Kevin Sanders headed downtown to collect on a bet yesterday morning. A horse he liked – Toga Tiger – outran the field in the second race at Aqueduct.
“Word on the street had him a sure winner,” Sanders said. “I like fast horses when my money is riding on them.”
Toga Tiger paid off big and the money felt good in Sanders’s hand. But it didn’t feel good enough to pass on some poker.
“I live by the words of my father,” Sanders explained. “‘You can’t win if you’re not in the game.’”
Sanders sat at a table in a back room on the Lower Eastside and was up big for awhile. But he lost some hands and came home with nothing.
“You win some and you lose some,” Sanders said. “I’d rather lose a few than play it safe and never win big. Everything is a gamble: horses, cards and even baseball.”
Baseball is Sanders’s true passion.
“I bet my heart, my soul and my life on the Yankees,” he said. “But I never bet money. Baseball is too important for that.”
Building a baseball team is a different kind of gamble.
“I know that signing a guy like A.J. Burnett is a risk,” Sanders said. “He has had injuries in the past, but he also has shutdown stuff when he’s right. I think you’ve got to bet on him being ‘right’ if you want to win.”
And that’s all Sanders really cares about.
“I don’t mind taking losses at the table or even the track as long as the Yankees keep winning the arms race,” he said. “That’s gonna get us back to the World Series.”
“Bet on it.”