Track coup is therapy for disabled brothers


Two Baltimore County brothers, who have both been treated for cancer and live on disability insurance, cashed a single Double Triple ticket on the Laurel races yesterday worth $232,238.10.

Stewart, 57, and Roger Stinchcomb, 63, correctly picked a winning combination in the third and fifth races, respectively, after investing a mere $24.

The brothers, who live a mile apart in Randallstown, ended up with about $185,000 after taxes and will split the amount equally.

Stewart said last night he plans to buy a marlin fishing boat for his part-time charter service in Ocean City. Roger said, "I have three grandchildren. Two of them need help going to college. And then my wife informed me that she wants a new rug for the living room. Believe me, the money won't be squandered."

Both brothers attend the races for relaxation, about twice a week. They made their winning bet from the Sports Palace at Pimlico, where the races are simulcast daily from Laurel.

Stewart, who described himself as a "numbers picker," said he never reads the Daily Racing Form. "I look over the selections in the Morning and Evening Suns, get my information from reading or listening to a few other things and then make my bets. My brother reads The Form. I tend to pick long shots. He goes for the favorites."

They usually play the Double Triple, each picking three sets of three horses in the third race. If they win, they pool their thinking and pick out a combination for the fifth race.

Yesterday, "we each picked four sets of three horses [in the third race]," Roger said. "None of mine came in. But Stewart had one winning combination. He played 10 [Tootie Lytle, a 17-1 shot], 5 [Chico's Champ, the 3-1 second choice] and 2 [Happy Goddess, a 27-1 shot]. The correct order of finish was 10-5 and 9 [North Star Dancer]. Since no one picked it, they [the track] paid off on 10-5-all. So, we got lucky there."

According to Laurel publicity director Jeff Weissman, there were 244 live tickets after the third race.

In the fifth race, Stewart picked two horses, Herman's Match (No. 6) and Katie Lynn (3). Roger picked one horse, Predadora (8).

"I liked the breeding on Herman's Match [a daughter of the state's leading stallion, Horatius] and I liked Katie Lynn, because she was dropping down," Stewart said. Roger picked Predadora to round out the combination because she was a first-time starter "and I like first-time starters," he said.

They had one ticket, 6-3-8.

When the horses came down to the wire, Herman's Match (6) and Katie Lynn (3) battled it out to the finish, and ended up in a dead heat. Predadora (8) was third.

"It took about 10 minutes for the officials to declare a dead heat," Roger said. "Talk about frustrating. We didn't have a 3-6-8, just a 6-3-8."

As it turned out, no one had a 3-6-8 combination and the Stinchcomb brothers were the sole holders of the one winning 6-3-8 ticket. It was the fourth largest pari-mutuel payoff in Maryland racing history and the third largest Double Triple payoff on a single ticket.

Since only one person signs for the payoff, Roger, who had his identification with him, signed the various tax forms and saw about $46,000 of the winning total subtracted for taxes. "And, of course, more taxes will be taken out of the $185,000 because we have to declare it as income and that will move us into a higher bracket," Roger said. "The first thing we are going to do tomorrow morning [today] is go see a tax attorney."

Stewart said both he and his brother have battled cancer. "Roger had lung cancer, which was inoperable, and he was supposed to be dead four years ago," he said. "Now, it's in remission and he looks better than he did 15 years ago. I have been treated for kidney and lung cancer. It's funny, we grew up around Pimlico and never went to the races. We just started to go about two years ago, because we were both on disability and needed something to do.

"It probably is the biggest thrill of our lives. Sure, we got lucky one day at the track and hit it big. We'll keep going out and betting, but it's probably something that will never happen again."

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