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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

"Those aren't pillows!" ~Steve Martin in Planes, Trains and Automobiles

The streak is alive. I'm heading to my fourth consecutive Belmont Stakes and super psyched about it. I won't exactly be taking the same route as last year, which ended up being about a ten hour train ride to Penn Station from the B-Lo, but as usual I will be attempting a circuitous route to the Big Apple via Altoona, Pennsylvania through Allentown PA (to handicap and sleep) onto Elmont Saturday morning. It's a long story, so don't ask. I've never driven to Belmont Park, so I'm sure that will be a treat in itself, and hoping Mr. Tom Tom can guide me safely into the east side parking lot of the third jewel of the Triple Crown. Huge props to the Space Gal for encouraging me to take the journey while she attends graduations and visits with her folks.

The Belmont undercard looks pretty fabulous and I look forward to seeing Hull and Kensei again in the Woody Stephens, they ran 1-2 in the Derby Trial on opening day at Churchill during our Kentucky trip. I'll start my handicapping tonight, but I better have my Belmont pick for the office tomorrow, I think some of my admin staff are now regulars at the Niagara Falls Boulevard OTB (geesh what have I done). Who woulda thunk it that I will be seeing back to back races for Better Talk Now, who last ran at Keeneland during the aforementioned visit to the Bluegrass State. The Manhattan Handicap (G1) looks like a monster race which I'm thinking I'll have to go pretty deep on my Pick Four play. That race will be my first live looks at Court Vision, Gio Ponti and Cowboy Cal.

As someone who's office is off of Audubon Drive, my initial thoughts on the Belmont are focused on Mine That Bird, Summer Bird and Flying Private (the Audubon Triple). I'm actually liking Flying Private to hit the board, his race comments show one nightmare trip after another. But I could be reaching...more analysis required...

A bonus on Saturday will be to see local Saratoga favorite My Man Lars, who scored nicely on a tip from the Puma last 4th of July. He'll be running on the undercard in race 5 for owner Jimmy Olson (no relation to he of Superman lore). People have asked me why I nicknamed my pal the Puma...gotta be the you know. We'll be checking in late tomorrow night from A-town. Drop me a line if you'd like to meet up in the backyard.



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