“The Sting” came out in 1973, and I learned as a
ninth-grader that film producers and directors don’t know a hoot
about horse racing.
For youngsters out there, the film was a depression-era
story about grifters and their desire to get even with a big-time
gangster. It was some of the finest acting work by Paul Newman and
The actual “sting” involved a bookie joint and horse racing.
In one scene, Ray Walston (those in my era will remember him as My
Favorite Martian) was announcing the odds and the payoffs.
Walston announced that a 2-1 shot paid $4 to win.
Even a nutty ninth-grader, at least one who grew up in New
York, knows that a 2-1 shot pays $6. Didn’t any of those rich
producers, directors or actors go to OTB?