicapping seminars, TV Guest Appearance, Radio talk show/call in broadcasts. All bookings by agent. Email us for information on having Mr. Cohen appear on your show or program !
Started The Stick Horse Racing dot Com : October 11, 1998. Continuous operations through today and should continue into the future.
Current Staff :
MC-"The Stick", CEO-President, Owner, founder, writer, handicapper, marketing, sales, programmer.
"Champagne" Joe Militello, California/NY horse racing writer and handicapper. Well known in California for handicapping seminars at Del Mar and Hollywood Park. Now residing in NY.
Ed "Kelly" Ransom, Renowned Harness Racing Handicapper, Clocker at Pompano Park and Calder Race Course. 40 years handicapping experience.
Arthur-aka AJ-"LS Joe", handicapper, kibitzer.
Fran-"Fast Fran", (retired), handicapper, devoted horse racing fan and animal lover.
Karen-"The Blaze", (semi-retired), handicapper, former moderator of now closed chat room.
B.L., small, feisty, and a poodle !
S.F., warm, loving, and a westie/bischon mix known for picking her winners by having a racing form put on the floor, and her unique way of marking her winners !
*Note - Staff is non paid, volunteer and free clerk positions.
Pre-College-Education : Private and Public Schools. Most Notable : Lawrenceville and Peddie boarding School's.
Education 1 : BA cum laude, CW Post - Long Island University.
Education 2 : Law School in NY....really....enough said !
Desire in Life : To enrich other people's lives in constructive and creative ways...starting off with Horse Racing.
DiN(2) : To protect our enviroment and insure future generations will breath fresh air, and drink clean water.
Socio-Political beliefs : 100 % AMERICAN in my heart and in my soul. No matter how many mistakes we ever make, we are trying to do the best we can. No one American speaks for us all. We all have our own point of view and are able to discuss our thoughts freely. G-d Bless America.
Religion and Ethnicity belief's : EVERYONE is welcome at The Stick Horse Racing dot Com. People from ALL Races and Religions are very welcome here. We never met a horse enthusiast we did not like.
Love of Horse Racing : Began as a child. My mother and father would always take me to the races. Its in my blood. I attended Every Belmont Stakes from 1978 through 2003.
Most Famous Handicapping moment : At age 8, my mother and Grandfather asked me to select horses for them to play. I gave them a 8-10 Exacta pick using Angel Cordero and Jorge Velasquez. They both laughed and told me the horses had such long odds they could not possibly win. The 8 and 10 combination came in, and no one had played it, but they never dismissed my picks again. Ask people who use our selections sheets and they will tell you the same thing ! Well, most of the time. No one is perfect.
Great Horse Racing Stories : My Best friends, Clifford Kitey and Kiyoshi Tsuruoka were both very sharp horse players who looked for angles, and could always be counted on to bring home a few winners in a partnership. Karen, "The Blaze" and I had a 50-1 shot together, and my family has always enjoyed their share of unusual horse stories.
Cliff Kitey, who is now married and has a wonderful family, joined me one day at the now extinct Glen Cove OTB in early 1990-1991. We both watched a horse named Meliseus(spelling is not right), who was owned by Virginia Kraft Payson, turn a average race into one for the ages. I don't remember the exact date, but Meliseus was left behind in a distance race. He was not even last, he was sitting in the stands watching the field as they went into the clubhouse turn the first time of two laps around the track.
Cliff looked at me and we both agreed that Melsieus had no chance. We started to select horses for other races and I believe we dropped the tickets on the counter feeling they were a complete loss. If your wondering what happened and your reading this far, then you have to know I would not be telling you about it, unless something supernatural occured. Going into the final run, which was the third time down the backstretch, Melisieus received a call. Cliff and I walked back towards the monitor's, and said no chance he could come up to the pack of horses that had almost lapped him the first time around. "He's coming, he's coming", some unknown male voice called out. Cliff pushed me over and said how much ground could he possibly gain before they make it to the wire ? He's too far back. For my part, I agreed, and told him there is no way that he could get up. We were both WRONG ! Melisieus charged up like a bat out of hell, and he caught the field going into the final turn. Coming off the turn, he took the lead and drew off for one of the most amazing late runs I or anyone else could ever see. Cliff looked at me and asked me if I had the tickets. I did not have them, he was holding them. We ran back to the standing tables in the front room, and Cliff found the tickets sitting right there for anyone else to pick up. We both laughed and cashed the tickets for a nice profit. I recently reminded him of this story and it made him laugh. He reminded me that Miliseus ran third in the Breeders Cup Turf.
The Glen Cove OTB was later closed in favor of a large apartment complex in Glen Cove. You could not find the building today, but it was located opposite the foriegn car repair shop right at the corner where the traffic light is located.
They no longer card those distances at Aqueduct. Races like the Display Handicap, which was run at 2 1/4 miles on Dec.31st, are long gone. The distances I remember when I was a child, 2 miles - 2 1/4 miles - 2 1/2 miles on dirt, which filled my mind with wonder and fascination. The races Charlie Coast, and Peat Moss run over and over in my dreams. These races would be 2 or 3 Complete times around the BIG A(Aqueduct) main oval. My grandparents were alive, as was my mother, and they would be excited if their horses were in the lead, even though we had perhaps 1 or 1 1/2 miles to go. I would get excited too.
Kiyoshi Tsuruoka, is another close friend who is also married and the President of an Industrial Leasing company in Japan. If anyone in this world was as much like myself when it came to manners, personal beliefs, enjoyment of gambling, childhood, and values, Kiyoshi Tsuruoka was my brother. We decided one day after a very interesting "doomsday" class with professor Gelman to go let off some steam and play the last race at Aqueduct by driving to OTB. We really liked him and he proved to be one of our favorite professor's due to his down to earth, and honest concerns.
Kiyoshi and I also enjoyed going to Atlantic City with our girlfriends, and Belmont Park. We went to a few Belmont Stakes days in the restaurant, and we won pretty big when we played partners. However, the one story that has to stand out is the time we left an Astronomy class together. Professor Gelman had just told us how Black Holes posed a significant future threat to the Earth. Really ! I can't make this up. We came out of a class, which was in the Life Science's building at CW Post and walked across the great lawn, through Hillwood Commons, and up the steps to the 2nd level parking lot in the back. We pulled out on Northern Blvd, 25A, and drove through to Glen Cove Road, and South to Carle Place.
According to Kiyoshi, the creator of the "Kiyoshi Box" strategy in our Strategy Guide, Japanese racing has very limited wagering options available to their fans. You can play W-P-S, and Quinella at Tokyo Race Course, but nothing exotic like a Superfecta, or even a regular Triple.
We drove to another now closed OTB, the Carle Place location of Nassau Downs, which was located in a little strip mall just north of the largest intersection in Nassau County at Roosevelt Field Mall. Kiyoshi and I had a racing form, and he was reading the selections to me while I drove his 240 Mercedes. Well, on Glen Cove Road at 4:15 to 5:15 pm, the traffic can get very heavy, and we got stuck in a really big backup of cars.
We had selected 5 horses for a $1 Triple Box, which we were both going to put up $30 each. Kiyoshi and I had felt we wanted to take a little bit of a risk, so we included 3 longshot's and 3 favorite's. The traffic slowed us down to a crawl and it took about 45 minutes to go 5 miles. When we finally arrived at the OTB, we both ran into the parlor, and raced for the window.
Here's where the story gets unique. As the ticket seller was putting the card through the machine reader, the gates at Aqueduct swung open and the race was locked out of the machine. The card actually went through her machine, and all it had to do was punch the ticket...but it did not and we were shut out of that race. Fine, it was a longshot play anyway.
The race is running, and we look to the monitor's. They all go out suddenly as the top 4 horses are none of the ones we selected. We both chose to leave the OTB and head off to Roosevelt Field, and as we are walking out of the OTB, the monitors come back on. Well, for the "ultimate beet" story, we submit that our 3 longshot picks crossed the wire 1-2-3 for a $19,000+ payoff. Remember, we were shut out from buying the ticket. Well, Kiyoshi cursed in Japanese, and I just laughed. We did not speak to each other for about a week. The next time we played horses together, we hit a $3,600+ triple on Belmont Stakes day in the True North. To Kiyoshi, all gambling wagers were "Fated" or pre-determined. It was Luck that was important. In many ways, my brother Kiyoshi was very much correct.
More Interesting Horse Stories : Karen, "The Blaze" and I play 50-1 Forrest Secrets in the Acorn Stakes and win in an incredible finish !
Karen, "The Blaze", has known me for a long time, and she and I would play horses when we went to The Belmont Stakes and The Breeders Cup at Belmont Park. One Friday afternoon before Silver Charm's Belmont victory, we went and sat out on the apron area in the grandstand. Now normally, I would be in the restaurant or in the owner's boxes. I prefer the privacy and I like to have a meal. All the retired Maitre'D's and waitress's watched me grow up. They saw me about every weekend my parents would go to the races. So sitting in the grandstand and at the apron area was a new experience for me. It was very exciting as the horses are very close when they race by you. You can hear the sounds and hoof beat's. It proved to be an exceptional thrill.
While trying to figure out how much capital I was going to have for the Belmont Stakes Day card, we both noticed the Acorn stakes was coming up pretty wide open. Karen and I both watched the horses in the paddock, and we looked for any sign, anything that would give us an edge in the race. Well, Forrest Secret absolutely looked right at Karen and I. The little filly stopped walking and stared at us ! It was really wild. Everyone in the ring and standing next to us looked at us also. Then she walked away and onto the track. I looked at Karen, Karen looked at me, and we said..ok lets play her.
Karen believes the trainer was Neil Drysdale. She also remembers the story a little different(like she was sitting in the stands...yeah right !), but this is my story, so Im going to tell it like I remember it.
Forrest Secret was about 30-1 when we played her. As they loaded into the starting gate, she was 50-1. Forrest Secret broke on the lead and opened up a clear margin going into the far turn. We both thought she would collapse as they came into the stretch. Two other fillies had started to make thier moves. As Forrest Secret came through the stretch, she was headed on the inside and on the outside by two different rivals. I turned away and thought.."if only". Well, if only came true !
Karen yelled at me over the crowd...."Look, Look, shes coming back". I turned and to my amazement Forrest Secret had dug in gamely and was fighting it out with the other two. As I jumped up and down, and screamed as loud as I could, Forrest Secret put her head in front and won by a nose ! It had to be one of the most thrilling moments I have ever seen in a horse race. Karen and I collected our winning's, kissed and were both really amazed by the race. In fact...if you look at the DRF Edition Front Cover from 1999, Karen and I are kissing in the blurry background of the photo they used for the story.
More stories below picture.
*MC and Fast Fran enjoy the 2000 Belmont Stakes in the Garden View Terrace at Belmont Park.
More Interesting Horse Stories : My Mother Frances, and my Grandfather Louis.
I mentioned my mother Frances, and my Grandfather Louis at the start of this AboutUs page. It would be very unfair to not mention them as they proved to be a big influence in my love of Horse Racing. For that matter, my Grandmother Libby had her share of experience too.
My mother, Frances, really loved to play the horses. She had her share of racing stories and good payoff's.
Probably favorite winning horse was 1971 Kentucky Derby Champion, Cannero II w/Angel Cordero, jr. aboard, who was a very juicy 8-1+ As the story goes, my mother had selected this horse using her own system of figures which was her own private secret. She played the horse, and when it won, shocked my father and grandparents by saying she thought this horse would be the favorite. Cannero II had also served to be the purchaser of our Backyard patio, which my mother had built using her winnings.
In terms of sheer payoff my mother's finest hour had to be her selecting 5 out of 6 in the 2002 Breeders Cup for a healthy $5,900+ I could never figure out my mothers system for picking winner's, but I have to tell you, she did very well when she played.
Libby, my Grandmother, believed very strongly in patterns of numbers. She would have different groupings of selections based on her own logic. While few, if any could tell you about a little old lady picking winners at the race track, I have a good story for you. Short, but sweet.
One Winter day at Aqueduct, prior to the building of Equestris, we all went into the Man O'War room on the 3rd level of the clubhouse. Libby found a race with two horses she really loved in it. She told us, she told the people at another table, she even told the waiter. Everyone looked, and pretty much dismissed her combination of a 20-1 and a 40-1 horse in an exacta. This did not stop her from promoting it to my mother, and she was supremely confident this combination could not lose. Well, Louis, Frances, and myself at about 10 years old were a little embarrassed. We even got the NY Razz from some of the regulars. "Hey Lady, if your so good, why did'nt you have the last race ?" People were not so warm and friendly to an outspoken grandmother when it comes to expertise in picking winners at horse racing.
The race went off, and the two bigmouth's who thought it was acceptable to sass an older lady are yelling it up for their 2-1 and 3-1 horses which are very far in the lead. "Hey Lady...how much money did you put on those nags...bwaaa ha ha ha" Libby looked at me, and said "don't ever be like those men, Marc-ala." Its not polite to speak rudely to a lady. Here's where the story gets interesting. Coming around the far turn, the two favorites on the lead start bumping into each other. They hit so hard that one of the jockey's almost falls off, and he pulls up out of the race. The other favorite begins to tire and his stride starts to shorten. Coming through the stretch, Libby's two longshot's rocket to the lead at the wire. Her exacta payoff is well over $1,000 and she simply looked over at the two bigmouth's and waved. They both looked like they had swallowed their cigars, and we did not hear a word from them again.
As my grandmother was walking back to the table with me holding her hand, another person from the restaurant stopped her. "Hey Lady...how did you pick those two longshot's ?" She smiled and said, the names of those two horses was the same as my two grandson's. For the record, the horse's names were Proud Aaron, and Brave Mark. Way to go Grandma Libby ! Way to Go ! The man then asked her..."hey lady, do you have any more grandchildren ? What are there names ?"
Louis, my Grandfather was crowned the Checkers Champion of Brooklyn a few times in his early life. He had a mind for figures like no person you will ever meet in your life. He had a mind like a calculator, but was a European Immigrant, and as such did not receive a proper education. If he had, they might have made a movie out of him in the same light of "A Beautiful Mind". He was not talking to ghosts or having any known mental problems. He could just look at numbers and tell you a whole story about them. His ability to control figures was passed to my mother and to me in some limited extent. Grandpa Lou could fill up a shopping cart and tell you, to within 15 cents, the final total plus tax. Try that the next time you go shopping.
One day in the 1970's, Louis, my grandfather, played a triple box on his top picks. The race ran, and his horses came in. The payoff was about $800 or $900, and he went to stand in line at the Denomination Cashier window. In the past tickets were sold and cashed at different lines based on amount and bet wager.
While standing in line, two or three people had cashed their tickets and walked away. Suddenly, the Inquiry sign went up. The window closed and Louis came back to my mother, grandmother and I. The inquiry lasted about 10 minutes and they disqualified his winning combination. Very upset and disgruntled, he went back to the cashier window and asked, what about the people who were already paid, its not fair.
He came back to the table and was very upset, and mad about the late DQ. To my knowledge this has not ever happened since that time. No official prices have been changed to suit an inquiry after the fact of the race being declared official.
A group of older gentleman overheard my grandfather's impassioned story, and one of them tapped him on the back. "Hey buddy..." My grandfather did not respond immediately. "Hey buddy...did you drop this ?" My grandfather looked back, and the man who was roughly in the same age range as him, pushed a stack of 100 dollar bills at him. "Did you drop this ? ... it was under your chair." I do not know who that group of men were, but they had given my grandfather the payoff price for the triple he had just been DQ'd from. We never knew who they were, but they must have been so moved from his story, that they decided to give him the money to soothe his temper and be friendly. I remember asking my grandfather had he dropped any money. He looked at me and said "no, those men gave me that money because they wanted to".
More stories to be added as they are remembered or spoken about or lived in the future.
Best Racing and Regards, MC
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