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Belmont upset produces big haul

All was not lost in Big Brown’s attempt to win thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown.

The colt’s dead-last finish in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday helped contribute to a surplus of nearly $1.2 million in the Pick Six pool — the largest carryover ever for a New York track — when racing resumed Wednesday at Belmont Park.

Sure enough, the Pick Six — in which bettors must correctly select the winners of six consecutive races — was hit Wednesday at Belmont. The 29 lucky winners were paid $103,754 for a $2 wager.

And they have Big Brown to thank for it, or perhaps jockey Kent Desormeaux.

LUKE, I AM YOUR FATHER — Occasionally, Los Angeles Lakers forward Luke Walton picks up his phone and gets an earful.

"This is Paul Pierce," the caller says. "You’re a bum, and all your teammates are bums."

Only it isn’t actually Pierce. It’s Walton’s father, Hall of Famer Bill Walton, trying to motivate his son in the NBA Finals.

"He wouldn’t even change his voice," Luke Walton told The Associated Press.

Everyone in the NBA wants to win a title, but Walton has added motivation: He’s tired of hearing his dad talk about all the titles he won.

"It would be a lot easier to have dinner with him," said the younger Walton, who played at Arizona. "He already talks trash about me not winning an NCAA championship."

Bill Walton won two titles at UCLA, then won three more in the NBA, including one with the Celtics in 1986. He gave the championship rings to his parents, and Luke remembers seeing the collection when he visited his grandparents.

So if Luke wins one, would he give the ring to his dad?

"I don’t think a Lakers ring is safe in that house," he said. "It might get mistakenly thrown out."

SWEET FISH STORY — In Michigan, they may have found the perfect way to catch a fish — with bubble gum.

Not a piece of Bazooka or Double Bubble but a pink piece of wiggly plastic that tends to attract bass. According to fishing guide Gerry Gostenik, the bass seem to be attracted to the bubble-gum pink color.

"I don’t know what it is about that piece of pink plastic, but they sure love it," Gostenik said. "You can still get them on spinnerbaits and tubes, but I don’t think there’s anything better than a pink fluke for numbers and fun."

THE JOY OF TEXT — When Gov. Jim Gibbons ultimately leaves office and goes looking for a job, he would be well-advised to avoid getting into the college coaching business.

The NCAA prohibits coaches from text-messaging recruits, and given the governor’s penchant for texting — he sent a Reno woman more than 850 text messages in a five-week period — Gibbons might have trouble adhering to NCAA rules.


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