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Flay makes play for J Boys Echo in Belmont Stakes

By Norm Clarke  (VSiN Columnist) 

June 10, 2017 03:58 AM

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay hopes to turn another last-minute investment into a jackpot in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.


A year ago, he bought an interest in Creator on the Wednesday before the Belmont. Creator won by a nose.


This year, he made another Wednesday buy-in before the draw for post positions, putting down a 25 percent buy-in on J Boys Echo, who had a rough start in the Kentucky Derby and finished 15th.


J Boys Echo drew Gate 4 and will go off around 15-1 odds. He is trained by Dale Romans and will be ridden by Robby Albarado.


Flay, an “Iron Chef” fixture, opened Mesa Grill in Caesars Palace in 2004 and Bobby’s Burger Palace in front of CityCenter in 2014.


The most impressive win of the year for J Boys Echo came March 4 in the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack. He outdistanced eventual Preakness winner Cloud Computing by 3½ lengths. J Boys Echo skipped the Preakness.


Purchased for $485,000, he had two wins in seven career starts and earnings of $349,600 in seven career starts. The Albaugh Family Stable holds holds the other 75 percent interest.


TimeformUS handicapper Dave Aragona is predicting Patch, the sentimental choice at the Kentucky Derby, will prevail. Patch drew the No. 12 post position and is a 12-1 longshot.


George Carlin’s post-show getaway

Longtime comedian Dennis Blair is working on a book. After opening for more than 150 entertainers, there should be no shortage of material.


He spent 18 years as the opening act for the legendary George Carlin. One of Blair’s duties was serving as Carlin’s wheelman.


Carlin was such a loner that he wanted to avoid the backstage meet and greets. He regularly instructed Blair to be ready for a quick getaway after the show.


“I had to be in the car, at the wheel, with the car running, five minutes before he finished,” Blair said during a dinner interview at the Bootlegger on Tuesday during the tribute for Dean Martin, who would have been 100 that day.


“He’d leave the stage, run through the stage door and jump in the back seat. He called it the Zippo Bango,” said Blair.


“He and Bill Cosby were talking one night and found out they did the same thing,” he said.


Carlin died nine years ago this month, June 22, 2008, in Santa Monica. He was 71.


Kornegay neutral on Lakers drafting Ball

Jay Kornegay, the Westgate sports book director, isn’t offering an opinion on what a prop bet would be on whether the Los Angeles Lakers take UCLA’s Lonzo Ball in the NBA Draft on June 22.

For the first time, NBA prop bets can be made on the number of players taken from a conference, a college program or in the first round. Kornegay predicts it will be a year or two before props bets can made on what order players will be selected.

Consensus thinking has the Boston Celtics taking Markelle Fultz, a 6-foot-4 point guard from Washington.

There have been reports the Lakers have concerns about taking Ball with the second pick. Ball’s attention-grabbing father, LaVar, has been a major distract with controversial rants and proclamations.

“I give those kids (LaVar’s two sons) all the credit in the world despite being around that all the time,” said Kornegay. “Time will tell how they handle it.”


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On this day…

May 9, 1959: Wayne Newton, a 16-year-old singer from Phoenix, makes his Las Vegas debut at the Flamingo Hotel with his older brother Jerry. Their two-week gig lasts three years and launches his career as one of the city’s most popular and wealthiest entertainers.

May 10, 2008: A classic ad slogan becomes a mundane romantic comedy as “What Happens in Vegas” earns $20 million in its opening weekend. Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher are drunken strangers who impulsively wed in Las Vegas, are forced to live together, and, of course, fall in love.



At Beauty & Essex restaurant at The Cosmopolitan on Thursday night: Andy Cohen, host of Fox’s “Love Connection,” on Thursday...

On Wednesday at Beauty & Essex:  TV personality Ross Mathews, who got his start as “Ross the Intern” on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”…

On Tuesday at “Absinthe” outside Caesars Palace: Kendra Wilkinson and Jai Rodriguez, who co-star in the new show “Sex Trips from a Gay May” at Paris Las Vegas.


The punch line

“A bar in Washington, D.C., will offer customers a free round of drinks every time President tweets about former FBI director (Wednesday). That story again: A bar in Washington, D.C., is having a going out of business sale.” – Seth Meyers.

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