Guest interview on Youbet On-Track

At about 3:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon, I got a message from superstar freelancer Claire Novak asking to appear on her podcast, Youbet On-Track, later that night to break down the late Pick 4 at Saratoga. At 5 p.m., I had to be in line for a cage fight.

This led to one of the most furiously-paced ventures of my handicapping career, as I examined four races from a circuit I have barely followed amidst a crowd of people clamoring to see two guys beat the hell out of each other. Plus, I had to make it sound like I knew what I was talking about to a worldwide audience.

Good thing I work well under pressure.

I managed to decipher the races to the best of my ability, took copious notes, and waited cageside for the call to come in. Shortly after the conclusion of one of the undercard bouts, my phone buzzed and I shuffled off to a quiet spot far from the heavy metal music that could be heard from blocks away.

The interview went very well. Claire and I shared stories of Mount Pleasant Meadows with co-host/producer Joe DePaolo and I gave a brief rundown on the state of racing in Michigan. Then we looked at Rachel Alexandra’s campaign leading into Sunday’s Personal Ensign Stakes and examined her chief competitors in the race. After that, I gave my picks and analysis for the remainder of the Pick 4.

Fortunately, I was at the MTOBA Yearling Sale (which I managed to sneak in a plug on the podcast) most of Sunday, so I did not get the opportunity to back up my predictions at the windows. My Pick 4 ticket was cooked by the second race, and I ended up going one for four and losing a pair of heartbreakers in the final two legs.

My shoddy handicapping aside, getting the chance to chat on the air with Claire and Joe was a fantastic time and I am grateful that they gave me the opportunity to do so. I’d be happy for the opportunity to redeem myself in the Handicapper’s Corner anytime – even if it means missing a fight or two.

To listen to my interview on Youbet On-Track with Claire Novak and Joe DePaolo, click here.

To listen to more podcasts with Claire and Joe, click here.


Filed under Story Time

4 responses to “Guest interview on Youbet On-Track

  1. Longshot

    Cancelled a day of racing at Pinnacle for a sale that had 21 hips.

    They could of easily had this sale in the Paddock of Pinnacle. With a Bar-B-Que under the tent. Then those that came to Sale could of enjoyed a day of Racing. Media could of been invited and gave us a opportunity to talk about what’s happening to our Industry.

    No Vision at this track what so ever. All we here is crying and all of us are fed up with it. To say they didn’t have any room there for this Sale???

    DRC had it in Parking lot when there were a 100 horses in the sale. But Pinnacle couldn’t handle 21 in their Paddock?


  2. Longshot

    BTW Joe didn’t mean to forget to say Congrats on the Pod Cast.

  3. mibredclaimer


    I have my doubts as to whether Pinnacle could pull off an undertaking like the yearling sale with its current facilities and economic situation.

    The backstretch is closed to the public (unlike a Keeneland or Fasig-Tipton style sale), so you’d have to bring in temporary stalls, which are costly and require space I don’t see at the track. Unless you put a tent out in the paddock, which would have to be removed by the time the races start, you’d be vulnerable to rain putting a damper on things as well. With the rain we got on two of the last three three sale days, it would have made things very difficult.

    The MSU Pavilion may be a bit of a drive (really, 1 1/2 to two hours from the track isn’t that bad) but it is a nice venue for a sale of this caliber, and it didn’t stop several of the prominent trainers at Pinnacle from coming up.

  4. Longshot

    Joe, the last sale DRC had was outside of the Annexes. And Channel 7 Bill Procter was there about DRC closing and what would happen to all these horses. I was always angered that they didn’t approach the story from the perspective of what was going to happen to us. The people who worked in the Industry in Mi.

    And the Back Side was open to the Public that day. This sale could of also easily been had just inside of Stable Gate opening near rail. Stalls being in the Ship in Barn. At DRC barn closest to the West Stable Gate entrance was used. Horses were were walked outside of that gate to come inside the closure in the West Corner of parking lot. A tent would of been the least of all worries.

    But it requires WORK, Planning and Responsibility. That is what it boils down to. Pinnacle is unwilling in all these areas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s