Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Blonde Moment


One of my co-workers today commented upon how he prefers brunettes to blondes. Hmm. I suspect it had to do with the fact that he was addressing two brown-haired gals. Of course, then he went off about how the hot Latinas are his favorite. (If one more male of the species admits that to me, my head will explode!)

But, maybe it's that "passionate" stereotype about Latinos. I knew a women who dated a Hispanic woman, and that "hot little tamale" told her, their first night after love-making, "If you leave me, I'm going to track you down and keeeeelll you!" making stabbing gestures in the air. Face flushed, she was serious. My friend said, mesmerized, "Here's the ring. I hope you like it!"

Still, I can understand a thing for a strong woman. I married one.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Harry Connick, Jr. Worked Out At My Gym

... And he's actually a pretty buff dude! He brought in his own personal trainer, of course. THAT guy was enormous. He looked like a younger version of Charles Glass (for you bodybuilders out there). He had dreads down to his hips practically, and biceps the size of footballs! It looked like he gave Harry a decent workout. I was making a concerted effort to not stare, but sometimes I couldn't help following what they were doing because at one point, I was sitting right next to them when I was in front of the free weight rack, doing Arnold presses with hammer curls. Later on, Harry was at the preacher bench (he commenced with a 45-lb plate, in case you're interested), and I was at the pec machine doing reverse flyes, so, I was directly facing him and he was 5 feet away. No worries, he's not a wimp. His trainer added another 25 lb plate and he curled those too (well ... with a little help from his trainer through the sticking points).

That's the cool thing about my gym. We get the celebrities when they come into town. (Brad Paisley apparently came into our gym last week, but I missed that one as he came in when I wasn't working.) 'Cause the truth is, have you ever seen a hotel gym that was worth anything?

I was also pleasantly surprised to see that only one gym member came up to Harry to fawn and say hello and disturb his workout. Harry was gracious, but I was glad no one else did that. Celebrities are harassed enough as it is.

Harry's music isn't really my cup of tea, but I think he's a talented actor (man, he can play a hillbilly psycho like nobody else!) and I do like his Christmas album. And he's cute (and this comes from a gal who plays for the other team.)

Fred Phelps Blasts "Bastard Abomination Baby Cheney"

It's difficult to believe this guy's not really trying to parody the Taliban or something. 'Cuz his beliefs are much the same. The Rev. Fred Phelps sure does have a potty mouth, too. I'm sure his toothless vitriol is exactly what Jesus meant by "love your neighbor."

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Onion

Study: 38 Percent Of People Not Actually Entitled To Their Opinion

CHICAGO—In a surprising refutation of the conventional wisdom on opinion entitlement, a study conducted by the University of Chicago's...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Joyce Golfs!

I haven't posted for days because (1) my job is picking up, as summer approaches (hello? Anybody need a personal trainer? I am really good at this) and (2) I've discovered golf. Ack. It is totally addictive, and since I live facing the driving range at Indian Canyon, well ... my partner and I have been whacking balls these past two days.

My wrist is swollen! But I apparently have a good swing and my balls mostly go straight. I do have a bit of a hook. Another initial problem is a lack of loft. I did aim at and hit the cart as it chugged along the first day, so I feel sure I can master this game.

I hope. Otherwise, beers on the patio are great with the view.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tiger Tattoo


OK, as promised, here it is. I probably would've never had anything quite as huge as this put on my arm, except that I had a smaller tattoo there that I wanted to cover up.

Game for the Day: Find the image I was trying to camouflage. (It's really not that hard.)

Speaking of Babies ...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mary Cheney Delivers a Baby Boy


According to World Net Daily, "Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, became a mother today when she gave birth to a baby boy.

Samuel David Cheney was born at 9:46 a.m., weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces, at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Samuel is the sixth grandchild for Vice President Cheney.

"The vice president is pleased to be a grandfather for the sixth time," spokeswoman Megan McGinn said.

According to reports, Mary's homosexual partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, "will have no legal relationship with her child. She can't adopt as a second parent. She won't have her name on the birth certificate."

I was fine with all of this until I got to the last paragraph and then I had to shut my eyes and swallow hard. Heather will be that child's second parent in every way possible, you can bet. She'll help with nighttime feedings, she'll change diapers, she'll make up bottles, she'll be there through the teething, the ear infections, the trips to the doctor, everything. Samuel will think of both Mary and Heather as his Moms. But, heaven forbid, if Mary and Heather ever grow apart and decide to separate, too bad for Heather. More importantly, too bad for baby Samuel.

Let's be real. How many straight parents do you know who have, in hurt and anger, used children as a bargaining chip during a divorce? Or as a way to punish each other, squabbling over custody? Gay people do it too. Here, Heather has zero power. If they break up, Mary could, legally, stick her nose in the air and say, "Sorry. You're out of his life."

Leaving Samuel feeling baffled and abandoned, wondering if Heather's absence isn't somehow his fault, and leaving Heather devastated over the loss of a child.

I should know. Years ago, my then-partner of six years and I split up, and she happened to be the biological mother of our 3 and a half year old son. We lived in Ohio at the time where second parent adoptions were not legal, so when my ex forbade me to have anything more to do with him, I had no legal recourse, and she wouldn't listen to reason. So ... It has been ten years since I've seen David. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him and wonder how he is. I hope he's healed from the loss of a parent, and I grieve over the fact that it was completely unnecessary for him to have to experience that loss at all.

Second parent adoptions between same-sex couples should be standard operating procedure in every state in this nation. It's one more reason gay marriages should be legalized. Bigotry affects us all.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Hottest Chick I've Ever Seen


Ai Chihuahua


From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Paula Abdul broke her nose over the weekend after she fell while trying to avoid stepping on her Chihuahua, her publicist said Monday.
I couldn't have made that one up even if I'd wanted to. And by the way, her dog is named Tulip. Abdul broke a toe as well and is reportedly covered with little bumps and bruises. Sounds like quite the header. Let's leave it at that.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!


Tiggers and tigers are best friends. My partner's papa painted this tiger for me (at some point I'll post the tiger tattoo I have on my right deltoid) as a gift.

Check out his official art webpage right here.

Here's Another One of Bush and Cheney

Preakness Results

Hah! Curlin is definitely a horse with heart, and it's always exciting to see a duel like that to the wire. Curlin beat Street Sense on the head bob. Hard Spun hung in for third (didn't I say it would Hard Spun, Exchanger, and Flying First Class on the lead until the closers kicked into gear in the stretch)?

The only horse I was wrong about was Circular Quay in fourth. Dang, Pletcher is having a horrible time winning the big ones. It was CP West who got up to fourth.

Still, I got the trifecta, but it paid only $25. Oh well ...

Friday, May 18, 2007

Look! It's George Bush and Dick Cheney!

Okay, I'm kidding. Actually, these are a couple of camels, and this fabulous shot was taken by none other than my father-in-law. For more chuckles, here's what he has to say about camels in general: "Camels are vile creatures with nasty dispositions. This pair was typical of the breed and spent their entire day spitting on people and then laughing about it like drunken nabobs. They will even spit on small infants in strollers if given the opportunity."

He's got a dry sense of humor and is a brilliant artist and photographer. Check out some of his work. And I don't think he reads my blog, so I'm not sucking up. I swear.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Picks for the Preakness


Eh. I wouldn't call this the strongest field of horses. [Even ol' Hard Spun (pictured) is having quite the laugh about it.] I think three horses will vie for the early pace: Flying First Class (6), Hard Spun (7), and XChanger (2). Hard Spun did just have a good work, so I don't think he's pooped from the Kentucky Derby, and now he's sitting just outside the speed, so his jockey will probably let him set right off the pace rather than have him setting the pace.

Consequently, I think he could even win this time since it's a shorter race, and his morning line odds of 5-2 are certainly better than Street Sense's 7-5.

I do think the 6 and 2 will fade and the closers will run up to try and grab the win at the wire. The best closers are Street Sense, Curlin, and Circular Quay.

So there's the superfecta: Hard Spun, Street Sense, Curlin, and Circular Quay (7, 8, 4, 3), in any order if you want to be safe. Unfortunately, not much value here. So I might also bet D. Wayne Lukas's horse, Flying First Class. He just wired the Derby Trial and is the speed of the race; he might take off and not look back. Plus Lukas has won the Preakness twice with a longshot. The morning line on Flying First Class is 20-1, so he's tempting at a bet across the board as the "upset" factor.

Barbaro broke down in last year's Preakness; let's hope no similar event occurs at Pimlico this year.

Battle at Kruger

This is a bit long at 8:30 mins, but well worth watching if you're a wildlife lover. You think the baby water buffalo's a goner, but guess again! It's quite a showdown between buffalo, lions, and two crocodiles.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

American Idol: No Surprise But Wrong

Melinda Doolittle, who is hands down the best singer and from the start has been the most consistently strong vocalist, has been kicked out. Blake (Buh-Buh-Buh-Yer-Boring Me) and Jordin are left.

Melinda had the vocal talent but not the looks. I saw this coming, actually, and blogged about it here. It's true; she has no neck and she looks like Shrek. It makes me sad that we can't pick a female American Idol who doesn't live up to the ideals of the Beauty Myth.

The male winners certainly haven't. Here's Ruben, looking more expansive than Walt Whitman (to be kind). And here's Taylor Hicks. The word "handsome" simply doesn't come to mind.



But Blake, if he succeeds at all as a singer, will be a one-hit wonder. He has his beat-box thing and that's it. And I just don't know what to feel about Jordin. I like her, but she doesn't deserve to win over Melinda.

But I like her better than Blake. (Then I think, she's only 17, god love her, and I am cringing at the coming implosion already.)

Now, do I spend text message money or cell phone minutes voting on all this nonsense? No way. Actually, my significant other and I were pondering the results tonight and decided that the reason Melinda got voted out is pretty much the reason George W. Bush is our President: America's masses are asses.

Preakness Stakes Draw

Well, Street Sense is in the 8 hole, practically on the end with only CP West to his right. Historically Street Sense prefers the rail, so Borel will likely try to get him over to the rail, but if that doesn't happen, we could end up with another Bluegrass Stakes, in which Street Sense made his customary late run but didn't get up there in time to win. To his credit, the 8 horse did win the Preakness last year (Bernardini, who also won the Belmont Stakes), and Street Sense just had a good work, 5 furlongs in 1 min. So he's fit and ready; much will depend on the trip he gets.

I'm thinking, "Look out for Circular Quay!" He's beaten Street Sense in similar conditions and has the 3 post position. He posed no threat in the Kentucky Derby because he was badly bumped and seemed to say "screw this!" He gave very little and consequently has saved a lot. (Either that, or the horse hasn't got the will to win.)

Curlin is at post position 4 and seems poised to have a good race.

There's also Hard Spun, who could possibly have given his all in the Derby and will bounce in this race.

These are, so far, in my opinion the four most serious contenders, but that's only at a very quick glance over the field. I'll handicap the race more seriously later and then post my picks (probably sometime tomorrow).

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Barry Bonds Dilemma

I'm torn. On the one hand, who doesn't like the excitement of a record being broken? Hank Aaron's been the home run king for some time now. Add to that the fact that I've been to a couple of opening days at Giants Stadium (or Pacbell Park, or AT&T Park, or whatever they're calling it now) and I've seen Barry play ... well, part of me wants to see him slug 12 more out of the park and take the record.

But then the man's basic nastiness as a human being tamps that desire right on down. He's narcissistic, and he's a cheater. Possessing a colossal ego and sense of entitlement, he lets people (e.g., Greg Anderson) take the fall for him. He's played us all for fools (hello, Mr. Barry? Just compare a photo of you when you were a beanpole Pirate to a photo of you as a Giant, all juiced up on testosterone and human growth hormone, and only someone in the throes of denial wouldn't agree you were injecting illegal substances). But if you'd owned up to it right off the bat, people would've probably already forgiven you by now. Fans are amazingly generous of heart. But noooooooo! You were afraid if you 'fessed up, you'd forever have that little asterisk by your records, including the home run record you so crave.

It's all of this that makes it so hard for me to want to see Barry Bonds get the record. But, with only 12 to go, he probably will within the next month or so. When it happens, I might even clap and go, "Whoohoo!" Still, the asterisk will always be there, at least in my own mental records book, and I'm pretty sure it'll be there in most other folks' books as well.

The Onion

Extra-Slanty Italics Introduced For Extremely Important Words

NEW HOPE, MN—In an attempt to address writers' ever-growing word-emphasis needs, Minnesota-based Pica Foundry has developed a new,...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Preakness Stakes

Here's a very happy Calvin Borel after jockeying Street Sense to victory in the Kentucky Derby. Ah, but does the horse have a chance of taking the Preakness this Saturday?

It's a shorter race (1 mile and 3/16ths as opposed to 1 mile and a quarter). Street Sense likes to run late along the rail and hasn't won every race he's ever been in, so he may not be the best bet in terms of value. He's likely to be the favorite and, again, much will depend on the post draw (although the field for the Preakness is probably going to be nine horses, much less wacky than the 20-horse Derby).

This Wednesday will be the finalization of the field and the post draw, and then past performances for the horses will probably be available sometime on Thursday. I'll 'cap the race and post what I think. But I do understand that both Curlin and Hard Spun were pointed at the Preakness all along (ie, considered the Derby a prep race), and they will probably offer more value than Street Sense. Plus, Nick Zito and D. Wayne Lukas, two excellent trainers, will be putting horses in this race that didn't run in the Derby, so we'll see how much speed ends up being entered.

The fun will be in picking the first four horses, or the superfecta (since one obvious trifecta box will be Street Sense, Hard Spun, Curlin in any order).

Who Wouldn't Love Spokane?



See, this place is sort of like Texas, where everything is big.

It's True. Some of You Know What I'm Sayin'

Survivor: Fiji

Congratulations to Earl on his win (even though he'd likely agree Yao-Man deserved it more than anyone). But at least Earl was forthright during the final Tribal Council when Yao-Man asked him directly why he'd voted for Cassandra over him. I do believe Yao would agree Earl has "gonads," unlike Dreamz.

How disappointing a bullsh*tter Dreamz turned out to be. I can't really say I was stunned he turned out to be a liar and that his word is as good as dirt--actually, dirt is more useful--but I did feel bad for Yao. I wished Yao would stop taking responsibility for being duped. I don't believe for one second that Dreamz knew he was playing Yao when he accepted the truck-for-immunity deal. I believe he meant it when he accepted the deal. Nope, Mr. Tears Rolling Down His Cheeks once he realized money was more important to him than his own integrity, he didn't know he was going to renege on the deal until he caved at the last moment and actually did. But the only way he can live with himself is to pretend cockily he was a deliberate slimeball all along and was only "playing the game." What's pathetic is that now he's been uncovered as a big liar on national television, will go down in history as one (though we'll all forget who Dreamz even is in another season or so), and he still didn't get his million dollars. Why he'd even think anyone on the jury would vote for him after he so publicly stabbed Yao in the back is a mystery to me. I think Yao was being generous when he said Dreamz is an undisciplined thinker. LOL

Oh well. Enough indignation! I have to say I didn't understand the verbal thrashing Cassandra received by Alex and Lisi. Boy, talk about sore losers. Cassandra certainly didn't deserve to win, but what on earth did she do to incur wrath like that? Oh, right, it was her "swim shoes." ROFL! Actually, who would go on Survivor to Fiji and not have taken the time to learn to swim beforehand? And if not for whatever reason, at least try to learn while I'm there? Maybe Lisi's problem is that Cassandra's shoes were so clean, unscratched by coral or whatever?

Boo's thundering Christian sermon to Dreamz was also pretty hilarious. And Alex remarking that Dreamz, unlike him, will be a terrible role model for children had me holding my sides. That will remain to be seen.

All in all, though Yao-Man got shafted, it made for good television and I can't wait for Survivor: China. That'll be a nice change--I'm getting tired of tropical islands. In the meantime, we'll have that new pirate show. Oh, and Ghosthunters. I slurp this nonsense up!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Survivor: Fiji

Good job, Yao-Man, in deciding to play your hidden immunity idol. Dreamz and Cassandra turned on you, so your "bad vibes" sense was right on. Now the question will be how truthful Dreamz will turn out to be if he happens to win immunity at the Final Four. (Wasn't it funny watching Dreamz slowly come to realize, after he'd made the agreement to give away any potential immunity for the truck, that he'd pretty much sealed his fate in losing the game?) Ah, but that's what he gets for not honoring the "Survivor Car Curse"--anybody who gets the car doesn't win the whole game.

Of course, this doesn't mean Yao-Man will benefit. If Boo wins immunity again, the rest of them could vote Yao-Man out, knowing full well he doesn't have another idol. (And will Earl save Yao's butt by giving him his, even though Yao told him how to find it?)

At this point, the players are thinking of whom they want to be sitting next to if they make it to the final two. Nobody wants it to be Yao, who, hands down, deserves to win the game more than any of the players. I'm not sure anybody really wants to be sitting next to Earl, either, or Boo (Earl deserves to win because of his wits; Boo would deserve to win because of his physical prowess in winning immunity challenges.) I doubt anyone thinks Cassandra or Dreamz deserves to win ... Dreamz is too annoyingly dim-witted, and Cassandra has stayed in the game solely because she's been riding the coattails of those in her alliance. She's got to be one of the worst players in recent memory when it comes to the physical challenges. Thus any smart player is going to want to be sitting next to Dreamz or Cassandra. It would be hard for anyone on the jury to cast a "win" vote for either of those two.

Indeed, it would be highly entertaining to hear Dreamz trying to convince the jury why he deserves to win.

The game concludes this Sunday night, so stay tuned. I'm rooting for either Earl or Yao.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Paris Hilton Wants To Get Off

Now now now. Get your mind out of the gutter, please.

Paris Hilton is petitioning Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger to pardon her for violating her probation and getting caught driving with a suspended license, for which she was given a 45-day jail sentence. Paris thinks the sentence is cruel. But the real killer is why she thinks she deserves extra special consideration: According to People.com, "The petition, which had more than 900 signatures by Tuesday morning, urges the California actor-turned-governor to pardon Hilton because she provides "beauty and excitement to (most of) our otherwise mundane lives."

Hey, wench. Martha Stewart did her time; you do yours.

Buh-Bye, Blake (I Hope)

Barry Gibb and his bad false teeth graced the stage last night on American Idol. At least, he seemed to be talking through clenched teeth and a massive over-bleached overbite the whole time. I thought Melinda and LaKisha did just fine, followed by Jordin, but Blake wrecked both of his songs. Even the falsetto seemed too much for him, and somebody needed to tell him, "Dude, no beat-boxing on BeeGees tunes."

Oh, wait. Randy did tell him that, but Blake did it anyway. I had to stick my fingers in my ears. It was almost like the return of Sanjaya.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Here's One for the Gaffer

Hey, nothing like insulting the Queen! Here she is, giving Dubya the Ol' Stink Eye. What did he say to her? From yahoo news:
The president stumbled on a line in his speech Monday, saying that the queen had dined with 10 U.S. presidents and had helped the United States "celebrate its bicentennial in 17. ..." Bush caught himself and corrected the date to 1976. He paused as if to see if the queen had taken offense.
"She gave me a look that only a mother could give a child," the president said with a smile.

He's not suggesting she's old enough to be his mother, is he? (Wellllll .... true, it's not impossible she could've delivered Georgey-Porgey when she was 20. But it's pointing out the age difference that's a royal faux pas.)
Or is he saying that the Queen of England should treat the President of the United States with the indulgence we'd give a baby?

The mind boggles.

Report: 70 Percent Of All Praise Sarcastic

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Dumb Trifectas


I suggested this: 7-8-14; 2-7-14; 6-14-8; 6-7-8.

What happened in acuality was this: 7-8-2.

I hate it that "close" only counts in horseshoes. :-)

Still, not bad for handicapping a 20 horse field. You laugh! Um, that's a $6 bet that returned $220.00. Just sayin'.

Tiggers are wonderful things!

Any Winners?

Eh. I got the Street Sense bet to win (duh) and my partner did an exacta with him and Hard Spun, so we got that.

I am laughing that Curlin hung in to get the third spot. Way to go big guy! You have to love a horse with heart. I can't wait to observe the replays to see what these horses actually went through, bumpin and all, during those two minutes.

The result is so chalky that it's hard to feel bad about it.

Nonetheless I think it's interesting that Street Sense was mostly the only horse in the last furlong along with Hard Spun. Looked like five or more lengths between them and the rest of the field. If Curlin got knocked about too much (as we were afraid he might be), then the Preakness or more probably the Belmont Stakes could wind up more interesting.

I love horse racing! We did get a nice little bundle of cash on the Street Sense/Hard Spun exacta. I did like Curlin somewhat as well, but it just so happened that I didn't put those all three together--irritated that I didn't.

If anything, I am feeling bad for Todd Pletcher. He seems cursed. Not one of his horses showed up in the money, and odds are at least one would do so. Sux. Especially when he's got the best jockeys on the books running for him. I honestly thought at least Scat Daddy or Circular Quay or Any Given Sat would be part of the trifecta. His hosses were nowhere in sight. Amazing!

Tsk. So let's look at Street Sense to perhaps hit the Preakness? I do like it that he's finally burst the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Curse. Watch him and Hard Spun as they train the next week or so...But watch out for Curlin or for the others who've been bred to run all day.

Oh Yeah, Bloomsday

I didn't pick up my number yesterday since my butt was parked on a heating pad (see below). Today was up for grabs.

I guess I knew this morning when I was standing at the sink doing dishes. After 10 minutes or so, my back was hurting. Eh. It hurts. I suck.

I was still all for going downtown this morning to at least get my number and packet in case I'm better tomorrow, but my significant other intervened. She told me to stop kidding myself. Finally I caved.

Maybe next year. I'm a wuss. Bloomsday hasn't worked out for me this year. It's been one bad turn of luck after another.

Next year, we should make a group of runners! It's tough to run by yourself without the extra motivation provided by friends, or at least a running partner. And way too easy to be a *ussy if your back hurts, imho.

Anybody know a good chiropractor in town?

Way to Go, Street Sense!

I did say earlier that Borel would drive him right up the rail! :-)

I'm happy for Street Sense and glad I did a win bet on him even though he went off as the favorite. Finally the Breeder's Cup Juvey Curse has been broken.

Gotta weep for Todd Pletcher as none of his horses showed up: It was Street Sense, Hard Spun, and Curlin, and then in 4th the odd guy out: Imawildandcrazyguy.

We are also fortunate in that my partner bet Street Sense with Hard Spun, so we got the win and the exacta. That might cover all the other money we wasted. ;-)

Betting Time!


OK, here's a Pick 3 commencing with the 8th race:

8: 1 (Pussycat Doll)
9: 2, 5, 6 (Icy Atlantic, Better Talk Now, and Einstein)
10: 2, 7 (Curlin and Street Sense)

UPDATE: Pussycat Doll came in second. LOL! And, arrgh, to be beaten by Hysterical Lady, which is a NoCal horse, with Jerry Hollendorfer as trainer! Reminds me of Russell Baze winning on Tricky Trevor last year on Derby Day for him. (And then Cause to Believe was nothing to believe in, in the Derby.)

KENTUCKY DERBY UPDATE: Doug O'Neill has said he's sending Liquidity out as "the rabbit." Gulp! Last time that was a clear strategy, it was Spanish Chestnut who bolted, and the pace fell apart...and a 50-1 longshot, Giacomo, came up and won. There are three good closers on the outside: Great Hunter (O'Neill's other horse, so that explains his strategy), Any Given Saturday, and Circular Quay.

I have a futures bet on Circular Quay, so no need to add to that, but I just may bet Any Given Saturday across the board, esp. since Garrett Gomez is aboard and he is simply a great jockey. And it's another of Pletcher's horses.

I do think boxing all speed is a bad idea at this point since horses like Hard Spun, Teuflesberg, and Stormello are bound to not let Liquidity get too far ahead. So the pace might be crazy.

Dang! Throw a coin up in the air and let it come down. There's your horse. ;-)

(But see below for my favorite horses. Add Any Given Sat and Tiago as closers and then mix 'em up however you like.)

Good luck!

UPDATE: OK, here's some goofy stuff I did: 6-14 exacta box 'cause that's my birthday! 14-7-16 trifecta box because I like all three horses (Scat Daddy, Street Sense, and Circular Quay). A show bet on the 10, Teuflesberg, because his trainer is a woman and it's her first Kentucky Derby.

I had futures bets on Scat Daddy, Circular Quay, Sam P., and anyone not in the second pool field (eh), so I added a few "win" bets: Curlin (2), Hard Spun (8), Nobiz Like Shobiz (12), and Street Sense (7).

And then my significant other and I marked pennies with numbers and tossed them into a hat, shook 'em up, and pulled numbers out. We did ten such dollar bets. These are totally random and so if one hits, it ain't 'cause we 'capped well. But it's like a lottery ticket and they pay, and the odds are ... um...well, better than Mega Millions, that's for sure.

My fingers are crossed. So are my eyes. ;-)

Track will be good, rail is fast

Okay, so far of three races, the 2 horse has won twice, and the last jock (Bridgmohan) said the track's definitely drying out and should be fast for the Derby (which is the 10th race). He said it's firmer over by the rail, so this is reminding me of this past year's Breeder's Cup when the rail was fast like that. This bodes well for Curlin, who is in the two slot. Could also bode well for Street Sense if Borel can get him over to the rail, which Calvin "Bo-Rail" (truly that's his nickname) will definitely try to do.

But when it's a field of 20, a lot is gonna depend on luck...how the pace shakes out and who encounters what traffic problems.

Makes you really appreciate a horse like Afleet Alex in the Preakness a couple years ago when he clipped heels in the stretch, stumbled, almost landed on one knee, but recovered, steadied, and went on to win.

Happy Derby Day!

Naturally I've thrown my back out and spent most of yesterday on a heating pad.

Oh well, 'tain't nothin' a couple of mint juleps can't make feel better!

OK, the Pletcher horse (Rags to Riches) won the Oaks yesterday (super chalky at 8-5), so I didn't bother making that bet. But I was pleased to see High Heels come in 3rd. Another Pletcher horse, Octave, came in second. This tells me that Pletcher's runners are fit right now, so his horses ought to do well in the Kentucky Derby. At least one or two of his five should wind up in the money, you'd think!

Whom do I like to actually win? Ack! No single horse this year floats to the top for me. But I like Street Sense, Hard Spun, Scat Daddy, Cowtown Cat. I also like Circular Quay. Curlin maybe too, but traffic could be a real problem, esp. if Storm in May (horse is blind in the right eye) drifts towards the rail.

Here are a few trifecta boxes: 7-8-14; 2-7-14; 6-14-8; 6-7-8.

I do want to watch a bit and see how the muddy track is playing before I actually place these bets. More later ...

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Oh No! Slop at Churchill Downs!

Well, if you want a crapshoot, you got it ... fillies in the slop.

Now, they'll say that the best horses don't freak out on an off track and will run anyway, especially one with heart. But as a "filly" myself, I can tell you, we girls need lots o' stuff for everything to turn out right. ;-)

I do think tomorrow's Kentucky Oaks is a big goof and pretty much any horse could win. I posted my favorites the other day. But now, given that they're going to also run on an off track, I will make the following changes to my double:

1. (3) High Heels is a nice shot at 6-1 since she has won on an off track (not worth doing doubles with chalk, my friends!)
2. (8) Swift Temper at 50-1 is almost irresistable since she's won on mud at Churchill Downs when the race was moved off turf to the slop. Otherwise she's normally a turf horse, so she likes a soft track. Add Julien Leparoux to the mix as her jockey, and yummy! If you don't do a double, this horse is worth a "show" bet now, especially if the odds stay as great as 50-1.
(11 and 7) Rags to Riches and Dreaming of Anna. Still hard to not like these girls.

Kentucky Derby Plays

Everybody likes Curlin because he's the only undefeated horse racing in this year's Kentucky Derby. But, he's run only three races, and not at all as a two year-old, which makes him pretty darn unseasoned. And, he's in post position two; thus it's hard to imagine him not running into traffic problems. For a green colt, ... eh. Now, to Curlin's credit, he totally destroyed the field in the Arkansas Derby and won by 10 and a half lengths. In fact, all three of his wins have been decisive. Still, he's never run in a Grade 1 stakes, and the largest field he's ever encountered was 9 horses. There's a huge difference between 9 and the 20 he'll face in the Kentucky Derby. The other thing that concerns me is that the average pace of the races he's won have tended to be on the slow side. If this year's Derby shapes up to have a decent pace and he gets pinned close to the rail, Curlin might not even be in the superfecta. Still, he's hard to ignore (he's got some of the best Beyer speed figures in the field, yet ironically Andrew Beyer himself finds the horse too green to support), so I'll have to use him on some of my tickets unless he ends up being below even money and isn't worth betting at all, except on the bottom in exotics.


Now onto the bets. I will add to my following list of bets over the course of the next couple of days (and maybe even right up to Derby post time, since I might place a bet or two based on how a horse looks in the paddock!), but for now I have a superfecta I want to do based simply on horses that have won 1 and an eighth miles at the best overall time (1:49)-- 14, 8, 12, 15 (Scat Daddy, Hard Spun, Nobiz Like Shobiz, and Tiago). (Bear in mind the Kentucky Derby is 1 and a fourth miles, which will be the longest race any of these horses has ever gone. For some perspective, consider that Curlin won the Arkansas Derby in 1:50 but still had a lot of race left in him, having been largely unchallenged. Who knows what will happen if he's under the tap of his jockey's whip for a change?) But I'm rambling. It's too bad they don't take dime superfectas at Churchill Downs, because if you box this one (14-8-12-15), it's a $24 bet. Ouch! I'm such a cheapskate I have a hard time boxing trifectas for a mere $6! LOL



Now, here are the horses I probably won't use at all, even in exotics, but definitely not to win:
(1) Sedgefield: He's a turf horse with some experience on synthetic tracks, definitely not on dirt at all and he's got the rail. No no no no. Rider Julien Leparoux's a plus, but that's about it.
(3) Zanjero: He could show up in the bottom of the super or thereabouts, but I don't have much faith in him and you have to cut the field somewhere. (Note: it is interesting that his trainer, Steve Asmussen, chose to put Curlin next to him. Zanjero and Curlin are stablemates, and Asmussen didn't have any prime choices left during the post position draw, though. But it makes me a trifle suspicious about plans for a pace set-up? Or heck. Maybe he just wanted to help calm a green colt down.)
(4) Storm in May: He was the horse ten lengths behind Curlin in the Arkansas Derby. If I have some reservations about Curlin, why would I bet this one? I guess I'm still remembering Bellamy Road tanking in the Derby after killing the field by 20-something lengths in the Wood Memorial a couple years ago. And I don't think Curlin's hurt, as Bellamy Road turned out to be. ;-)
(5) I'mawildandcrazyguy: Tempted to bet him just because I love his name! But he's been beaten by even Zanjero (not to mention Pletcher's Scat Daddy and Circular Quay, so....)
(9) Liquidity: I used to like this horse, but he's not won in a long time and has been beaten by too many other horses in this field. Plus his usual jockey, Nakatani, went with Great Hunter (who I'm also throwing out because he's so far on the outside in pp. 20 that he'll have way too much ground to make up to win).
(10) Teuflesberg: Eh. Not impossible, but he's also been beaten by Curlin by 5 lengths.
(11) Bwana Bull: Hahahahaha! If this horse wins, it's only because Jerry Hollendorfer put steroids in his antibiotics. Seriously, he was entered to run in the Derby Trial but banged himself up too much travelling to Kentucky from CA. So they had to scratch him from that race, put him on meds to clear up infection, and then the owner said, "Well, since he's there and actually has won enough graded stakes money to qualify, let's try him in the Big Race!" I wouldn't bet this horse even at 100-1 odds.
(13) Sam P: Not impossible, but I have a $5 futures bet on him, and that's already enough to risk on a 20-1 shot.
(17-20): Stormello, Any Given Saturday, Dominican, Great Hunter: None of these is impossible, but again these horses are so far on the outside they've got too much ground to make up to actually win, in my opinion. So if I used them at all, they'd be at the bottom of trifectas and superfectas I'm not even boxing.

This leaves, in no particular order: 2 Curlin; 6 Cowtown Cat; 7 Street Sense; 8 Hard Spun (who ran a serious bullet at Churchill the other day--5 furlongs in .57, hmm. He might wind up in a speed duel and totally tank. Or not.); 12 Nobiz Like Shobiz; 14 Scat Daddy; 15 Tiago; 16 Circular Quay.



In case of rain on Derby Day: well, mostly it's a sea of unknowns. The only three horses in the entire field that have actually won a race on a wet/off track are: Scat Daddy, Hard Spun, and Bwana Bull. I'd still throw out Bwana Bull for the reason stated above. So if it's raining, an 8-14 exacta box could be a decent play.

Good luck, y'all, betting on the Run for the Roses. Raise your mint julep glass, and may the best horse win! Or the luckiest horseplayer.

Kentucky Oaks/Derby Double

I like to do a double on the Kentucky Oaks (three year-old fillies that run at Churchill Downs the day before the Kentucky Derby) and the Derby itself because it can pay well if you don't pick only the favorites.

The other thing about betting fillies is that, well, they're crazy. Any darn thing can happen.

In the Oaks, I think the favorite's probably going to be the Pletcher horse, Rags to Riches. With Garrett Gomez aboard, if she gets a good trip, she should totally win. So you have to include her on your ticket. Others who might come in at a better price are High Heels, and maybe Dreaming of Anna is worth a look. The word is she had a problem with a growth spurt in her back legs and consequently didn't do well in her last couple of races. But the problem has been handled now, so "they" say. She did spank last year in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies, but then again she had post position one and there was a decided track bias that day for the rail. Then again, that she's fit seems pretty clear because she just had a 5-furlong bullet at Churchill Downs of .58, which is fast.

Other fillies that might show up are Cash Included, Octave, and Mistical Plan, but ya just can't bet em all.

I still need to 'cap the Kentucky Derby, esp. now that I hear there's a 50% chance of rain that day ... some horses just can't handle slop, so that might give me some more ideas about which ones to at least toss out.

American Idol


They're down to the final four in American Idol, and thank goodness, all four actually deserve to be there. Last night, Chris "Nasal Man" and Phil "Baldo" got the axe. Remaining are Jordan, Melinda, Blake, and Lakisha. Who deserves to win? Melinda Doolittle, naturally. In terms of vocal talent,she's head and shoulders above the rest. But she still looks like Shrek without a neck! And unless you're a guy (think Ruben Studdard), Americans don't like overweight female singers (unless you're older, such as Aretha Franklin or Patti LaBelle), so I think we can assume Lakisha won't win, either, unless there's some sort of Jennifer Hudson "Dreamgirls" fallout. So I won't fall over in a dead faint if Jordan or Blake wins.

Still, Melinda deserves it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Derby Draw

Speaking of racing, today's the day of the draw for post positions in the Kentucky Derby. Honestly? There are no horses that really float to the top, except for maybe Curlin but he could be a total fluke (sort of like Bellamy Road ended up being a few years ago) because he's so lightly raced and has never faced a large field of Graded Stakes winners. Given this, I'm getting behind Scat Daddy if he draws a good post ... although there's a rumor flying that's he got a tender foot right now. I'll have to keep an eye on how they say he's training. Last year they said Sweetnorthernsaint wasn't training up to par but he was such a sentimental favorite for me I overlooked that and got scorched by Barbaro.

A lot will depend on the post draws. There are a handful of horses that I think could take it and then some I think are easily tossed out regardless of draw, such as Bwana Bull and others that have simply never even come near a 100 Beyer.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Ack! Gasp! Wheeze!

I love spring, I really do. Forsythia is blooming right outside my front door; the trees are sprouting lime green leaves and the weather's been almost in the 70s this week ... but lord have mercy on me. I can't breathe! LOL I am taking prescription loratadine every morning and Benadryl at night. My eyes itch, and when I wake up in the morning, my eyelids are glued shut. I'm wheezing and taking hits off of my partner's albuterol inhaler. This totally stinks.

Let's hope there's a downpour of rain prior to Sunday, or I'm not at all sure I'll be able to handle Bloomsday. We've gotta get some of this pollen out of the air. Otherwise, I'm just gonna end up being one of the many walkers instead of runners, and that will disappoint me to no end after all this build-up.

Mission, um, not exactly accomplished

Oh yeah, I remember this: four years ago, on May 1, 2003, aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, da Prez gloated: "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended."



Then why are we still there? Things that make ya go hmmmmmmmm. And here's a link to a chart of stats/numbers that will truly make ya go hmmmm: Think Progress, if not weep.

H/t to Pam for the pics.