Category Archives: Brag sheet

Down The Stretch They Come

The RTIP, including me, with Mike Smith at the Symposium on Racing & Gaming. Phot0 by John Engelhardt

In two weeks, my great adventure out west will end with a 350 yard dash and a jubilant winner’s circle ceremony – Commencement!

I can’t believe it has been 2 years already!

I have completed my Race Track Industry Program courses, presented at the Symposium, consumed way too many cups of caramel-flavored coffee, cheered for cheap claimers at Rillito, banged on my apartment ceiling with a Swiffer handle to shut up (encourage?) my rowdy upstairs neighbors, lived in California, swam in the Pacific, survived a windstorm and an earthquake, baked 500 minicupcakes and met sooo many AWESOME people!

As for a career, I’m still looking, but I have several apps out, have had a few good interviews, and am waiting patiently for good news on a couple of options. I hope the next time I blog, I will have a great announcement to make, but until then, I’ll give you my KENTUCKY DERBY PRELIMINARY PICKS!!

As of today, I like these 5 horses, and they will be on all of my tickets:






I may add a longshot or two, like TWICE THE APPEAL (can’t ignore Bo-Rail), but these are my favorite 5 for the Run for the Roses!

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Filed under Brag sheet, career track, Handicapping, Kentucky Derby, Race Track Industry Program

This Blog is about Gambling – FINALLY

Da Boomer heads to the winner's circle after his victorious first career start!

Working at Del Mar has given me many opportunities for academic and personal growth and has also allowed my bankroll to grow, too!

Early on my cohorts decided I would be the one to make the picks for Team Intern wagering based on my encyclopedic knowledge of racing history & the horses currently on-track.  After all, I was the one going out to watch the morning workouts, right?  I *had* to know something.

After about 3 weeks I finally got it together to actually do some handicapping, and Team Intern bankroll was born — with $2 from each of us.  I did the most basic bet, an across-the-board on a favorite.  Favorite won, we doubled our initial investment.  I looked at the second race, made the exact same bet on a mid-priced horse, and we hit again!  Long story short, by the end of the day the B-52s were playing Love Shack in the infield and Team Intern’s earnings were bang-bang-bangin’ on the door of $55!

Each week I’ve also worked the Sunday Handicapping Contest booth with honorary Team Intern member, Caso.  (If you’ve been to Del Mar this season, he’s the dude who looks like a secret service agent in the crisp white shirt & shades.)  I’ve tried to pick up some tips from the players, who all have systems and hints for making the best bets for the contest.  (I’ve also had a mini-heart attack each week when I cash out the bank because someone thought it would be a good idea for me to be responsible for the money.)   It’s a really cool contest (and I’m not just sayin’ that ‘cuz they pay me) and easy to play: $20 entry fee, $50 live bankroll, pick a single horse in 5 Del Mar races & bet it $5 to win/$5 to place. Biggest bankroll after the last race wins $1000.  It’s so easy I could do it (& I would have won it the day we made $55!) .

The best thing is going to the infield and hearing the folks out there talk about wagering strategy.  Saturday, before Weezer rocked the place’s face off, I took a trip back to where it all started for me.  There was a beerfest going on, too, which made for some very interesting, slurred conversations to eavesdrop on:  3 guys in fedoras deep into a discussion of the 4th race, making hilarious arguments for one horse over another, how losing tickets reflected on the player’s manhood, quotes from The Hangover, and some goofy guffaws… though the horses about to go to post were for the 6th race!

Today I worked my final handicapping contest, and it was a milestone – we got 150 players, the most ever!

During lunch, I sat with Julio Canani and had a surreal conversation – it started out me asking (probably dumb) questions about training, and then shifted to (pretty much verbatim what was said):

ME: I’m never going to be able to go to another track again, I’m spoiled for life.


ME: I’ve got this pass that gets me everywhere! I can go to the backside, to the paddock, to the Turf Club…

JULIO: I’d rather take a pass to the movies…

ME: Oh, that would be nice, too, if there were anything good out to see.

JULIO: There’s lots out now.

ME: What was the last movie you saw?

JULIO: Beverly Hills Chihuahua


I asked Julio if he liked anyone on the card today, and he shook his head no.  He asked me who I liked today.

ME: Number 6 horse in the 7th race, Da Boomer


ME: Because I fed him candy on Friday

JULIO: (Laughing) You should have fed him more candy!


Later, I met Del Mar’s Mayor of FourSquare, Weldon.  He’s a laid back guy, and he enjoyed his tour of the paddock that Amy & I did before the 7th race.  It was a maiden special weight for 2 year olds, all of them first time starters, an absolute nightmare to handicap.  Weldon said he always did longshots in those kinds of races and asked me who I liked, I said I liked #6, Da Boomer, because I knew his trainer, Tom Blincoe, and had fed the horse candy one morning.

Weldon and his friends had picked #2, Bruno B.  They kind of gave me that, “ok well good on you then” smile.

Tell me what happened after Da Boomer won the race?  I was the smartest person in the room then!  I was so happy for Tom, too!  I’ll have to give Boomer an extra candy next Friday;)  When I congratulated Tom after the winner’s circle photo, he gave me a hug – when I turned around I realized I was in front of Christina O and TVG cameras! YIKES!

The sad part of this story is, even though I picked Da Boomer, told Julio Canani & Weldon the FourSquare Mayor & Amy Intern, I didn’t place the bet!  Da Boomer paid $28.40, $13.40 and $6.40… talk about wouldacouldashouldas!!!


Filed under Brag sheet, Del Mar, Handicapping, internship

Winner’s Circle Presentation

Here it is! 

I’d like to thank Thunder Gulch for winning the 1995 Kentucky Derby and making my first pick a winning one.  I’d also like to thank Al Gore for inventing the internet that allows me to keep up with all the racing info I need to win awesome contests like SAUHBR.    Thanks again BT, for your rivalry and for the fantastic trophy.  Finally, a special shoutout to Mom, Dad, Sis and God — Thanks!

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Filed under Brag sheet, results, SAUHBR


In a thrilling stretch drive, The Infield defeats Borderland Totalisator in SAUHBR Round 1!

In a thrilling stretch drive, The Infield defeats Borderland Totalisator in SAUHBR Round 1!

The weekend marked Curlin’s victorious return to dirt in the Woodward, a shocking upset by Anak Nakal in the Pennsylvania Derby, and the contentious finale of the 1st Semi-Annual Handicapping Battle Royale (see, I *do* remember what SAUHBR stands for!!)

It was a good race, but in the end, the best seats were in The Infield!  I scored points in 4 races, hitting the big win with Curlin at Saratoga, and 2nds with Fareena, Gio Ponti and Silver Expression.  I also had some show points with Lickety Lemon (best name of the weekend), and Letthemusicbegin. 



BT, it’s been a fun 6 weeks of ‘cappin’ the ponies and engaging in Dutrow-lite smack talk.  And now, you have one thing in common with Curlin: you got beat by a girl.


Filed under Brag sheet, Handicapping, results, SAUHBR

SAUHBR WEEK 5 — RIDING HIGH!! Infield 126, BT 112!!

Go Betweens Game Face

Go Between's Game Face

Though I only had one 4pt winner this past weekend, I managed to hit the TRI in the Pac Classic!!  GO BETWEEN-Well Armed-Mast Track!!  I love that son of Point Given   I also had hits in the Pat O’s (Rebellion/Barbeque Eddie). 

Before this contest, my favorite play was the Exacta.  Over the past 5 weeks, I have become a regular Derrick Rose, raining TRIs like the former Tiger point guard.  3 TRIs in 3 weeks, and I’ve lost count of the EXs. 

I don’t really have a regular “system” for picking horses.  I study the form and also call up an encyclopedic knowledge of racing trivia and replays, sort of like youtube in my head.  I’ve seen most of these horses’ sires and dams, either during their careers or in person at the farms I have visited (BTW< I am going back to Claiborne next month).  I get tips from Steve Byk’s At The Races radio show on Sirius (the Greatest Thing, seriously — if you ain’t listening you’re missing out on a TRI).  I watch a lot of TVG.  When I get ready to make out my picks, I look at the last 3 races a horse has run, how strongly he finished, who he beat, and then dig up any other assorted trivia I have to make the final choice.  It is highly subjective, basically (but not as bad as when I first started, way back in 1995 picking KY Derby winners by their names and silks colors), but it has worked for me. 

 It’s almost enough to make me forget that I’ve abandoned Roadtothebreederscup…I FORGOT to activate my scoring horses last weekend, and missed out on an assload of points…I had Ginger Punch, Hystericalady, Colonel John & Intangaroo…but that is just how committed I am to SAUHBR.

This weekend BT has Pick Power for the last time.  A part of me hopes he will finally hit a TRI, but the rest of me says, “nah…there’s gotta be an incentive to do this crazy game again!”

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Filed under Brag sheet, Del Mar, Handicapping, results, SAUHBR

Handicapping Dominatrix SAUHBR Week4 Results!!!

Just give me the tall boots and the whip, ‘cuz I’m kickin’ BT’s butt in SAUHBR! 

BT just posted the accurate scores from last week (I’m sure glad he’s honest, because I cannot do math and he could so take advantage of me) and I’m running on a comfortable lead that just got better this weekend!!

In the Alabama, Proud Spell gamely held off Music Note in a thrilling duel down the ‘Toga stretch, with Little Belle 3rd.  The Distaff this year is gonna rock, if Proud Spell actually runs – the rumor’s flying that Fox Hill Farm is gonna skip the poly.  Music Note threw down, but she just couldn’t surpass the gritty Proud Spell.  Little Belle seems to me like one of those fillies that always shows up, may win a Gr1 but is always overshadowed by her stablemate and then turns out to produce a KY Derby winner.

In the Super Derby Prelude, Star Production, Numismatist and Golden Yank came in for another Tri! 

I also scored some points with Grand Coutourier, BTN, C Karma, Lethal Heat and Fancy Candy. 

As of today, the scores are: The Infield 101, Borderland Totalisator 95

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Filed under Brag sheet, Handicapping, results, SAUHBR


The SAUHBR action kicked it up a notch this past weekend, leaving Borderland Totalisator and me in a dead-heat for Total (amateur) Handicapping Domination – 65-65!!

YEHAW!!  TRIFECTA, BABY!  1st TRI in SAUHBR was hit by yours truly in the Secretariat Stakes!  Winchester (1)-by daylight-Plan (2)-Tizdejavu(1)!!  Winchester’s victory was so visually impressive he’s going into my new fave category, and the final time wasn’t that bad, either -2:01:76.  TRIPLE POINT BONUS! 12 points!!

But that’s not all — In the Beverly D, Mauralakana (4) and Communique (1) galloped under the wire for an EXACTA!! YESS!  DOUBLE BONUS! 10 points!

Then, as I predicted, the Million was the Euros’ race to lose — they swept the top 3 spots.  Spirit One lead them wire to wire, with Archipenko (2) and Mount Nelson (1) rounding out the tri.  I didn’t hit the winner, but I *did* get the place/show.  Stream Cat was 6th behind Einstein — the best US placing was 4th finisher Silverfoot, who may just have taken my advice on that John Henry juju.  3 points!

BT, on the other hand, didn’t have such stellar luck at Arlington — Tizdejavu got him 1 pt in the Sec, he was shut out in the Bev D, and Archipenko won him a point in the Million.  What happened to you, Glen?

Sunday’s 2yo Sprint Stakes were a little Crazier but I still did pretty decent with the picks …  BUT!  I have a Scoring Q that must wait ’till BT gets back to his computer!!

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Filed under arlington park, Brag sheet, Graded Stakes, Handicapping, results, SAUHBR, Turf racing