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.