Tag Archives: ThoroFan

The Haiku Handicapper: 2011 Kentucky Derby

First and foremost, if you would like a more detailed analysis of the Kentucky Derby field, I wrote 5,000 words on the race over on ThoroFan.com for its “Handicapper’s Corner”. If you can find a more detailed breakdown of the Kentucky Derby field, you read it.

Please note, the ThoroFan analysis was written prior to Friday’s scratch of Uncle Mo, who factored into my exotic tickets, thus my picks are a little outdated. For the sake of discussion, let’s replace him with another horse who might have an advantage in the second wave of front-runners, Pants on Fire.

If you prefer a short, punchy breakdown of the field in a 5-7-5-syllabled parameter, you have come to the right place. Best of luck on all of your wagers today.

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#1 – Archarcharch
Arkansas leader
Snuck up on folks at Oaklawn
Must overcome post

#2 – Brilliant Speed
Turf, synth specialist
Dirt efforts not so brilliant
Nice horse, not his spot

#3 – Twice The Appeal
Has the Borel bump
Super ticket needs longshots
He fits the profile

#4 – Stay Thirsty
Mo’s tag-team partner
Has shown tendencies to wilt
When placed in big spots

#5 – Decisive Moment
Got in the gate with
Minor checks in rich races
Decide against him

#6 – Comma To The Top
Derby Fever strikes
Wobbles coming down the stretch
Not the spot for him

#7 – Pants On Fire
Rosie’s rose runner
Earns his keep out on the lead
That’s a tall task here

#8 – Dialed In
Mud-in-face closer
Lone big horse to deliver
In his last big prep

#9 – Derby Kitten
Late to the party
Distance, surface, class concerns
They’re asking a lot

#10 – Twinspired
Another synth horse
Improving, but still outmatched
Not inspiring

#11 – Master Of Hounds
Foreign invader
Prior form offers few hints
On how he’ll perform

#12 – Santiva
Light soph schedule
History does not bode well
For last-prep clunkers

#13 – Mucho Macho Man
Well-traveled and tough
Qualities you like to see
In a Derby horse

#14 – Shackleford
None saw him coming
In Florida Derby scrape
Won’t go unchallenged

#15 – Midnight Interlude
Raw, rising talent
First start out of comfort zone
Hard place to have it

#16 – Animal Kingdom
Won the Spiral Stakes
Even connections seem tense
About his dirt form

#17 – Soldat
Went from chalk to dust
After dull Gulfstream effort
Needs to prove his grit

#19 – Nehro
Standing room only
On deep closer’s bandwagon
Can he find the line?

#20 – Watch Me Go
Tampa Bay shocker
Barely sparked in Illinois
Hard to expect much

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

Glory’s on the line
Can you hear Dialed In now?
One, seven and three

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Filed under The Haiku Handicapper, Triple Crown

Holy Bull Stakes preview for ThoroFan

Once again, I have been called into duty by the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance to pontificate my handicapping wisdom on the ThoroFan website for this Sunday’s Holy Bull Stakes (G3).

My analysis is often long-winded (this one is 2,514 words long), but I went three for four picking winners in ThoroFan’s Handicapper’s Corner last year, including a dead-on call of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) stretch drive and the giving out of 20-1 shot Exhi in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G2). Eventually, it seems I get to some good stuff.

So as not to give away any spoilers, I will not reveal here who I picked to win Gulfstream Park’s first graded Kentucky Derby prep of 2011, but I will say that if it all goes as planned, it should cash a nice ticket or two.

To read my picks and analysis for the Holy Bull Stakes, click here.

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Filed under Commentary, Triple Crown

Making the most of 2010: A look back on the year

The days leading up to New Year’s Eve offer a time for reflection on the year gone by.

For most, doing so may conjure up a roller coaster of memories, recollections, emotions and perhaps scars. Some will find they have made the most of the year, while others might discover that they have done very little with the last 365 days.

After doing some searching of my own, I have no problem staking my claim in the former group.

I often carry massive stacks of photo albums and other mementos in my vehicle because I always assume people do not believe me when I tell them the stories of my adventures. To save time and space, I have compiled some of the highlights of my 2010 into a handy bulleted list of links to posts of those stories.

Even after putting it into an itemized list, it boggles my mind that I experienced all of this in a lifetime, much less in one year. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I am a lucky son of a gun.

Let’s have a look at some of the things that have gone down since this time last year.

In the year 2010 I…

Said goodbye to the man who got me into this whole mess in the first place.
Watched the Michigan Gaming Control Board slash the state’s race dates.
Checked two tracks off my wish list.
Watched the Michigan Gaming Control Board slash the state’s race dates again.
Was told to get out of Michigan by Chris McCarron at Keeneland Race Course.
Followed a colt with Michigan ties through the Keeneland Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale.
Gave out 20-1 winner Exhi in my ThoroFan Handicapper’s Corner preview of the Coolmore Lexington Stakes.
Drove off the beaten path to chase the Fortune 6 wager at Beulah Park…And was promptly dumped out by the second leg.
Wrote some haikus for Claire Novak’s NTRA blog.
Lost a Kentucky Derby pin collecting contest against Dr. Sale Guru Emily.
Got pelted by a flying mint julep on Kentucky Oaks day.
Roamed the backstretch to gather quotes after the Kentucky Derby.
Went to Mount Pleasant Meadows a lot.
Hosted racetrack bucket-lister Tom Miscannon during his visit to Michigan.
Suited up in the box seats at Arlington Park.
Broke down a Pick 4 while waiting in line for a cage fight, then did a phone interview about my selections during an intermission for Claire Novak’s Youbet On-Track podcast.
Watched the next generation of Michigan-breds go through the sale ring.
Ate, bet and drove my way through Hoosier Park, Ellis Park, Riverside Downs, The Red Mile and River Downs, which earned the attention of Jennie Rees’ blog.
Severely underestimated the popularity of racing in Montana at Yellowstone Downs.
Played blackjack and the Quarter Horses at Prairie Meadows.
Live blogged the Indiana Derby on-site at Hoosier Park.
Partied with Bo Derek, Toby Keith. Encountered Kentucky’s governor. Visited champion mare Zenyatta in her stall.
Witnessed one of the greatest races in the history of the sport – The Breeders’ Cup Classic – Even if the outcome wasn’t what we had all hoped.
Got to pet Zenyatta, cover breaking news in the Churchill Downs press box.

I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis…Stay thirsty, my friends.

Okay, perhaps that last statement is not entirely accurate, but it seemed like the right thing to say at the time.

Later today, my travels will take me to Turfway Park. Once there, I will have been to every still-active track I have ever visited within the 2010 calendar year…If that makes any sense. Turfway was the last track I visited in 2009 as well, so it is fitting to bring everything full circle.

This year has been, without a doubt, the most memorable ride of my life. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who shared in my adventures over the last 12 months at the races, in the press box, in meetings, at parties, on the road, on this site and all points in between. You are the ones who make all these stories worth telling, be it as a reader or an active participant.

Now let’s try to carry some of this good mojo into 2011, shall we?

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Filed under Commentary, Mount Pleasant Meadows, Story Time, Triple Crown

Sanford Stakes preview for Thorofan

Once again, I have been called into service to handicap one of the weekend’s feature races for horse racing fan site Thorofan.com.

Currently, my record stands at a perfect two-for-two in picking the winner of my assigned race for Thorofan’s Handicapper’s Corner, including 19.90-to-one shot Exhi in the Lexington Stakes (I’m going to brag about that one for a long time). This time around, my mission was to break down Sunday’s Sanford Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

The Sanford is one of the first graded stakes tests in the country for two-year-olds, so I did not have much to go by in terms of on-track performance. The only horse in the field I had any real prior knowledge on was Kentucky Juvenile winner Lou Brissie. In all honesty, when it comes to two-year-olds, I’m probably a more useful handicapper with Quarter Horses.

With that said, the Sanford should be an entertaining race and I look forward to seeing if I can keep my run of good fortune going on Sunday.

To see my analysis of the Sanford on Thorofan, click here.

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Filed under Stakes Races

New York Stakes preview for Thorofan

Once again, I have been called upon to represent the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance in its quasi-weekly segment on the Thorofan website, Handicapper’s Corner.

My assignment for this installment was Saturday’s New York Stakes at Belmont Park. The field is rather small, but it is open enough to offer some decent prices on horses with a real shot at making money.

As regular readers may recall, my previous contribution to Handicapper’s Corner was a rousing success, when Exhi wired the Coolmore Lexington Stakes field at odds of 19.90-to-one. Hopefully that good mojo can carry over into this Saturday’s race.

To view my New York Stakes predictions on Thorofan, click here.

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Lexington Stakes preview for ThoroFan

Can Bushwhacked parlay his maiden victory earlier this month into a win in the Lexington Stakes? Check out my analysis on ThoroFan to find out.

I am still chipping away at my post about the Keeneland Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, so look for that early next week, along with a look back at my stop at Beulah Park.

Until then, be sure to check out my preview for the Coolmore Lexington Stakes on Thorofan’s Handicapper’s Corner.

Check back every week or so as a different member of the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance breaks down one of the showcase graded stakes races on that weekend’s card.

I got the chance to interview ThoroFan chairman Michael Amo for a story about newly-created fan initiatives back when I interned with the Thoroughbred Times. It pleases me greatly to see the strides ThoroFan has made in the time since then, and I am honored for the opportunity to contribute to its website.

There does not appear to be an option for leaving comments on the ThoroFan page, so if anyone wants to discuss the Lexington Stakes, my picks or anything else related to the race, they can do so here.

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Filed under Stakes Races, Triple Crown