The Imus Ranch, a retreat for children fighting cancer, is $123,000 richer thanks to a National Thoroughbred Racing Association promotion in which Don Imus, the popular host of WFAN's nationally syndicated "Imus in the Morning" program, wagers $10,000 on each race in the VISA Triple Crown. The NTRA donates the $10,000 for each race, with a guarantee to match it with a contribution to the ranch if Imus loses his wager. On Saturday, at the advice of WFAN mid-day host Jody MacDonald, Imus played a $10,000 cold exacta on Preakness winner Smarty Jones and second-place finisher Rock Hard Ten. The exacta returned $24.60 for a $2.00 bet. Thus, Imus' play was worth $123,000. NTRA officials will present the check to Imus live on the air Monday morning. Imus had not cashed on this year's Kentucky Derby, keying his bets on Imperialism, who finished third. He'll have one more wager when Smarty Jones is expected to run in the Belmont Stakes on June 5 at Belmont Park, where he will try to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
"Imus in the Morning" is simulcast on MSNBC.