Tag Archives: Fair Grounds

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: Louisiana Derby Recap

Mud can’t douse Fire
Any doubts are up in smoke
Jones has a new ace

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Filed under The Haiku Handicapper, Triple Crown

The Haiku Handicapper: Louisiana Derby

Four big Derby preps
Picture should clear, bubbles burst
Or bring more questions
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

#1 – Free Country
Ran flat as the chalk
Shifts west from Tampa letdown
Great works, bounce back race? 

#2 – Soul Warrior
Failed class test last start
Did well with jock as maiden
Likely also-ran 

#3 – Patena
A wiseguy favorite
Will Dutrow bump strike again?
I’ll let him beat me 

#4 – Terrain
Plagued by long layoffs
The Jackpot flattered no one
Doubt he’s sharp enough 

#5 – Flying Pegasus
Fifth race, fourth jockey
Like him, but distance concerns
Could win, could fade back 

#6 – Giant Oak
Nightmare trip last out
New rider, Prado got canned
Bubble horse needs win 

#7 – Uno Mas
Asmussen’s best shot
Shows up, but behind elite
Would have to step up

#8 – Papa Clem
Runs big with Rafi
Pro-Ride to dirt worked last week
Could be worth a play 

#9 – Friesan Fire
The field’s marquee name
No respect despite big wins
Due for a flameout? 

#10 – Nowhere to Hide
Dual entered elsewhere
Will start at Tampa instead
Put a line through him

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

My tri ticket is…
Papa Clem pulls the upset
Squeaks by the nine, three


Filed under The Haiku Handicapper, Triple Crown