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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Around The Horn

Time to take a spin around the horn, but first, whatever happened to Randall Tex Cobb?

We'll weave you in and out of some of my favorite and recent topics (horse racing and otherwise).....

Jeremy Lin. You've heard the puns over hundred times, but what this kid is doing to the NBA for the past five games is what legends are made of. Will he end up being the Mark "The Bird" Fidrych flash in the pan or will he become the next great thing in the NBA.  130 points in his first five games puts him in some lofty company, more than anyone in the modern era, and you can bet there are some legends in there.  My guess is he ends up somewhere in between, but man, you gotta love what he's doing in the short term. Sit back, stay up and watch, as it will make you suffer from Linsomnia, as you won't be able to keep your eyes off his cross-over.

Road to the Roses (aka RttR).  The annual Derby fantasy contest is open for business. I make the same mistakes every year picking horses that run on the same weekends, don't spread the wealth over the various races that you can accumulate points in, etc.  Why would this year be any different? Ok, maybe I'll bear down and get er done this year.

Luck. Been through two episodes and it has me interested so far. The difference is, I'm watching it as entertainment and not as an obsessed horse racing fan. The characters are interesting, there are some big name actors and a buzz outside of our little horse racing niche is talking about racing. In fact, one of my former partners called me to ask me to explain claiming races to him. I did my best, but also pointed him to the Hello Race Fans site that is helping out viewers who don't quite get the racing terminology. Like I said, I'm  watching from an entertainment point of view, a show in the old Sopranos time slot that just happens to be around a sport I love and understand the lingo. Bonus points. I'm going to keep watching and not let little things bother me about it.

Derby preps. I'm determined to find value in this year's prep races. Favorites rarely win these races as horses mature and can improve greatly over their 2-year old campaigns. We've already seen two heavy favorites in Hansen and Liaison go down this year. If there are races to stay away from the chalk and find a price horse, these are it.

Donn Day. Sloppy track, soft turf does not make a good Space bet. I'm glad I wagered little for this early in the season tyring to figure out a sloppy Gulfstream surface is not for me. The handicap division looks to be one that is Game On Dude's for the taking based on the efforts in Florida. I did have Hymn Book in my Pick Four (based on taking a second look after hearing Steve Byk rave about him), but that was about it for my day. I did much better wagering last weekend on the fast and firm surfaces. I need to learn to pick my spots on a sloppy day.

The Cuse. Making a special trek next week for the South Florida game and pretty excited to see the second-ranked Orange up close and personal. I'm especially excited to see the magic of Dion Waiters who is having a superb sophomore season and reminds me of a young Michael J (really). They are deep enough to make a run at the title, but they showed last night that they are fully capable of an off night. The good thing is they showed the resiliency to win when things weren't going their way while getting the Pitino monkey off their backs. A #1 seed sure would help the cause and hopefully they don't burn out in the Big East tourney, should they go deep into that one.

Chantal's Retweets. Speaking of Dion, the Syracuse twitterati have a running gag about Dion's obsessive (or excessive) re-tweeting after a game. Our timelines explode with twitter accounts we have never seen before -- all begging for the treasured Dion retweet. Well, we have our own little re-tweeter in the horse racing world, and she seems to love to RT every fan who shows her the love after a big race. Brace yourself, race twits, the Chantal RT is coming to a timeline near you.

Animal Kingdom. Hopefully he redeems the newly graduated 4-year old class who faltered badly in the Donn last weekend when he tries the turf in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Stakes on Feb. 25. He's supposedly pointed at the $10M Dubai World Cup, so the racing world's eyes will be squarely focused on his upcoming effort in Tampa. He's never run on Tapeta, the Meydan surface, but turf horses seem to run well on it at nearby  Presque Isle Downs, so maybe he'll thrive on it. [UPDATE 2/15: Looks like AK is scheduled for an allowance race at GP this Saturday (2/18) on the turf at 1 1/16-miles]



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