"I Rode for Lansky"

Miami Beach's premier crooked jockey reminisces

He is on the phone in his apartment rounding up friends who can vouch for his crooked ways. One of them has come into some money recently, and wants to get back into racing as a trainer.

The man is understandably reluctant to talk about shady dealings for fear of jeopardizing his return, but Bev knows the powerful allure of the big score and just how to sell it:

"You'll get enough for horses from Maine to Spain," Johnny promises urgently. "We'll have girls with bikinis the size of Band-Aids!"

Johnny Bev: Will Pacino play him in the movie?
Steve Satterwhite
Johnny Bev: Will Pacino play him in the movie?

His friend protests on the other end.

"Well, if you don't like money," Bev says indignantly, "forget it!"

He cups the receiver and whispers confidentially: "He doesn't want to burn any bridges."

"I'm doing it with you or without you," he tells the friend.

"I'll be sure to invite you on my 150-foot yacht with the lovely señoritas that there is going to be. They are going to be a little old, like eighteen or nineteen. I know that would be too much for you."

Bev's cohort continues to resist.

"Come on! You don't want to train horses and get up at 5:00 a.m., do you? Believe me, you won't get into trouble. The statute of limitations is long passed!"

But the conversation ends with the friend still unconvinced, and Johnny Bev, Eternal Optimist, finally hangs up.

He turns unfazed, and confidently promises that the guy will spill his stories eventually, just as Bev has done. "He's a big talker like me," Bev explains.

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