Sea To Sea And The Alphabet Game
This is one of the best racing stories relating to the Alphabet System that was being used.
I owned a horse called Sea to Sea. He was a bottom level maiden claimer. He had lost his first 3 races by double digit numbers. However,on a frigid day in Feb 1978 at Aqueduct the trainer "thought he had a big shot".
He was 20-1 on the morning line. I left work and drove like a maniac to Aqueduct to see the race and get a substantial bet down. I arrived with 3 minutes to Post time. The trainer had never won a race nor had the jockey.
Someone knew something because the horse was bet down to 5-1. Sea to Sea broke from the rail and went head to head with another horse from start to finish. He won by a nose and paid $12. The celebration that followed in the Winners Circle looked like we won the Kentucky Derby.
The trainer was Pete Ferriola and the Jockey was Luke Joseph. Pete Ferriola went on to become one of the leading trainers in New York for over a decade. Luke Joseph hasn't been seen since then.
Here's the kicker.. I told my sister to run to the nearest OTB parlor and bet Sea to Sea. She managed to place a $20 WPS bet on Sea to Sea. Turns out Sea to Sea was the A horse in the race and the teller gave her the C horse, as in C to C.
When she went to collect and the teller told her the ticket was not a winner. She demanded to see the manager and told him "my brother owns the horse and he Won".. Unfortunately after awhile the manager suggested she leave before he called security.
It wasn't that funny at the time, but we had many laughs over the years about Sea to Sea.