She's a Handicapper now..and I'm saying "Champagne, Anyone?"

She's a Handicapper now..and I'm saying "Champagne, Anyone?"

Sunday, May 5, 2019


On what to be a wild and wooly trip around the final turn and to "down the stretch they come" territory, the 145th Kentucky Derby had a winner, there were objections to the winner, there was a review of the winner's trip and a subsequent disqualification.

What is this? ACC Women's basketball? All we needed was Jeff Walz, Quentin Hillsman or Wes Moore on the sloppy Churchill surface yelling in Dee Kanter's ear as the officials strode to the sideline table. This was much bigger than that, though. A horse out of control (Maximum Security) appeared to be on a jailbreak of sorts when the field made their final surge around the turn and to the wire. Luis Saez, the jockey on "Max" had him wide, then had him ducking to the rail, the process, interferred with several horses final push down the Churchill stretch .

And, it went to review. 20 minutes of review. Three calls to jockeys from the stewards. Reviewing every possible angle of the scene of question.  And, of course, the inane commentary of the talking heads on the peacock network.

War Of Will could have been your Derby winner if "Max" hadn't cut in front of him, stopped him almost dead in his tracks. Credit jockey Tyler Gaffliaone for keeping his horse upright in what might have been one of the most horrific spills in racing history.

And, the horse that led them all the way is taken down. All the way down. No payout, a call by stewards on two valid objections from veteran race riders...Jon Court, who got  and Tyler.

It was the right call.

And it propelled second place race finisher Country House into first. The first time  Derby had ever been decided that way. The first win ever for local legend Billy Mott. A win for up-and-coming rider Flavien Prat who did the right thing, kept his horse wide in the turn and ran the race of his young life.

This one will be talked about for a very long time, but...stewards have a role, they were called on to perform it and the three did what they are assigned to do.

They made the right call.



I handicapped all 14 races for you (my brain still hurts) and gave you four horses per race. Out of the 56 I picked, 22 of them claimed the 42 "payable" spots. 52% "in the money"

I had seven winners, seven seconds and eight thirds. The winners paid (on a $2 wager) $23.20, $13.20, $23.00, $6.40, $4.20, $13.20 and $9.00.

I did not have the Derby Winner when it was all finally decided. That's the breaks of the game.

I went back to the "$2 across the board" on my four choices per race. That was $24 a race and $336 wagered for the day. Final payouts brought back $ I actually lost $58 on the day.

Any horse player will tell you that you can't bet them all and expect to leave a winner.  I barely did just that on Friday -- showing a profit -- but it came back to get me Saturday. My skills were pretty good through the first eight races and the final two...but that stretch of races 9,10,11 and 12 got me.

Add my 50 cent Derby trifecta box of five horses to the losses and it wasn't the best of days. On a day where weird things were happening and handicapping was basically just as effective and closing your eyes and picking a horse...that's how it goes sometimes.

I'll be back in a couple of weeks to look at the Preakness.


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