Clipped From Harrisburg Telegraph
- 0 1 0 Last of the Auctioneers Eli Crutch's Hypnotic Chant Is Theme Song of Betting on "Roaring Grand" Cleveland, UP) A famous char. acter of the harness racing world, a spieler whose voice and patter shades carnival barkers to a whis - nerine chorus that's Eli Crutch, last of the grand circuit betting auctioneers. There used to be several of these colorful bet - makers at the circuit's race meetings, but nowadays the pari - mutuals get most of the wa eerine. and for the last two years, old Eli's voice has sounded alone. Even among those who preier tne mutuals, the monotonous, hypnotic, almost musical chant of this auctioneer is regarded as the theme song of the "Big Line's" meetings. For years and years his voice has beat out the patter by which sports - men are aavisea oi uie oaas ana exhorted to hurry and make their bets. He Knows Them AU Inflectionless, 'rapid and stacatto, it goes like this: - "What will you give lor single u in the free - for - all pace a twenty dollar bill a twenty dollar bill a twenty - five dollar bill, a thirty dollar bill, come on boys here's a great horse, does nobody want him for a thirty dollar bill nobody wants him for a thirty dollar bill. Sold for a twenty - five dollar bill to T. I. P. TIP." Most of the players who patronize the auctions are wealthy men. Drivers, owners and breeders constitute a large part of Crutch's clientele. They bet under initials, numbers or trade names, and Crutch knows them all. Hardly once in a hundred times does he have to ask a bettor his name. "Pittsburgh," "Single A," "Ox," "Tip," "88" and "Double O" are a few of the pseudonyms by which he Identifies customers. "Auction" is a misleading name for the trade plied by Ell Crutch. Actually the auctions are simply a betting pool for big bettors who ' ' . 1. A - - AUy U. - U. JLjj&W E L I CRUTCH want reasonably constant odds. Once Sold $11,000 Ticket It has an advantage over the mutuals in that the odds on any given bet are not affected by subsequent wagering. All of the betting in the auctions is on the result of the race. Heat betting is handled exclusively through the mutuels. Eli Crutch has spent 50 years In the racing game and the last 30 in the auctions. Crutch's favorite horse of a ..'Tie was the gallant "Single G." The biggest single ticket Eli ever sold was at Lexington, Ky., 26 years ago when one buyer bet $11,000 on Peter the Great against the field, which sold for $16,000. Incidentally, Peter the Great lost the race. Last year the biggest ticket Eli sold totaled $1100. It was in the Hambletonian at Goshen, N. Y.