Former NFL Coach Mike Tice Hits Big Playing Ponies

Michael DempseyFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2013

Mike Tice knows his horses, taking down a $100,000 Pick 6
Mike Tice knows his horses, taking down a $100,000 Pick 6Elsa/Getty Images

It turns out Mike Tice might be a better horseplayer than he was calling the shots as a head coach in the NFL. 

Tice had a 32-33 record as an NFL head coach in Minnesota, and since getting relieved of his offensive coordinator duties by the Chicago Bears in January, Tice has had plenty of time to hone his skills as a horseplayer. It certainly paid dividends last Thursday, as he cashed a Pick 6 ticket worth $100,796.20.

Tice was home in Seattle, according to ESPN Chicago, and decided to play the races from Del Mar using his online betting account. He called his wife and told her he was going to withdraw $200 from their bank account and deposit it into his wagering account, and he played a $128 ticket on the Pick 6 at Del Mar.

To win a Pick 6, a bettor must have the winner of each of the six races of the sequence in order to cash, and if no horseplayers have a winning ticket, the jackpot moves to the next racing day.

Tice’s ticket got off to a good start with Brilliant Melody pulling off the upset in the third race of the day (the first of the Pick 6 sequence), paying $17.60. In the following race the winner won by a length and paid $7.20, and it was not surprising Tice had the winner on his ticket. The winning horse was named Tebowing. Really, it was.

First-time starter Diamond Bachelor ($4.60) got Tice halfway home and was followed by Joyce and Me ($7.80), who won the sixth race by a nose. Dancingtothestars ($10.40) won the seventh race.

The final race produced a three-way photo for the win, and when Bard ($11.00) got up in the last jump and was declared the winner, Tice was the only horseplayer with a winning ticket and took home the pool.

"Sure, there's some luck involved," Tice told ESPN Chicago. "But I had the form out for two days and handicapped it."

Tice also reportedly hit a smaller Pick 6 worth $4,000 when he was at Del Mar the previous week.

Horseplayers can learn a lot from this story.

If you lose your job, there is always the possibility of earning a paycheck by visiting your local racetrack or just fire up the legal online wagering account.

Still, it is always a good idea to let your better half know you are making a withdrawal from the bank to gamble. While often we as horseplayers can hide some of our winnings from our spouses, it’s not advised if your better half reads the news or you happen to be a celebrity.

The only way this story could have been better is if, in addition to Tebowing winning, there would have been a recently unretired gelding named Brett Favre that won the final race of the sequence.

That certainly would have made SportsCenter’s "Top 10"—probably for six nights in a row.


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