Friday, November 6, 2009

An Afternoon with the Breeders' Cup

Friday afternoon sporting events are tough.  Work, of course, usually gets in the way; but if I'm fortunate enough to be home from work on a Friday afternoon, some of the smaller folks in my life would prefer that they be in charge of the house.  Snack-eating, friend-entertaining and TV-watching folks, and you know what?  That's okay with me on Fridays.  So with four children wrestling, yelling and talking about school (oh yes, one of them had to have a friend over), I tried to watch the Breeders' Cup 2009 at Santa Anita Park.

3:30pm.  Damn it!  For some reason I thought the races started at 3:30 instead of 2pm.  The Breeders' Cup is in California and since when did anything in California start before noon (Pacific Time)?  No matter, I had Races 3-9 to attempt to make racing history.  My online account (it's free and it's legal) was a little low in funds, so I had to pick and choose my spots, but I was confident in my hadicapping.

Race 3

Jmannreview:  Father Time (3-1)
Favorite:  Mastery (7-5)
Winner:  Man of Iron (6-1)

This race is what they call the "Marathon," even though 14 furlongs is approximately one and three quarters miles.  My horse didn't have much run and faded around the quarter pole.  Luckily, I couldn't pull a trigger on a wager, so nothing lost.

Race 4

Jmannreview:  Lillee Langtrey (3-2)
Favorite:  Lillee Langtrey (3-2)
Child #2:  Lillie Langtrey (3-2)
Winner:  Tapitsfly (9-1)

I was able to corral my middle child into making a pick (get it?).  It was clear that he was still bummed out that we didn't go to Foodfest at Suffolk Downs a couple of weeks ago.  We both liked the same horse (note to reader, I gave any younger pickers just a couple of horses to choose from, just so I don't have to wager on some 90-1 stiff because the horse's name was cool).  Unfortunately, the Irish horse was a non factor.  Why choose horses that had to be shipped across the Atlantic and across the country?

Race 5

Jmannreview:  Negligee (9-2)
Child #1:  Blind Luck (7-2)
Favorite:  Blind Luck (7-2)
Winner:  She Be Wild (7-1)

I didn't want to give my oldest child a reason to ask "What's a negligee?" so I didn't even give it to him as a choice.  I picked her despite my review of past performances because all of the TVG guys liked her.  What a washout.  Crowded out in the homestretch and ended up missing the Board.

Race 6

Jmannreview:  Forever Together (2-1)
Favorite:  Forever Together (2-1)
Winner:  Midday (2-1)

There goes my theory of the European horses.  I also lost my first wager of the afternoon.  Hooray!

Rave 7

Jmannreview:  Informed Decision (3-1)
Child #1:  Ventura (4-5)
Child #2:  Ventura (4-5)
Friend #1: Ventura (4-5)
Favorite:  Ventura (4-5)
Winner:  Informed Decision (3-1)

Child #1 explained his pick (Ventura) by declaring that it was almost Veterans' Day and they sound the same.  Good, logical response for a child.  Child #2 and Friend #1 picked Ventura because Child #1 picked her.  Kids, don't be followers.  Be leaders!  This was my pick of the day, evidenced by my "tweet" on October 10.  "RT @jmannreview Informed Decision is the best horse I've seen on turf this year."  I should have wagered a lot more than I did.  But I didn't want to frighten the children if I lost. 

Race 8

Jmannreview:  Music Note (2-1)
Favorite:  Careless Jewel (9-5)
Winner:  Life is Sweet (8-1)

Careless Jewel came out like a shot and had an 8 length lead down the back stretch.  With the possible exception of Secretariat in the 1973 Belmont, this kind of lead doesn't hold up.  And, there goes a fleet of horses to pass her down the back stretch.  Faded late to at least 6th.  I lost track as the pizza was arriving, and I just missed on my win/place wager. 

Not bad.  I ended up winning about $50 even though I only won one bet.  Not only that, but the children seemed enthusiastic about watching this with me.  Just wanted to see if you were still reading about horse racing.  Except for the couple of times that I could pin them down for a pick, they were playing video games or follow the leader.  Like I said though, be a leader, not a follower, kids.       

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