Tag Archives: Aqueduct

Guest interview for Lead Pony Challenge

As some readers may know, I am entered in the Lead Pony Handicapping Challenge against some of the most notable figures in the horse racing media.

The contest requires competitors to select six horses from the cards of seven selected tracks (Aqueduct, Fair Grounds, Gulfstream, Keeneland, Oaklawn, Santa Anita and Tampa Bay). Each horse is given a mythical $2 win-place wager and the player with the most pretend money at the end of the weekend advances.

My first opponent is TVG on-air personality Matt Carothers. The winner of our matchup will likely face handicapping heavyweight Steve Davidowitz, author of more books on racing and betting than I have likely read of every combined genre in the last year.

The tournament is hosted by Molly Jo Rosen and Bruno DeJulio, co-hosts of  Post Parade with the Filly and the Clocker. Prior to each day’s races, the duo interviews the weekend’s competitors and gets their picks.

My matchup kicks off the event this weekend, so I called in earlier today and chatted with the show’s hosts. The highlights of our discussion included a mean-spirited haiku about my opponent, a potential sponsorship deal with Michelin Tires and me bemoaning the fact that the hard-knocking tracks where I excel the most at the windows are noticeably absent from this competition.

To listen to the podcast, click here. My segment comes in around the 33:30 mark.

I will be on again Sunday around noon ET to give my picks for the day’s races. The show is broadcast live on Blog Talk Radio, so keep checking back here to listen to the latest episodes.

In an earlier broadcast, DeJulio assigned me the longest price on the media side of the bracket (20-1) when laying out his morning line odds for the competition. No stranger to being an underdog, I have used this as bulletin board material to reaffirm my status as the scary mid-major of the field – along the lines of college basketball’s Butler University and football’s TCU. Hopefully I can show the world just what a Michigan-bred longshot can do.

UPDATE: I have advanced out of the first round by a score of 276-86. Five of my six picks hit for some kind of payout over the weekend. My next opponent will be Steve Davidowitz, author of such notable books on racing and handicapping as Betting Thoroughbreds and The Best and Worst of Thoroughbred Racing.

I made another appearance on Sunday’s edition of The Post Parade with the Filly and the Clocker with more picks and some back and forth with my opponent, Matt Carothers. I also made the announcement that I will be playing for the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund.

To listen to the podcast, click here. I am in the first segment.



Filed under Commentary

The Haiku Handicapper: 2010 Clark Handicap & Cigar Mile

Clark Handicap

Clark, sales, leftovers
Post-Thanksgiving traditions
The fall meet’s feature

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

#1 – Dubious Miss
Gelding with girl’s name
Dirt looks like his third surface
Steps up at Churchill

#2 – Apart
Stablemate of Blame’s
Could be deja vu for Stall
Hot at the right time

#3 – Successful Dan
Rolls on the fake stuff
But he can ball at Churchill
Could collar leaders

#4 – Giant Oak
Illinois’ finest
Lacked killer instinct this year
Would love a class drop

#5 – Redding Colliery
A lead-grabbing colt
Solid in mid-level stakes
Live if he can last

#6 – Brass Hat
Popular geezer
Better efforts were on turf
Should take bettors’ cash

#7 – Stately Victor
A second-tier soph
Built resume on poly
Outlook’s not rosy

#8 – Win Willy
Gray Oaklawn hero
Faces his toughest challenge
Worth a ticket slot

#9 – Regal Ransom
Break on top or bust
Taking a chance with young jock
Won’t run off with it

#10 – Demarcation
Ack Ack runner-up
Big player in overnight stakes
Graded gets dicey

#11 – Duke of Mischief
Handicap stalwart
Capable of stealing one
In between cold snaps

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Who’s the Clark winner?
Apart separates from foes
Five, three behind him

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Look behind the jump for the Haiku Handicapper’s selections for Saturday’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct.

Continue reading


Filed under The Haiku Handicapper

The Haiku Handicapper: Cigar Mile Recap

Tale of inquiry
Bribon made me look foolish
A new loss to mourn

Leave a comment

Filed under The Haiku Handicapper

The Haiku Handicapper: Hill ‘N’ Dale Cigar Mile Handicap

As promised, here is my 5-7-5 breakdown of tomorrow’s Grade 1 race at Aqueduct. I hope you like it.

If you would like to handicap along, click here.


#1 – Visionaire
Clear sight in Bishop
Mr. Magoo in Jerome
Outlook here? Fuzzy

#2 – Arson Squad
Fizzled on fake stuff
Caught fire in dirt return
He’s the wild card

#3 – Harlem Rocker
Stronach’s Prince winner
Good efforts, not mind-blowing
Super? Sure. Win? Nope.

#4 – Bribon (FR)
Makes a huge step up
This ain’t a mid-week feature
My pick for dead last

#5 – Tale of Ekati
Needed the layoff
Came back strong, but can it last?
Tale of exotics

#6 – Monterey Jazz
Long layoff, long trip
He’s a rock star with Flores
Rust brings sour notes  

#7 – Storm Play
New rider, same name
Undefeated, untested
An upset special? 

#8 – Wanderin Boy
Curlin’s punching bag
Weaker field, shorter distance
This could be his race

#9 – Kodiak Kowboy
Established sprinter
New jockey, longer distance
Too many questions


Who’s in my top three?
Wanderin Boy finds a win
Place: five, Show: seven

Leave a comment

Filed under The Haiku Handicapper