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Old 02-10-2019, 07:22 AM
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Racetrack Richie R.I.P. - Blues - Predators Tilt

Racetrack Richie, Richard Schwartz of New York and Florida, died Thursday in his mid-seventies at a hospice in New Jersey. His kidneys had failed previously and he'd had a transplant around 2014.

One of the most financially successful handicappers in history, he got his start in horses, harness and flats. A Lenny Ragusson used to reduce each race run by each horse to a single two-digit number. If you could read the patterns you could do very well, and quite a few handicappers did. Richie purchased "The sheets" on a daily basis; he was charged $100 daily while others paid $20, because he was betting so much more. Later he would switch to pro sports, where he was also effective. Big guy (6-4, 240?), big bettor, big action - but ONLY if he was pretty certain he had an edge. Not one for frivolous betting, Racetrack Richie.

A tournament bridge enthusiast, Richie moved from being a losing money player (he made so much at sports that he could afford to lose at bridge) to become a nationally - known bridge player, winner of quite a few championships, in both the open and senior divisions.

He favored motel living, in Queens near the racetracks usually, later in Jersey. He liked motels so much he bought one in Maryland, right on the turnpike. His primary upgrade (probably only upgrade) when he bought the establishment was a large sign on the roof to advertise for customers. A low rate ($34 or so in that era) was posted, and also a slogan, "It's a steal!"

Richie had wanted to use his own favorite slogan, "It's like stealing!" but to Richie's disappointment his GM talked him out of it.

My own expression on Richie, which I used frequently to explain him to people who didn't know him as well as I did, was, "He'd rather steal a hundred than earn a thousand."

Funeral in Farmingdale Monday at 11 - Memorial Service, no doubt, at ACBL Nationals in Memphis in March or Vegas this summer.

Predators today at home, and under, as they host St. Louis in Nashville on the second half of their home-and-home with the Blues.

# Richie Schwartz NHL GOY RIP

- Old School Pro
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:32 PM
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Racetrack Richie's Final Misdirect

Richie was buddies or at least working acquaintances with plenty of famous and less famous gamblers.

Poker and bridge player Steve Zolotow, for instance, and also Bubba - Howard Lederer, famous poker player and sports bettor.

At the track Richie liked to lie about what horses he was betting on, when friends asked. He felt that improved his return in the pari-mutuel pools.

So if he knew both legs of today's tout (Under and Preds) lost, it would please him somehow.

Love him or hate him (98% the latter, not the former) everyone had a Harry the Horse / Racetrack Richie story.

Most of us had two or more - people line up for a chance to tell their's. He came from an era when it was okay to be a character - people said he was a Damon Runyon character.

Me, I sit at the edge of the cafeteria and make wise-cracks; everybody's good at something.

- OSP
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