TAPPED OUT BY AL "BO" BOZZI
Rico and I had such a bad losing streak and also ran out of betting clients. We were willing to try any angle that would help us cash a bet. It was the summer of '64 and Suffolk Downs was going and a
few new stables shipped in from the Midwest.
I noticed one stable took their own jockey in to do all the riding for them. The name Jeb Kirtzly was a familiar one around here a few years back. He was to be remembered because he had won on several longshots and was suspected of using a joint. I got all the dope on Jeb and found that he rented a mobile home at the trailer park next to the track. Rico and I came up with the idea to tap his phone to find out if he had any clients that he was going to call to tell to bet on some of the horses he rode.
What we had in mind was pretty risky and if we were caught in the act in the slammer we would go. When one thinks of cashing in on a few long shot winners the risks are secondary, so we decided to go ahead and arrange to put the tap on his phone.
We knew the perfect man for that, our pal Judd, the telephone lineman, was always looking for ways to beat the bookmaker. I gave Judd a call that night and he was all for doing the job and the price was high, a nickel to connect my gadget on Jeb's line under his mobile and the name of every horse that he calls out to his clients. That's no problem and we met at the Caravan Club in Revere the next night. We had a few drinks and I gave Judd the bread and tap gadget. It was an easy job for Judd; he worked for New England Telephone (N.E.T.)
The next morning, while Jeb was at the track exercising horses, Judd dressed in his usual work duds with all the tools hanging from that huge belt walked to the trailer, without any hesitation under he went. In less than five minutes he had the tap on.
That afternoon we had to test it to make sure it was working. All we had to do was park outside the park and with my Tele-funkin radio receiver and wait for Jeb's phone to ring. In a few minutes he got a call from the wife and we listened to what they had to say to make sure our tap was working good. Now I had to find a place to put the receiver and set-up the automatic tape recorder.
I couldn't just hang around all night in my car waiting for Jeb to make calls. That wouldn't look too kosher. Nearby was a electric supply house and a small warehouse next door and an ideal spot to put my listening equipment. We got lucky, Rico knew the owner and for a rental fee of a buck a week we were in business. I put my stuff together and we were ready for all the calls going out or coming in. Well for the next three weeks it was a total disaster. This asshole jock called out ten horses and the results were two six buck winners, three third place finishes and five in the shit house. We were out over three grand and Judd was bitchin and moaning on how much he blew and his wife was ready to throw him out.
Rico and I borrowed $1500 and decided to give it one last shot. I went in the warehouse and checked my receiver for any calls and there were none. I thought it strange and when I checked the next day it was silent. I figure maybe something gone wrong with the stuff. I called Judd. Okay he will check it out in the morning. He calls me to tell me the bug is not there and he thinks a repairman vas there and discovered the bug. What a fuckin pickle we were in, the money we lost plus four bucks rent and now we lost the bug that cost us $600. Judd tells me he might be able to buy another one for a nickel ($500).
We are in so deep and we give Judd the money. A few days later Judd comes back with the bug that looks exactly like the one we lost and he wants another five bucks to put it on. I can tell Judd is so pissed off because of betting so many losers he doesn't give a shit if we tell him okay, he isn't going to make any bets. This means Rico and me has to go out and borrow some more cash. We lost our shirt already so what's another few grand. We tell Judd to come back in a few days for the bread.
Three days vent by and no Judd. I call his house and the misses tells me in between her crying that Judd died Saturday night. That was the end of our tap and we were really tapped out to the tune of about six grand plus we lost a good friend. Poor Judd his days of tapping phones and betting were all over. We ended up in the shit house but thank the lord I'm here alive and kickin' to tell this amusing story.
Have fun at the races.