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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

At Least He Won't Be Mingling With Old 'Uncle Undie'

July 12, 1996|EARL GUSTKEY

For years, one of the most recognized figures at Saratoga Racetrack in upstate New York was handicapper Leo Underhill, known to all as "Uncle Undie."

Before his recent death, he told his family he wanted his ashes scattered at Saratoga's finish line. It was done between races recently.

"The family was pretty upbeat, and there was reverent, polite applause from the crowd," said racing publicity man John Englehardt, who added that he might some day make the same request.

"But when I go," he said, "I want my ashes spread at the quarter pole. That's where most of my horses died."

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Trivia time: Which Olympics had the most participants in the torch relay?

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Bank loan? Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News:

"Chances are, the biggest catch in the Michael Irvin dope-and-hired-hit morass has yet to be identified.

"If Dallas cop Johnnie Hernandez was able to shell out 30 G's for a hit on Irvin, where did the financing come from? Your ordinary cop doesn't tote that much in his pants pocket."

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Knock it off: Cincinnati's Chris Sabo put some old music on the Reds' clubhouse stereo recently. First tune, "That's Amore," by Dean Martin.

Manager Ray Knight investigated and the music stopped. Knight returned to his office, crossed Jeff Branson's name off his starting lineup card and inserted Sabo's.

Explained Knight, "I told Sabo if he turned that off, I'd let him play."

Pick it up, Charles: How slow is Miami catcher Charles Johnson?

He was batting .207 at the All-Star break and Gregg Doyel, who covers the Marlins for the Miami Herald, described one play that helps explain why:

"In a game at Houston, Johnson hit a ground ball that Astro third baseman Sean Berry fielded about 20 feet behind third.

"He spun and mustered a throw that bounced twice--yet still got Johnson at first."

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Reading the leaves: Both Democrats and Republicans can take heart at the National League's 6-0 victory in Tuesday's All-Star game.

The Democratic presidential nominee has won every election since 1964 when the All-Star game was decided by three or more runs. However, in 1976 and 1992, when the game was decided by six or more runs, the incumbent president was defeated.

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Trivia answer: The 1964 Tokyo Olympics with 101,473. About 10,000 will have carried the Atlanta torch when the Games open next Friday, according to the Amateur Athletic Foundation.

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And finally: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Bob Smizik has had it with talk of a U.S. soccer boom.

"After 22 consecutive years of being 'the fastest growing sport in America,' the soccer boom produces the following: Bolivia 2, U.S. 0, in the U.S. Cup," he wrote.

"Bolivia has about as many people as North Carolina. The soccer boom in this country begins at age 4 and ends at 7."

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