SOUTHERNILLINOIS'S Kristi Yamaoka made countless highlight reels recently. The Salukicheerleader fell from atop a human pyramid, then continued to perform herroutine as she was stretchered off the court. If railbirds at Hawthorne RaceCourse outside Chicago recalled that story as they made their bets on March 7,they may have cashed in big. The fourth race was won by a 4-year-old filly(left) named Saluki Cheerleader, who paid $7.80 to win.

Of course, that'shardly the first time an aptly named horse has produced a timely win. Here now,a brief history of hunch betting.

•March 1,2006
The winners of the first three races on Ash Wednesday at Maryland's Laurel Parkare Vagabond Saint, Halo's Slate Clean and Nancy's Grace.

•Oct. 30,2004
The day before Halloween, Ghostzapper wins the Breeder's Cup Classic at LoneStar Park.

•March 16,1996
Irish Conquest conquers the field in the seventh at Gulfstream Park the daybefore St Patrick's Day.

•June 20,1993
Baltusrol notches his first victory, at Arlington International Racecourse, anhour after Lee Janzen wins his first U.S. Open title--at Baltusrol.

•April 15,1992
Astute bettors get substantial returns when Tax Tip wins the seventh race atAqueduct.

•Sept. 28,1989
In his career debut, Commissioner Bart wins the seventh race at Belmont, lessthan a month after the death of baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti. No wordwhether Pete Rose had any money on the horse.

•Dec. 24,1976
Punters at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans receive some holiday cheer from--whoelse?--Santa Claus when that horse comes home first in the third race.