The "Staties" Hit The Coaldale Horse Parlor

The “Staties” Hit The Coaldale Horse Parlor
(The Valley Gazette, February, 1975)

Mark McHugh, Panther Valley’s uncontested sports world authority checked-in with one of the best “cover-up” stories ever to reach our ears and that includes Watergate.

It all happened back about 25 years ago at an illegal horse-betting parlor in Coaldale up on Phillips Street, just off First, where business was booming and where Mark landed a part-time job.

One night the “tip-off” came from the underground that the place was going to be raided by state police early the next morning. They were after the “ticker” Mark recalled, noting that the “ticker” was the heart of the operation – the machine which electronically linked Coaldale with the No. 1 racetracks in the east.

“They knew it was there but when they came it was gone,” Mark laughed.

The police combed the place but the search proved fruitless – no ticker.

Well here’s what happened:

When word of the raid reached Coaldale, Mark and one or two of the regulars at the establishment lugged the machine into the cellar and scooped about two tons of anthracite on top of it – but that’s not all.

A coal order placed about a week earlier arrived the same day, just before the cops barged through the door and the delivery man unknowingly heaped an additional three tons of anthracite on top of the valued ticker and the perfect cover up was effected.