She's a Handicapper now..and I'm saying "Champagne, Anyone?"
Thursday, October 29, 2015
WE gave you six out of the nine winners in our Saturday Selections. We kept it simple and just did win wagers on our top four picks. We lost about $30 there...but Paulie and the consortium he wagered with won a PK3 worth almost $200 and a PK4 that yielded almost $800.
BREEDERS CUP SATURDAY SELECTIONS
( A Friday recap. We gave you three winners out of the four races and a nice PK 3. We barely missed the PK 4 and also had two exactas. LEt's hope the success continues today!)
OK. The smoke has cleared, wadded-up sheets of paper taken to the garbage can and I've had enough coffee (and other stuff) to float the QE II.
With no further adieu...Paulie's PICKS for Saturday BREEDERS CUP
HANDS WINERY JUVENILE FILLIES
10 - SONGBIRD
8 - DOTHRAKI'S QUEEN
7 - NICKNAME
2- TAP TO IT
Longshot Special: 4- MA CAN DO IT..
Notes: SONGBIRD has done little wrong in her promising career and Mike Smith is "money" on a live one like her.
3 - UNDRAFTED
5- LADY SHIPMAN
2- BOBBY'S KITTEN
12- READY FOR RYE
Longshot Special : 2 - BOBBY'S KITTEN
Notes: Six furlongs on the turf is where this sprinter belongs and will give owner Wes Welker a chance to "make it rain" up in the Clubhouse. Dettori gets the ride. Dangerous.
FILLY AND MARE SPRINT
11 - JUDY THE BEAUTY
10 - KISS TO REMEMBER
2 - DAME DOROTHY
14 - CAVORTING
Longshot Special : 9 - SWEET WHISKEY
JUDY THE BEAUTY won this race last year and gets Dettori on board. Honestly, this is a tough race...if you've got the "pockets"...hit the "ALL" button here for PK3 and PK4.
FILLY AND MARE TURF
11 - STEPHANIE'S KITTEN
7 - WATSDACHANCES
12- SECRET GESTURE
3 - LEGATISSIMO
Longshot special: 7- WATSDACHANCES
The top three I have selected here finished within a head of each other last time they faced...Watsdachances getting the win after a injury/objection. STEPHANIE'S KITTEN got checked hard in the stretch and with a clean trip today...she'll purr to the line first.
5 - RUNHAPPY
13 - PRIVATE ZONE
10 - SALUTOS AMIGOS
8 - WIDE DUDE
Longshot Special : 2- KOBE'S BACK
Notes: 4 for 4 and Prado on board? I hope she 'runs happy' and I can get 3-1 on this one.
9 - ESOTERIQUE
7 - TEPIN
5 - IMPPASSABLE
1 - GRAND ARCH
Longshot Special : 4 - MONDIALISTE
Notes: I could easily change my mind here and go with TEPIN but European horses do well in turf mile races and ESOTERIQUE stays just off the pace and ram-jets home in the final quarter. Good enough for me.
7 - BRODY'S CAUSE
3 - GREENPOINTCRUSADER
12 - SWIPE
10 - RAILS
Longshot Special : 5- COCKED AND LOADED
Notes: BRODY'S CAUSE looks ready and will like the short Keeneland stretch
7 - BIG BLUE KITTEN
6 - TWILIGHT ECLIPSE
4 - SLUMBER
1 - GOLDEN HORN
Longshot Special: 11 - RED RIFLE
Notes: Tough to separate these four. I'll take a stand with BIG BLUE KITTEN but any of these four wouldn't surprise
2 - KEEN ICE
4 - AMERICAN PHAROAH
1 - TONALIST
3 - FROSTED
Longshot Special: 5 - GLENEAGLES
Notes: KEEN ICE did it at Saratoga over AMERICAN PHAROAH and I think the horse is still peaking. As Steely Dan says..."get back Jack and do it again."
Good luck today and enjoy the racing!
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
FOUR RACES START BREEDERS CUP FOR FRIDAY
RECAP: We had three winners in the four races and hit a PK 3. Narrowly missed the late PK 4. Based on that, we'll look forward to a much harder card Saturday.
Four of the 13 Breeders Cup races will take place on Friday.
Here's who we like:
BREEDERS CUP JUVENILE TURF
(13) Cymric has ruled in European racing and the Euros do well in Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Races. (7) Ray's The Bar was blocked in the stretch in his last while charging hard and will improve. Castellano returns and that's a big plus. (8) Airoforce took her last at Keeneland in impressive fashion and Leparoux returns as the rider. (3) Manhattan Dan should be in the mix when they turn for home and should appreciate the distance. Albarado rides well on the Keeneland Turf.
Longshot? (12) Camelot Kitten is as good as any of these
LAS VEGAS DIRT MILE
We're trying to beat the probable odds-on betting favorite here and (9) Tapiture is our choice to do it. He ran second in this race last year and Goldencents...who outlasted him...isn't in this race . Let's take a chance. (3) Liam's Map will get the betting interests and Castellano/Pletcher look awfully tough in this spot. (8) Wicked Strong should be moving well at the end and if the speed falls apart...who knows? (5) Lea could be dangerous here also and can't be counted out. Lezcano/Mott do well at distance affairs.
Longshot? Look at (1) Red Vine if you're getting offered 10-1 or longer. Joel Rosario aboard...enough said
JUVENILE FILLIES TURF
A real tough call here for me between (8) Harmonize and (7) Sapphire Kitten. They ran 1-2 at Keeneland earlier this month with just a head up for Harmonize at the wire making the difference, (4) Catch A Glimpse looms as the main threat if these two falter and (10) Illuminate is a nice looking European filly that gets Frankie Dettori's services.
Longshot? (14) Last Waltz gets a rough post position but Castellano knows the track and the horse.
(7) Wedding Toast looks to be the best, especially after her last effort in New York. (8) Curalina chased her home in that one and will probably do the same in this one for Todd Pletcher. (4) Stopchargingmaria is another Pletcher horse that will run well here. (12) Got Lucky has a tough post to overcome but rates a legitimate shot and is another Pletcher horse.
Longshot? (14) Sheer Drama another runner that got killed by the post draw but if the odds hit 10-1 on her, I'll take a shot.
(I loved Untapable in this race but Steve Asmussen scratched her because of a fever.)
Bet 'em however you feel...I'll try a few exacta and trifecta combinations and PK3 and PK4 attempts.
Good luck on these four Friday races...we'll be back Thursday with a look at the nine Saturday Breeders Cup events.
Friday, October 16, 2015
For the third time in my life...I am dealing with the death of a family member. This time it is my mother-in-law. Diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, her days are numbered and any chance of "beating it" are non-existent. At this point, it's a matter of when.
To see the change in Amy (or Toots...as I call her) is devastating.
The frequent gasping for breath due to her diminished lung capacity. The end of her independence and freedom to do what she wants whenever she wants. The anxiety attacks because of the fear and the physical restraints. The long hospital stay and subsequent rehabilitation process.
Death sucks this way.
I went through it with both my parents. I guess I'm prepared for it. My wife Sonya went through both of those long, slow and cruel cessations with me but this one is different. It's her Mom.
Hospice has been mentioned. She has a list of medications and treatment the length of a grocery shopping list. Home health care and breathing treatments. You get the picture.
Still, in this rapid decline and slow deterioration...there remains a fiercely independent and stubborn woman. Maybe it's because she has been on her own since the early eighties. Maybe it's because she refuses to go gently into that good night. For 35 years...she set the schedule. Now, the schedule is set by her abilities...not her desires.
It's hard to watch. It's hard to be strong. It's hard to accept...but eventually that long train comes around the bend. That final card is played and that last light is turned off.
I worked 40 hours a week in 1998 and 2006 when my parents passed away. Drove in from Lexington to spend the final five hours of my mother's life in a hospital bed. Her final words were:
"I think I'm ready to go to the mountains."
The final thing she heard was my father talking to her on the phone. She sighed...and the breathing stopped.
My Dad's ordeal was longer and more painful to endure. A trip to the emergency room because of bowel blockage. An admission to the hospital where pneumonia and sepsis set in. An induced coma and those final hours when he was brought out of it to see if he could breath and to see if there was any recognition left. He could not and there was not.
I don't want to go that way. Hanging on, lingering on. Slowly slipping away.
And, I won't.
When that curtain is opened and I receive the news that my performance will be ending soon...I will double the efforts to live. The bucket list will be enacted. I will go out, if at all possible, with the same bravado, swagger and amicable demeanor that has shaped these almost 60 years.
I just hope that final chapter is a long time away. There is so much more I want to see, to experience.
Sykes men (my father, uncles) have all lived into their nineties plus. I want to join that club.