Rosie Napravnik aboard Untapable
Great photo by Steve Queen
Should you see me at the track and be looking for some betting advice heed this warning: Not that I didn't enjoy yesterday's Kentucky Oaks race once it got underway and out the other side of the gate. I thoroughly did! But my top three picks, honestly, could they have done any worse? I mean yes, if you consider that they didn't actually all three place last.
Speaking of which, poor Empress of Midway. I don't know what spooked her in the gate. I couldn't tell how she loaded because the camera broadcasting her loading was fixed on the front-side of the gate. Looked like she went in fine and that the gate crew didn't force her in, from that angle. But once she got in there, started rearing up, I think she's lucky (and the jockey) that she (or he) didn't get seriously injured. I was grateful to see her prancing back to the barn without much adieu. I searched for a favored leg or some slight limping in the replay and thankfully, didn't catch that either. Hopefully, for the O'Neill barn, she'll fare much better than Bond Holder in the aftermath of his ordeal care.
And if you still don't believe me that I have backwards luck when choosing the horses I bet on (Sugar Shock and Fashion Plate, my other top two picks for yesterday finished 8th and 11th.). Don't ask me why?! I thought they'd be able to boost in a little something extra at the end. Unfortunately for Gary Stevens (Fashion Plate) it looked like Fashion Plate had a gate issue, as well. She seemed to get ancy or nervous in the stall and was hopping around a bit. I'm not saying her break looked clean, but she just looked unsettled for a good portion of the run. Like her heart or mind were simply not into it or distracted. In Fashion Plate's defense, I would've been all out of sorts if my friend in the ten slip had issues and then we all had to re-load into our slots too. That's very confusing, all that in, but no race and out.
Not that they shouldn't reload the gate!
My horrible picks yesterday reminded me of a time I was at Del Mar betting on a six horse race. Just a normal stakes', nothing major. Just me having fun, trying to figure out the basics of choosing a horse based on all their stats and the various bits of factual information you can gather on them, should you want to approach the window "well-informed."
I was feeling pretty fancy that day and decided to bet on three horses to come in, in any order of 1, 2, 3. It was a proud moment for me. A big bet! Can you believe those little rascally horses, the ones I laid down money on, came across that wire, 4, 5, 6 (in no particular order). The three horses (OUT OF A SIX HORSE RACE!!!) that I picked, literally came across the line none of them winning, and all three in the non-money spots.
After yesterday, I think I must finally admit it. I don't pick winning horses when I bet. Technically, I mainly blame jockey Mike Smith. He's always showing off on other mounts and stealing my horses' wins. It could also be because all of those horses are so darn pretty that it's hard for me to admit favorites. Especially when they all just seem so happy to be tearing around that track, running alongside their friends. I mean, I know when I get in the company of my good friends...if one of them is wearing some sort of crazy, that-just-is-not-working, shirt (pattern or color combination) I don't dump that friend. I may suggest we only visit dimly lit establishments while we're out together that night? But shun them? Heavens no.
Bottom Line: Should you see me at the track and want to place a bet...either...a) ask somebody else for picks' advice. Or b) bet COMPLETELY OPPOSITE how I do. Do one of those things and you should be good to go.
Congratulations to ROSIE NAPRAVNIK! for taking home the gold riding shotgun on Untapable. Beautiful horse, great run, lots of spirit! There goes that Rosie again...never a dull moment watching her make things happen.
Don't forget to tune in today for the big Kahuna: THE KENTUCKY DERBY!!!
Post time is 6:24 pm est on NBC.
My picks are...ahhh! never mind!
(Insert big smile here...what are you going to do? They're horses. And therein lies the magic of the races. You think you know everything and then you don't know nothing!)
Thanks, horses for reminding me I'm a mere mortal human. We can't all be born equine. What a beautiful world that would be.
Update: Empress of Midway, that gorgeous gal! Apparently, she's as smart as she is beautiful. When she had issues in the gate yesterday, it is now being reported that she had the presence of mind to remain relaxed while awaiting rescue from that dastardly starting gate. Thankfully, she has been given a clean bill of health from Churchill Downs' on-call AAEP vet, Dr. Larry Bramlage. Don't worry, I've already put in an official request to have her run Black Eyed Susan Day, if she's up for it.