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Channeling a Pick Six Bonanza on Cable TV

Times Staff Writer

It paid for Charlie Sigrast, a Chicago-based racehorse owner, to be watching cable network HorseRacing TV on Sunday. After seeing analyst Jon White’s pick six selections for Sunday’s races at Santa Anita, Sigrast decided to follow White’s $120 play and bet online.

It was a wise decision. Sigrast ended up with one of the 13 winning tickets that paid $45,981.20.

Sigrast, who called the track and told Gena Ayala of the broadcast department about his good fortune, said he rarely bets a pick six, and had never hit one. He also said White can expect some champagne in the mail.

Trivia time: What is the pick six payoff record at Santa Anita?

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Another winner: White also held one of the winning tickets, but almost didn’t make the bet.

“I began to think, ‘If I’m suggesting this ticket for HRTV viewers to play, I should play it myself,’ ” he said. “I also realized that if I didn’t put the ticket in, and it hit, I’d feel horrible.”

No question about that.

Olympian effort: Going into the ninth race, a maiden claiming sprint for 2-year-old fillies, White had the two favorites and the 30-1 shot She’s A Olympian, who’d finished 10th in her lone previous start.

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Lo and behold, She’s A Olympian won the race, resulting in the big payoff.

“Jon was fine until they put up the numbers,” said Amy Zimmerman, director of broadcasting for the track and HRTV. “I said, ‘I think we need to get him off the air before he passes out.’ ”

Clean line: The late Michigan State football coach Duffy Daugherty, whose Spartans played UCLA in the 1966 Rose Bowl game, paid a visit to Santa Anita.

Daugherty, stealing a line originated by Danny Thomas, had this to say about the Arcadia track: “It’s the only place where windows clean people.”

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Faint excuse: George Steinbrenner, back at home in Tampa, Fla., Monday after fainting at a memorial service for Otto Graham on Saturday in Sarasota, was apparently feeling fine.

“I really didn’t faint,” the New York Yankee owner said in a statement released to the media. “I was practicing my slide into second base.”

Noteworthy: John Mellencamp plans to play soccer for Indiana next season. No, not the John Mellencamp, who lives in Bloomington, but rather his nephew, an all-state high school player from Ohio.

“I don’t know what it’ll be like to attend a school where they already have a building named after you,” Joe Mellencamp, the boy’s father, told the Bloomington Herald-Times.

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The Indiana soccer team holds indoor practices at the John Mellencamp Pavilion.

Trivia answer: $2,687,611.60 on Breeders’ Cup day this year.

And finally: With the USC team in the “Tonight Show” audience at the NBC studios in Burbank, Jay Leno on Monday night said, “Due to increased terror level, security has been stepped up at the Sugar Bowl. Officials will be looking to stop anyone who doesn’t belong. USC turned in Oklahoma.”

Larry Stewart can be reached at larry.stewart@latimes.com.

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