Thingish Things


Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - May• 06•11

On this day every year my dear friend Nick Viest and I trudge down to OTB on Third Avenue and place bets on the Kentucky Derby.  He then returns Monday morning to collect his winnings.  I go straight to work.

We were set to do the same this year, until we remembered that there is no New York City OTB anymore.  It was shut down because it was losing money.  I must not have bet enough on “Dublin” last year, or maybe Nick hit his trifecta again.

I wonder how many other people have quite forgotten that OTB no longer exists in the city, or that it ever existed at all.  Then again, the clusters of smoking bettors outside of each of them made them hard to miss.

I also wonder how many other city-funded institutions might escape notice if they were shuttered…

For the record, if there were still a New York City Off Track Betting storefront,  I would have put $20 on the nose on “Stay Thirsty” in an upset win.

Here’s the official line: (all the links below are live with great information and videos.)


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  1. Alexander says:

    Finally, your blog has useful reference material!

  2. Nick says:

    I am mostly honored to be mentioned in this political blog although for,strangely enough, nothing remotely political. For anyone who has the time and/or inclination to look into this Hacketts (, Ireland’s largest bookmaker,(introduced to me by my Irish friend John Hackett – no relation)might be a possible solution to this tragic dilemma. A daring pick would be Master of the Hounds to win or place.

  3. Your Friend says:

    I can’t believe you’re not betting on Comma to the Top! And you call yourself a writer. Humph.

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