They call it the sport of kings. And who could blame a man who reportedly pulled in $1.5 million in a recent year for partaking?

Of course, if that man was Robert Rizzo, the disgraced former city manager of Bell, then, yeah, there might be some blame going around, especially if he was using any allegedly misappropriated fundage to have fun at the horse-racing track.

And so, with all that background comes news that the “board of stewards” at Inglewood's Hollywood Park suspected his horse-racing owner's license.

What was news to us though, is that this alleged douche had the balls to play a millionaire's game on what should have been a low-six-figure salary, if that, in a poor, immigrant-populated city.

According to the Daily Racing Form:

Rizzo, who lived in Huntington Beach, Calif., raced a small stable of Thoroughbreds primarily at Emerald Downs in Washington and in Northern California. His most recent starter was Dat's Dream, who finished third in a $4,000 claimer at Golden Gate Fields on Oct. 3. Rizzo's Parkbench won a $4,000 claimer at Golden Gate Fields on Sept. 25. In 2007, Rizzo campaigned Irene's Bonus Baby, who won the Barbara Shinpoch Stakes at Emerald Downs in 2006.

Rizzo was charged in September with 53 counts of allegedly misappropriating public funds. Seven other Bell city officials faced misappropriation allegations too.

The Racing Form says he failed to show Saturday for a hearing to respond to charges of “conduct detrimental to horse racing.”

His horse-racing hobby, it seems to us, will make it harder for Rizzo to argue in court that he didn't have his hand in the taxpayers' cookie jar.

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