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Horse Racing

'Mistake' Gets Him $758,233

Horse racing: Oregon man, 88, hits Hollywood Park Pick Six after selecting the wrong horse.


Edward Bain, a horse player for most of his 88 years, was at the table normally reserved for him Wednesday afternoon in an Oregon sports bar, doing what he loves.

Bain, a long-time regular at Allstars, a bar in Oregon City that offers the off-track wagering program provided from Multnomah Greyhound Track in nearby Portland, bets on races from whatever tracks are being offered. Larry Arnsberg, who owns Allstars, said nothing seemed different in the bar Wednesday, three days after the biggest--and luckiest--score of Bain's life. And it's a good bet not a lot will change with Bain either.

On Sunday, Bain, a wealthy Oregon native whose betting life extends to the long-forgotten Bagley Downs horse track in Vancouver, Canada, had the only winning Pick Six ticket at Hollywood Park--partially because of Bain's betting skill, largely because of pure luck. Buoyed by a two-day carryover, it was worth, before taxes, $758,233.60, the third-highest Pick Six payoff in the Inglewood track's history.

Because his wife has been ill, Bain had put in his $432 Pick Six bet, then left Allstars before the Hollywood Park races began. He called Arnsberg during the day to make some additional bets, then learned later that evening when the bar owner called him that he had won the Pick Six.

Bain had accurately handicapped the first five winners, which included no favorites and ranged in price from $6.20 to $15.60, but it was his mistake in the 10th race that gave him the big prize.

"He marked the two horse in that race, thinking he was getting the favorite," said Arnsberg, who also raises and races greyhounds. "The original No. 1 horse in the race was scratched, but [Bain] didn't know that."

The scratch of Billy Bolts moved Navarro Joe, who was No. 2 when entries were drawn on Friday morning, down to the rail. Longshot Lightsofthenorth, the original No. 3, moved into Post 2 and became Bain's horse.

Lightsofthenorth, who had never finished better than fifth, rallied along the rail in the stretch to beat another longshot, 43-1 outsider Hot Shot Casey, by a head and paid $160.40. Navarro Joe, Bain's presumed pick, finished fourth.

So, instead of a huge carryover into Wednesday's program at Hollywood Park, Bain got all the money, though he had no idea how much at first because he thought he had the morning-line favorite in the last race.

The large payday would be a life-changer for most. Not for Bain, who he is well off after investing wisely and has most of his money in charitable trusts. He has also been a significant contributor to Providence Medical Center in Portland. "It was exciting, but I'll give the money away," he said. "Winning was a mistake, but I've made mistakes before that and lost. This makes up for it."

For 22 years, he did volunteer work with Loaves and Fishes, an organization that serves and delivers food to the needy. He met his second wife, Blanche, there and married her in 1987, one year after the death of his first wife, to whom he had been married 59 years. Blanche died last year, and Bain married for the third time only a few months ago.

"He was more thrilled with being the only person [who had a winning ticket] than he was about the money because he's a very wealthy man," said Carl Wilson, general manager at Multnomah Park.

Bain, who lives in a retirement community in nearby Milwaukie, showed up on Monday afternoon at Allstars to collect his winnings. "He walked out at about 3:45 with a check for $568,599.60 [after taxes]," Wilson said.

How the windfall will affect his betting and other habits remains to be seen. Bain was reluctant to talk in detail about himself. Arnsberg estimated Bain accounts for at least 25% of his weekly average handle of $80,000-$90,000. Pete Newlin, the mutuel manager at Allstars, says Bain often plays Pick Six tickets larger than the $432 he invested Sunday and prefers to play when there is a carryover. "That was one of his cheaper tickets," Newlin said. "He bets a lot of money. He bets on the dogs, but he prefers the horses."

Said Arnsberg: "I know he once listed his hobbies as horses, dogs and golf, and he's never golfed a day in his life. He just comes in every day and sits in the back and has lunch. We cater to him, and he's the type of guy Las Vegas would send an airplane [to get].

"He bets every race, and sometimes he's betting four tracks at a time. He's a wonderful person, but he's frugal. He's just not a tipper. He could have a meal for $4.75 and he'd leave a five-dollar bill. That might change now. He might leave a couple of dollars."

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