1. #1
    ritehook's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Anyone Remember the Old ('70s, '80s) Turfcraft Radio Touts?

    It was an old tout site, before the Internet. Based in Los Angeles and heard all over SoCal.

    Radio show, "recreating" the races shortly after the running of the races, interspersed with a hard sell for the great selections of "Head Trackman Sammy Parker."

    Yep, kiddies, back before you were born, or maybe when you were in diapers, that was what we were reduced to. Simulcasting either had not come about, or was just beginning, and there was no way to get the results, except in a newspaper next day.

    Aren't you lucky you were born when your were? Course, we were paying maybe 50 or 75 cents for a gallon of gas, and even with inflation a lot cheaper than now. And California was cheap and livable then . . .

    Anyhow, Turfcraft was located in downtown LA, seedy office building. The head trackman was a little Jewish guy, with one secretary.

    Their cheif annoncer (before Danny what-his-name) was a guy called Leo Herbert. Real name was Herb Markell. We called him Herb. Another little Jewish guy, prototypically so. The type that the Ultimate Jew, great funnyman, Jackie Mason, affectionately ridicules in his act.

    Herb's great lines were: "Another win for the incomparable Head Trackman, Sammy Parker!! How sweet it is!"

    They relied on stable help to give them tips (in exchange for some cash if horse won). But the really big winners they spoke of was for races in which they made no releases, tho their marks did not know that,

    Herb himself couldn't handicap his way out of the proverbial paper bag. I don't think he could read the Form. I used to go with him tothe Caliente track in Tijuana, and he'd bet on horses that had the same name as his sister's parrot, or like that.

    When Herb got cancer he dedided against conventional treatment and opted for the macrobiotic diet as a cure. It didn't, and if recall rightly Herb passed on in the early 90s. And the Turfcraft thing, along with its Incomparable Head Trackman is also history.
    Last edited by ritehook; 05-26-08 at 12:14 AM.

  2. #2
    ritehook's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Herb really didn't "recreate" the races on the Turfcraft show.

    He got the first three finishers from the wire, and then invented the entire running of the race, except for being accurate for the win, place and show monies,

    Yep, the Dark Ages . . .

  3. #3
    Railbert's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Oh, man...do I ever!

    However I remember it a little differently. As a kid in the 60's I began listening to XERB (from Baja California) where "Polo"Jacquez would call the race recreations for Turfcraft every night after the races. It seemed like after every race he'd announce "and this is ANOTHER Turfcraft winner." Between every one or two races he'd give the tout commercials for services like the "$200 Blue Ribbon Parlay", or the "$500 OTJ (Owners Trainers and Jockeys) Stable Secret", etc., etc., ad nauseum. I would love to get my hands on one of their old Turfcraft "magazines" that came out each month only for the historical value. I'm sure there are a few of them out there in some hoarder's pile of 40 year old Racing Forms and scratch sheets tucked away in a garage. Then in the 70's I started listening to KTYM (I believe) with Jay Richards doing the recreations for Horse and Jockey ("A powerful source of information"). Jay was to race calling what Chick Hearn was to basketball...except he'd go practically hysterical during the call of the race...and that was for the $3,000 claimers! I think he have had a freakin' stroke if he had been able to call a major race like the Kentucky Derby. Also have vivid memories of the monthly tout magazines in pulp that would come out with their "systems" and advertisements. One of their favorite enticements was to "name" the hot horse for the issue, but do it in code (which required a subscription). It would be in a box at the bottom of the page and go something like this: "EYE OWL GET RUN HOT ICE TOP - clever stable has this one ready to light up the tote at next outing. Get on board." I've still got the bug after all these years, and actually have fond memories of these con artists for exposing me to the joys of betting the horses.

  4. #4
    Drinker of the Year
    InTheDrink's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    wow what a fukkin bump!

  5. #5
    TSALVO's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Respects to the "Colonel"

    I would see "Colonel" Sammy Parker every racing day at the newsstand in the alley on sixth at Hill street, where would both pick up our scratch sheets in the morning. He would drive all the way up from Olympic Blvd, while I only had to walk around the corner. A former client of Horse & Jockey, he always liked to keep tabs on the competition........

  6. #6
    TSALVO's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Con artists? Let's face it. The vast majority of horse players have NO chance of winning without the tips they BUY from pros that are in the game EVERY SINGLE RACING DAY and who really want to see their clients win so they will come back and buy again. You are taking a very shallow view.....

  7. #7
    ChuckyTheGoat's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    You're saying that these guys were effectively playing a scenario like the one in "The Sting"?

  8. #8
    Chi_archie's Avatar SBR PRO
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    too old school