Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Melancholia over what could have been

a mood of non-specific depression. It is characterized by low levels of enthusiasm and low levels of eagerness for activity.

I am still not getting nearly as fired up for the Breeders Cup as some of my TBA brethren. I am getting there, slowly. The disappointment of so many tragic endings this season weigh heavily on me. No Triple Crown chase when it looked as though we had a real contender in Barbaro. The sudden loss of Saint Liam and with that how many future crops of Triple Crown contenders? The tragedy of Lost in the Fog's lost battle to cancer. And then the little things like my fav, The Tin Man, unable to recover in time for the Breeders Cup and the juve I liked Horse Greeley out with an injury it makes it tough. I am not really a Bernardini fan and I really liked Invasor but a loss of focus down the stretch to the Breeders Cup really leaves me out on a limb in trying to handicap this Saturday's action.
Sure I will watch and make an attempt to pick some winners, and the TBA contest has given me some new life. But I will watch with a little sadness that I hope I can shake off with some really great racing on Saturday and by reading some of the other great TBA blogs who are going to be live in that great crush of humanity that will be Churchill Downs this week-end!

Have a Horsey Halloween!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Beautiful Day at Keeneland

A little foggy, early, but the new tote board and HDTV are absolutely unbelievably crystal clear. Also the new rail is nice. They removed the stepped apron and levelled the apron with the track.

The polytrack. Up close it has every color of the rainbow yet it doesn't look too bad from a distance. The horses hooves racing by are muffled a bit (the difference between a group of kids running in the house on carpeted floors versus wood floors for example). No wonder it is safer since that is a very good indication of the pounding the horses legs are taking. Also, there is of course no "cloud of dust" but more a "misty spray of carpet" being kicked up so not sure how inhaling that stuff will be on the lungs of horses and jockeys but good old dust is not all that healthy either. A couple of other notes on the polytrack, of course closers fared very well which is unusual at Keeneland but some of that can be attributed to the reshaping of the final turn which gives closers more room to close. Also, no water trucks between any races and they only harrowed the track twice duirng the 9 race card. I never noticed any "holes" or bad spots develop as you would often see on the dirt. Also, no falls, spills, missteps or breakdowns and most of the cards had 10+ entries.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Where does the time go?

Pink Floyd's "Time" from their classic "Dark Side of the Moon" album has some lyrics that seem strangely out of place in my life lately. I have not been "frittering and wasting the hours in an offhand way" lately but time to post or even keep up with reading the blogs seems to escape me. Work has been especially challenging as I am a partner in a "side business" and we have a proposal on the table that might make it my "main business" so between that, my regular job, my new found running regimen (I am amazingly up to 25 miles/week and down 30lbs!) my focus on the ponies has waned, especially with my pitiful opening day wagering at Keeneland. But I make a return tomorrow to try and sneak in a mid-week winning streak. I plan on bringing the camera and attempting to document the track improvements and also comment on how impressed I am with the Trackus system and the excitement that adds in my next post. Anyway, here are my win picks, probably toss in some exotics and we'll see.
#4 Rayona to win race KEE Race #1
#12 Opening Dance to win race KEE Race #2
#5 Belgravia to win race KEE Race #3
#10 Altercation to win race KEE Race #4
#2 Queen Colleen to win race KEE Race #5
#9 Chief Commander to win race KEE Race #6
#4 Whatdreamsrmadeof to win race KEE Race #7
#9 Bee Charmer (IRE) to win race KEE Race #8
#8 Angry Pirate to win race KEE Race #9

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Opening Day Picks

alright, hard to say how the track redesign and the polytrack surface will play out but here goes:
Race 1: 1 1/16 3y/o+ Maidens Fillies&Mares
#4 Maizelle WIN (clearly the class of this group)
Race 2: 6 1/2 F 3y/o+
#10 Tequila Party WIN (speed in the race, slight drop in class)
#12 Plunkit
10,12 Exacta
Race 4:
1 1/16 Turf 2y/o Fillies
#3 Bavarian Belle WIN (likes the distance, training well, likes the lead)
Race 5:
7F Maiden 2y/o
#9 What a Tale WIN (turfway park regular who likes the polytrack,Leparoux up)
#12 Glamour Guy
9,12 Exacta
Race 7 Lonshot Play
#4 Dark Obsession (nice outing at Turfway Park, likes distance)
Race 8:
1 1/2 Turf Sycamore Breeders CupStakes $150,000
#6 Louve Royale WIN/PLACE (nice outing, solid works, Leparoux up)
Rained today but should be fast and turf should be good. Sunny and a little cool at 62 as it has been a little warm and humid this week (upper 70's) so the horses should be feeling good and ready to run.....
Good luck to everyone......especially me!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I continue to be a sucker for these contests but I gotta tell you. Last year I finished somewhere in the prizes for this (I picked 6 winners) and got a $250 Gas Card from Citgo. So, you never know. I continue to be dumbfounded by the feature rich web environment going on over at the NTRA website. Whomever is shaking up their on-line presence they are kicking the other sites tails (with the exception of John over at Not to the Swift who continues to dazzle with his wide array of web goodies). Look for my focus, demeanor and outlook on life to abruptly change from mild-mannered, doldrums of late summer horse racing ho-hum to rabid, railbird as Keeneland's entries for Friday are posted, my tickets are in hand and the afternoon has been blocked out to point my Honda Civic down Versailles Road a mere 10 minute drive from work and hit the track around high noon. Look for my brilliant selections for Friday which I will bravely post on Thursday and more than likely change by the time I actually plop down some cash on Friday! Keeneland actually has a really nice online handicapping challenge that is free to play and has some nice prizes althought the best I have ever done is to crack (barely) the top 50 once! If anyone wants to follow at home, my player name is danahejk.