I really, really, really love horse racing. It's my secret passion. I still have it in the back of my mind that I can revolutionize the industry (and it desperately needs someone to do so).
The Breeders' Cup is coming up soon about which I am extremely excited. But TVG is having an online handicapping contest today which I'm entering. This is fun because there's a lot of crap horses racing in this contest and it's a challenge to determine who will step up.
Race 1: Delaware Park 6th race - My old home track. $13,000 maiden claiming of horses 3 years old and up. My formulas say the coupling of El Romeo and Edge Appeal are 3-5 favorites. They look suspect to me. El Romeo has raced once since June of 2008 which isn't something you really want to be doing with a horse you paid $300,000 for. Edge Appeal has some interest in that he'll be running at a shorter distance than he has. I like McCuddy, though. Second race for the horse that Tim Ritchey bred, owns and trains.
Race 2: Calder Park 8th race - $27,000 MSW for 2 yr olds at 7 furlongs. Big time crapshoot as some of these horses have not raced and others only have a single race under their belt. Formulas are useless with these races as there is not enough information to make a decision. Tough choice for me between Hellen's Choice and Sky Venture but I'm going with Sky Venture.
Race 3: Meadowlands 8th race - Cliff Hanger Grade III Stakes on turf, 1 1/16 miles. Ugh. The Meadowlands is my worst track ever. I do not hit races there well at all. Thank goodness this is the only race being run there for this competition. The formulas have this as a really close race with Nergal getting a slight nod over Get Serious. Nergal is coming off a long layoff and it is really hard to not want to take a horse where the jockey has already won five stakes races with him. Get Serious is my pick.
Race 4: Back to Delaware for the Blue Hen Stakes. 8th race. 1 1/16 miles for 2 yr old fillies. I like Potosina.
Race 5: Over to Belmont Park for the 8th race, The Flower Bowl Invitational Grade I Stakes. 1 1/4 miles on turf. What a bizarre mix of horses for this race. I'm going out on a limb with this one and taking Criticism. If the turf is firm, I think he's the horse to beat.
Race 6: To Calder for Race 10: $25,000 allowance optional claiming. Mile on the turf. First off, the Sanders family needs to get a clue. They're running Phi Slamma Jamma in this race with a $16,000 claiming tag. This is the 10th straight claiming race that horse has been in since he broke his maiden a year ago. Since then he has not finished better than 6th. The horse wasn't claimed with a $6250 tag. No business being in this race. This is really a two horse race between Trust N Vegas and La Scorpianna. My pick is Trust N Vegas.
Race 7: Philadelphia Park Race 11: $40,000 claiming at a mile and 70. What a sad bunch of horses. Twelve of them makes this race one of those where the "best" horse probably won't win because there's no consistency. I'm going to go with the long shot Nobody.
Race 8: The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational as the 9th race at Belmont. 1.5 miles. Gio Ponti is the best horse by far in this race and he's being coupled with Winchester. Easiest pick of the day.
Race 9: Jockey Club Gold Cup. 1.25 miles at Belmont - 10th race. Man, what a fantastic group of horses in this race. Summer Bird, Macho Again, Dry Martini, Tizway, Quality Road. Quality Road is my pick but anyone could take this.
Race 10: Final race of the tourney is the 11th race at Belmont. Why tracks run a crap race after their premiere race is beyond me but they all do it. Why send everyone home talking about the greats they just saw when they can watch a bunch of claimers? This last race is a mile long MSW on turf. Just shoot me now. I'll take Love and Havoc since Richard Schosberg seems to have a good handle of horses on turf.
Wish me luck.