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Archive for the ‘Horse Racing’ Category

Beginnings of the 2010 Kentucky Derby Superfecta chase

In Horse Racing on March 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm

My cohorts of Brad Lystra (aka tower defense) and Dave Hoffman (aka the hoffinator) joined me this weekend to absorb beer, basketball, and a derby prep in the Florida Derby. We chased a few bets including a superfecta riding on Rule to win with several horses under him. Rule finished 3rd with a fairly impressive come-from-last victory by Ice Box. Every handicapper needs a narrative of how they think the race will play and we were pretty close this weekend in our thinking that the race would unfold with a fast pace that would wear out Rule and Miner’s Revenge. What we couldn’t figure out was who would catch them… Barbaro’s untested brother? (finished 4th) Rick Pitino’s slow and steady Soaring Empire (didn’t finish in the money) or maybe Pleasant Prince who was steadily improving? Well the Prince paid a nice price to place, but it was Ice Box who never really showed up on our pre-race radar. And with that, he’s now a derby contender on everyone’s radar.

I think it’s fair to say none of the Florida Derby participants will make a good showing over the Churchill Downs track come the first Saturday of May, and I doubt we’ll see many of them. Pleasant Prince does get better race by race but this was a slow stretch in the Florida Derby and I have to think the elite horses will carry the day and not any from this group.



In Horse Racing on May 15, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Another Derby, another near miss on the Superfecta. This year’s bet had Dunkirk, Freisan Fire, and Papa Clem on top… with a bunch of others below. But one horse we didn’t see coming, that no one saw coming, was The Little Horse That Did, aka Mine That Bird. Hat’s off to Calvin Borel’s strategy: sit in last place at a snail’s pace for the 1st half of the race, and then sneak up on the field at lightening speed down the stretch on the rail… where the water had drained best while the others slip and slide in the slop.

Now we’re off to the Preakness, we’re the drama of the sport has caught the mainstream sports world. The Femme Fatale, aka Rachel Alexandra, is crashing this party and plans to strut her Secretariat like stuff against the boys. Is she really that good? Let’s not forget there are about 9 other quality horses in this race and I’ll simply be rooting for whatever is best for the sport: maybe a duel between the Derby and Oaks winners?

Repost: 2007 Kentucky Derby

In Horse Racing on February 14, 2009 at 4:45 pm

[this post originally appeared on GameDesignAdvance.com on May 7, 2007]

This past Saturday was Cinco de Mayo. For those of you who are not fluent in Spanish, I think that means “you sunk my mayonnaise” which probably can be further interpreted to correspond with a Mexican version of the game Battleship. I’m still checking my sources on that.


Saturday was also relevant to another non-digital game: the Kentucky Derby. The first Saturday in May always serves as the day when 3 year old horses run for the roses and millions upon millions are wagered on their brittle legs and empty bladders. Customary for any ex-commonwealthian (not a real word), I embedded (not only a real word, but the OED’s 2006 word of the year) myself into a frenzied atmosphere of others celebrating the race complete with hat and mint julep. Charles Pratt and Thomas Duc joined me for said festivities and it was suggested I write up a report on this sport of Kings for the blog in reference to the gaming aspects of horse racing. Consider it done. Read the rest of this entry »