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Best Ciccio Ever

Ciccio in Italian is a derivative for Francesco, the equivalent of 'Chuck' for Charles in English.


Pronounced {Chicho}, an affectionate name, if you walk in to a real Italian restaurant, like Maurizio's Trattoria in Encinitas California, everyone's name is Ciccio.


You call out Ciccio and ten employees and the owner himself, Maurizio, will answer.


It's the 'Dude' in Italian, Neapolitan, slang


My best Ciccio ever is Brian Lauzurica, 'Laz'.


He is the Racingwithbruno author of Oaklawn, Santa Anita, Golden Gate, he co- authors with Racingwithbruno, Saratoga, Belmont and Del Mar in the summer.


Racingwithbruno and Ciccio been buddies since the early 2000s when Ciccio worked for TVG, which he spent more than a decade.


Ciccio is an astute race watcher, excellent replay savant.


He has been tearing it up so far in 2024:


He is batting 28% or in baseball terms in the .280 range at Oaklawn and Santa Anita.


Those are serious numbers at Oaklawn where you have full fields and some of the tougher racing in the winter.


Ciccio lives in Southern California, he pals around with the elite, Dave Weaver, Mr Ice Cold, also from TVG, and Frank Mirahmadi, announcer at Santa Anita and Saratoga.


Many moons ago Racingwithbruno was invited to play the California races with Dave and Laz at Los Al, simulcast.


Racingwithbruno been friendly with Dave since 1997 when he worked for the Program Department at Hollywood Park.


What could go wrong?


We had a whole upstairs to ourselves, including a small 16 inch TV with faded color up in the rafters.


Like 50 yards away!


Grey/roans looked pink, Chestnuts looked purple, that kind of TV set.


"Love you boys" said Racingwithbruno, ''but the worst ever''.


Weaver and Laz together, forget about it! Abbot and Costello on 'roids.


Ciccio and Racingwithbruno have been thru it all.


Racingwithbruno trained him in clocking the whole summer of 2018 at Saratoga, Ciccio picked it up immediately.


We met "Rondre the Giant'', a very large man spitting image of Andre the Giant on the Whitney Stand.


His name was Rondre. I texted Laz on the main to come meet Rondre the Giant, as he skeptically came up to the top of the stairs, he froze, and just stared. Wide eyed, Ciccio got that little grin and said "I thought you were messing with me''.


 Ciccio is quick with the wit and quick with an opinion, usually right on the money.

For example, when he compared himself to 'Superman' one morning citing how Julien Leparoux was 'his kryptonite'. Who's going to tell Ciccio, Julien can be kryptonite to many horseplayers.


He is a funny man, our conversations are usually 20% serious, the rest a comedy routine.


Ciccio is an integral part of Racingwithbruno, he offers a handicapping knowledge that if he wasn't the best Ciccio ever, he would be Racingwithbruno's Rain Man.


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