LAS VEGAS — For those who are wondering what a Fusaichi Pegasus is, here’s a multiple choice:
A) An airline based in Turkey.
B) The latest spyware from Israel.
C) A restaurant in Castle Rock, Colorado.
D) The biggest FREAKIN’ SCORE of my LIFE!!!
If you picked D, then welcome to one of the HIGHLIGHTS of my gambling life!
Lemme take you back to 2000 and a conversation I had with a good friend, let’s call him Dr. P. He was heavy into the horses and told me about a futures bet he was gonna make on a 75/1 long shot named Fusaichi Pegasus in the Kentucky Derby. This was back in like December when the futures for the Derby were posted, and honestly, my knowledge of the ponies could fit into the proverbial thimble.
My guy was a lifelong horse junkie so I said sure, gimme a Benjamin on the horse. Of course it was 23 years ago, the memory is a little hazy, and I mighta said gimme a nickel ($500 for those just joining the betting world). Think I told Mrs. Ecks-Rated that it was just a hundred. Oops!
The Derby is known as “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports.” Yeah, RIGHT. NOT when there is almost FORTY THOUSAND large on the line.
It was almost impossible to watch because Fusaichi didn’t turn on the burn until the home stretch, and wound up winning by just a length and a half. Thrilled, exhausted, hoarse and might have pulled a hamstring when I did the BENJIE!
If you’re wondering, the Benjie is a dance that was a precursor to twerking. From a horribly stiff, no-rhythm six-foot-three knucklehead. If you want an image, think Elaine in the “Seinfeld” episode where she dances like a newborn giraffe trying to walk for the first time.
Of course, I was very happy that there were no iPhones to record me, because I might have done some very, very, VERY BAD things to the TV screen. I’ll spill when you come to see me in Vegas. Without mentioning the actual BANG to my bank account to the fam, we did get a gigantic new flattie, a Super Nintendo Entertainment System for Mrs. Ecks, and a couple of Game Boys for the kids. Thank who? THANK FU!!!
Pulling up a chair for March Madness
March Madness starts in a few days, and EVERYONE wants to be in VEGAS! Thinking about coming for the Thursday & Friday spectacular when you can get down and dirty on 16 games each day? If you came out to Vegas back in the day, you just walked into a sportsbook and plopped into a seat for free.
Word of warning. That AIN’T happening anymore. Now you gotta PAY, and in some cases, GINORMOUS bucks. You can get a cabana at the Circa Sportsbook by the pool for ONLY $8,500 for the day. At Caesars, you could drop up to a thousand bones, but you’ll get a few free drinks.
The most bang for your dollar, at the traditional sportsbooks, is the Westgate where you can reserve a seat for only 45 bucks. And for those coming without a wife/girlfriend/significant other, maybe the BEST deal in Vegas is at Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club. They’re offering a March Mayhem package for $55 which includes a TWO-HOUR OPEN bar. I wouldn’t know anything about this place, wink-wink, but from what I’ve heard, the “referees” and “cheerleaders” at Sapphire’s are spectacular!!!
Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America’s Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his Email...email@example.com.