A Different Kind of Barn
Everyone has our assurances and personal guarantee that this award-winning hockey site will not evolve/devolve into a horse racing blog, but with our team’s sudden departure from the playoffs and Saturday afternoon’s event that features the ‘Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports’ (No – NOT the Caps’ PP), we want to spread our
wings hoofs a little and share what’s always been a key date on the calender in our home – Derby Day.
The smartest handicappers in the world (Hi Andy Beyer!) still get crushed at the windows and we’ve certainly had our share of bad days, but as the old railbird saying goes, “The next best thing to a winning day at the track is a losing day at the track.”
Despite our spotty and considerably suspect handicapping, for the 12th year running, the good folks over at the HOTLINE have come to us asking for our Triple Crown picks. We’re happy to share the stage with such distinguished Beltway race trackers as Jack Germond, Jim Dornan, and Carl Cannon.
We’re delaying publication of this to honor the National Journal’s embargo, but also saving our readers the $5,000.00 annual HOTLINE subscription fee (Hi David Bradley!) And under the heading of hockey makes for strange bedfellows, a new Caps pal of our is on the staff over there. Who knew!
“One of the best Hotline traditions continues. For over 15 years, the Hotline has been the exclusive home for legendary political journalist/horse handicapper Jack Germond’s Triple Crown picks. As with all great handicappers, he (and the Hotline) only remembers the years he was right. Also making their annual picks for us: GOP strategist/lobbyist/horse owner Jim Dornan, RealClearPolitics’s Carl Cannon, and Edelman’s media relations VP Craig Brownstein.
Germond: “Assuming he isn’t a late scratch, I’m going with Uncle Mo and bet on him to hold off late charges from Dialed In and Nehro. If he doesn’t run, I’ll put Nehro on top. If I’m wrong, I will go to the blackboard and write 25 times: ‘Donald Trump is a serious person.'”
Dornan: “How many times recently have I said that this is the most wide open Derby in years? Yet again, there is no standout out pick in the Run for the Roses. This year’s field, however, contains a lot of early speed, so the opportunity for a classic Derby ‘big run’ at the end is good. Archarcharch (10-1) and Nehro (6-1) finished 1-2 in the Arkansas Derby, which may have been the best prep race this year. Dialed In (4-1) closed huge in the Florida Derby and looks to be the best of the bunch. Animal Kingdom (30-1) closed well in his last race and has the speed figures that can hold up in this group. Box the four of them in an exacta.”
Brownstein: “Now that the Caps season is over, I can finally concentrate on the Run for the Roses and crushing the trifecta. This year’s Derby field appears as uninspiring and lackluster as the GOP 2012 contenders – think of them as 20 Mitch Daniels but with fuller manes – yet one of them has to hit the wire first. Disciplined bettors know to shy away from hunch plays, but with this field there’s one runner I can’t avoid: Soldat (12-1). He’s got my grandmother’s (a Louisville native) nickname, and Saturday’s possible wet surface could suit him well. For the place I’m going long with Animal Kingdom (30-1). He likes the dirt and has been training well. For the show spot I’ll use Archarcharch (10-1). But far more important than cashing a fat ticket on Saturday is seeing all the horses and jocks make it home safely. Good luck players.”
Cannon: “This Kentucky Derby has more entrants than the 2012 GOP presidential field, and it’s harder to handicap. I’m not comparing the colt to Mitt Romney or anything, but as a 2-year-old, Uncle Mo looked like a potential Triple Crown winner, but racing in his most recent start, the heavily favored horse underachieved, finishing third in the Wood Memorial. Uncle Mo’s handlers explained that he had a gastrointestinal infection, which he’s still battling, and he might not even race on Saturday. I know Secretariat finished poorly in his Wood prep, too, but it’s hard to run around the block with a bad stomach ache, let alone gallop the 1.25 mile oval at Churchill Downs. So I’m betting on the other favorite, Dialed In, winner of this year’s Florida Derby. I attended that race, cashed a ticket, and am sticking with him. As a loyal Californian, I’ll also pair this colt in exactas with Midnight Interlude, the Santa Anita Derby winner, and fill out my trifecta tickets with Archarcharch and Nehro, two closers with tough post positions.”
Play these picks at your own risk. Good luck players.