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Monday, May 16, 2011

Doin' the Downs

A+  for Wardrobe Coordination
It's been a couple days of decompression since getting back into the B-Lo from Louisville. The Space Gal and I left late Saturday night after filing this column for The Buffalo News to cut our trip in half so we could relieve the in-laws of kid duties by noon on Sunday.

We had a great trip and met several folks that I've corresponded, tweeted and facebooked with over the past three years. It was great meeting Derek Brown, Brian Zipse and Ian Lozada for the first time and seeing my pal Steve Munday from again. It's great meeting folks and discussing racing that have the same passion as I do and learning from them.  In this game, there's always new information to process and a different way to look at things.  We also met up with some ThoroFans on Friday, one who is thinking of starting up the Kentucky chapter.

As far as the handicapping went, we sniffed it all weekend but no grand results. I picked Plum Pretty second behind Zazu for the paper, so I felt pretty good about that. Oaks Day was beautiful and much more relaxing for me as I didn't have any assignments and wanted to spend as much time with the Space Gal as I could.

Sunday was a different story as I was live blogging the day's card and making a $2WPS selection for each race and maintaining a live bankroll online. We were struggling five races into the card down about $23 trying to catch a price, but I rebounded with two wins, two places and a show to finish with a positive $19 ($2.58 ROI).  My two winners were Regally Ready and Aviate, both of whom I was high on. My Derby selection was Mucho Macho Man, and he didn't let me down finishing third and paying $7 for the show.  I used Animal Kingdom underneath in the exotics (in second and third positions) as promised in my Friday advance for The News. I felt good that I at least mentioned him in the article as a live longshot (based mainly on his workout during Derby week). Alas for me, I didn't use him on top and had the next two positions covered in tris and exactas.

It was a great experience and seasoned writers like Hal Habib (Palm Beach Post) and TimWilkin (Albany Times-Union) were both extremely helpful as I navigated waters I have never swam in. I look forward to the Preakness experience in Baltimore in two weeks.

As for Animal Kingdom, I eat my words from my Uninspired post, although I did mention the visual move he made that day, I just wished I trusted my gut more and focused more on the 93 Beyer on the Turfway polytrack being huge in comparison to dirt Beyers. A little more homework on my part may have paid off...there are some things you just can't find in the Form (or PPs) or a spreadsheet, for that matter.  The pace should be significantly different in the Preakness, which will make the handicapping all the more interesting to figure out.

I was really impressed with Shackleford and thought for a minute that he was going to take the thing down.  He looked incredible in the paddock (see picture that the Space Gal took below) and I came away impressed with his performance.

Speaking of pictures, here are some from the weekend.....

Derby Post Parade

PEB board

Animal Kingdom



Pants on Fire & Rosie Napravnik

Sassy Image wins the Humana
Diva Ash & Kent Desormeaux win the Edgewood

Oaks Day - Pinkage

Twin Spires from the Winner's Circle

Kentucky Oaks - First Time By

Plum Pretty - Ky Oaks champion

That's a wrap.  No big eloquent post about my was was fun...and boy, was it educational.

Pictures Courtesy: Space Gal Enterprises.


ptp said...

Nice pics. Looks like you had a nice time.


Anonymous said...

Little known fact... those guys in the plaid jacket didn't know each other before the picture was taken! :) Who knew a fabric pattern could bring together 4 total strangers? The Derby has a way of doing that! ~ Space Gal

Ernie said...

Someone had a FABULOUS time! From all angles!


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