NEW YORK — What are the odds?
On the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on Sunday, horses wearing the numbers 9, 1 and 1 won the first three races at Belmont.
The New York City track served as one of the staging areas for workers and emergency vehicles in the days following the destruction of the World Trade Center.
David Jacobson, the trainer at the stable that owns the first two winners, told the New York Post that the odds “were probably about a million to one.”
Actually, the pick three paid $18.60 for a $2 bet.
Lottery players weren’t so lucky, but the 9-1-1 combination proved more irresistible than ever. Carolyn Hapeman, a spokeswoman for the New York State Lottery, said that combination for both the midday and evening “Numbers” draw was sold out by 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 5 for every twice-daily drawing right through Sept. 12.
The 9-1-1 pick has been a popular option for lottery players, just like 1-1-1 or 7-7-7, and sells out every day, she said. She didn’t recall a time when it sold out for seven straight days ahead of time.
The two draws on Sunday came up 1-0-8 and 5-4-3.
The odds are always 1,000-to-1 for any three-number combination of numbered balls to randomly pop out of the machine, but 9-1-1 did come up on one other auspicious date: Sept. 11, 2002, the first anniversary of the attacks.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press