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By Dean R. Koontz


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Garrison explained about the cut-rate deal Pro-Teck had made with Century Oaks in return for a little publicity. It was in the newspapers all the time when the track first opened a few years ago. Big articles in the Racing Form. That's all that's on my mind, then, Jessup said. Looks to me that if everyone does his job, we can't lose. He kept staring at Annie. Garrison wanted to get up and walk over and turn his head around backwards. Conspicuously, firmly, as a sign to Jessup, Annie took hold of Garrison's hand and squeezed it tightly.

Program sales? About fifteen hundred. Breakage? When payoffs were calculated they often ended in odd cents; therefore, to save the cashiers time, payoffs were rounded down to the dime. As a result loose change quickly accumulated. This was called the Breakage and was split fifty-fifty between the track and the state. On a bad day, the Breakage could sometimes mean the difference between a slim loss and the break-even point. Franson leafed through his papers, searching for the figure. Here we are.

Furthermore, the track had to pass along five percent of the handle to the state. Of the $1,250,000 that went through the mutuel windows, Century Oaks retained $125,000, ten percent. However, the track's agreement with the Horsemen's Association specified that $60,000, an even forty-eight percent, be set aside for purse money in future races. Another $40,000 went toward the day's payroll. That left only $25,000 to apply toward the lease on the tote board, the lease on the computer, the interest and principal payments on the enormous mortgage, and the maintenance costs.

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