Who Is Al "Bo" Bozzi
In last week's Newsletter we read about the largest scam played on horse racing. It was amazing how in 2002 three guys, led by an insider could nearly get away with such a big score ---$3 million on a Pick 6 bet. Finding the big score was the intrigue.
Also in last week's Newsletter we read a story by Al Bozzi about one of his scams which netted him and his two partners around $20,000 (reprinted today). That was a nice hit in the 1950s. The interesting thing about the article was that it is a true story and we have a few more from the life of Al Bozzi to tell. ThoroFan will publish them in our Newsletter from time-to-time.
But who is Al "Bo" Bozzi?
Born in 1926 Bo lived most of his life in Boston where he hustled, scammed and drove a cab. By his own accounts he was "bum" ---a liar, a cheat and gambler. That is all he knew and was most of the time his ticket to survival. Whether it was backroom card games or street dice, Bo was in on the action. His preference, however, was the ponies. He was a good handicapper and regular at Suffolk Downs when that track was thriving.
He admits that one thing he learned in the years of playing the horses was that your chances of winning are very low, unless you have a gimmick. Bo and is cronies had many. So many that they earned the name -"The Gimmick Boys". He used invisible ink, fake racing forms, electronic devices and tape recorders to beat the bookies. As Bo tells it he even got a few scams over on the noted gangster, Whitey Bolger.
Bo died in 2012 at age 86.
While living with his daughter in New York in the early 2000s, Bo came upon ThoroFan and thought maybe we would be his ticket to fame and an opportunity to hustle a few bets. However, it didn't work out that way, exactly.
I met Bo at the local post office in Central Valley, New York and we quickly became friends. He would drop by my house to talk horses and picks for a race that day. As time passed we talked about his life as a gambler and the stories he had. He would sit for hours telling stories. Sometimes he would have them written down. He would ask me to read and tell him what I thought. He wanted the fans to hear them and thought ThoroFan would be a good vehicle.
Last year,while cleaning out an attic, I found a box of Bo's works he had given to me. Rereading them was a joy and brought back memories of the conversations I had with Bo. The hay days of racing were exciting and full of scams. Today we can only hope that racing rises again to that level, absent the scams.
Enjoy Bo's stories and the races, as he would want you to.