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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Let's Get the Teens Started!

Ok, so we're about to usher in a new decade and since 70% of the next decade ends in "teen" I've decided to call it the's better than the Aughts or the Double Zeros or whatever the heck this decade was known as. So what are we hoping for here in the Space Station for 2010? I'd give you a month by month blow by blow prediction journal, but that's not here goes nothin':

2010: The Year of the Dude. That's right racing fans, hope you got your fill of the Year of the Filly last year (all due respect to Rach, Zen & Linda), cuz we're gonna be back. Not only will the COLTS behind Peyton Manning win the Super Bowl, but the colts will be back in full force to take back the Preakness, Haskell, Woodward and Classic. Mark it's redemption time fellahs. I've posted my last Powerpuff Girls pic.

2010: A Post-Time Favorite Wins the Derby. It's been awhile (Smarty Jones -2004) since we've had a post-time favorite win the Kentucky Derby, I'd say the odds are with us here. [Correction: Thanks to editor Derosa for alerting me to 2007 & 2008 PT favs Street Sense and Big Brown - looks like this is a decent bet]

2010: No Triple Crown Weather Issues. I spent some time with the Farmers' Almanac and it's looking good for the first and third Saturdays in May and the first Saturday in June. Mark it down. Was there a worse weather year for the big races than 2009? Stick that in your Tomlinson.

2010: A Sub Four Hour Trek to the Spa. I had my opportunities in 2009, but one Ford Focus driven by a 200 year old lady spoiled my best chance on Route 50 coming out of Ballston Spa in mid August and construction on the Thruway at Port Byron thwarted chance #2. Drat. Like every Cubs fan knows....there's always next year.

2010: No Triple Crown Winner.....again. I even flipped my tarot cards a second time (so I cheated a little), but no dice. It's just too hard for these brittle 3yo's in too short a recovery time to do it. The racing lords will never change this for the better and stretch out the time between the races and even take advantage of a holiday weekend or two (Memorial Day and 4th of July for those without calendars). Having the Preakness on Memorial Day weekend would be cool, give the horses an additional couple weeks rest and maybe a bigger field. I see how the NHL is trying to make New Years' Day "their holiday" with a 3rd straight Winter Classic....that's good branding and marketing.

2010: NTRA Accreditation % is Perfect. This one is a mortal lock.

2010: The National Pick 4 Returns. When I was first starting out following this sport, the National Pick 4 on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon was a way to get involved with betting different tracks and races with Free Past Performances at the NTRA website. We need this back in the fold and pulled from the cobwebs.

2010: Rachel Alexandra Loses. In the Year of the Dude, it's bound to happen. This is the shakiest of my propositions, because she's that good. But, keeping up a similar campaign to the end of her 2009 calendar (facing males and older horses) will be difficult to sustain her current win streak. If I had to project a race she may struggle with: Stephen Foster at Churchill in June.

2010: Lava Man and Brett Favre retire. Until August, that is.

2o1o: Wile E. Coyote gets the Roadrunner. Tastes like chicken.


Derek said...

I would love to see the National Pick 4 return. It was such a great bet and added some more excitement to the ESPN races.

It would also add more interest to the handicapping element of ESPN's coverage so that novices can learn they don't have to just play "the hammer's" $120 three-horse exacta boxes.

Unknown said...

Post time favorites who have won the Derby since 2004:

Street Sense in 2007
Big Brown in 2008

That's two out of the last five or 40%, which is more than the national average.

The_Knight_Sky said...

I second the emotion on the National Pick 4. But still why can we not have at least one wagering pool that is set at 10% takeout?

The all-stakes National Pick Four is a terrific idea if implemented with a level of pricing and television coverage. Thoroughbred Racing should be able to buy time on air now that Billy Mays has left us.

Any half-hearted approaches should not even be attempted. Go for the gusto NTRA !

Gene Kershner said...

Derek/TKS: The Nat'l P4 was a late addition to the post after I read Waldrop's latest wish list for 2010, which did not include the Nat'l P4. This is one of those marketing opportunities lost to teach newbies how to handicap and play a multi-race exotic with TV coverage to boot.

ED: Thanks for the correction, my copy editor and fact checker is on vacay this week. Thanks for filling in!

Pulverized Concepts said...

The triple crown is basically mythical. Maybe it's important from a media standpoint or to generate racing excitement but the reality is that other 3 year old races are pretty important as well. The Florida Derby, Bluegrass, and Travers, for instance. And, for all its fame, the Kentucky Derby just hasn't reinforced its cachet with money. One of these days somebody is going to put up a bigger purse on the same date and owners and trainers might move their tack to another location.


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