Martin Samuels becomes second "Grand Mondays" recipient to cash $1,000 bet
By Sean Morris | 03/17/2014 05:59 PM ET
Martin Samuels and John Velazquez
PHOTO/Adam Coglianese/Chelsea Durand
Martin Samuels, 68, won The New York Racing Assocation, Inc.'s (NYRA) eighth "Grand Mondays" promotion, which rewards one lucky fan with a $1,000 win wager on a horse of his or her choosing in that day's eighth race, and became just the second recipient to cash the bet.
On January 27, Winston Ellis walked away with $1,450 when his selection, Abra, crossed the wire first.
Samuels' $1,400 score coincided with another big win on Monday: jockey John Velazquez's first appearance and victory in New York since returning to riding after being injured last fall during the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita.
Samuels, a retired attorney who currently resides in Manhattan, initially wanted to place the $1,000 wager on (No. 8) Go West Marie, but instead went with the odds-on favorite Our Amazing Rose (No. 3), a dazzling winner of her only career start on July 25.
The precocious filly, owned Mike Repole and trained by Todd Pletcher, broke well and stalked the early pace in second before Velazquez asked her for run around the far turn. Although she appeared to be spinning her wheels entering the stretch, the 3-year-old daughter of Yes It's True inched her way towards the lead coming for home, eventually collaring the pacesetter Killaday near the eighth-pole and drawing off to a three-quarter length win.
"Grand Mondays" will be back again next Monday, March 24.