Racing Ink

My regular daily “Ink in My Coffee” post is below. Scroll down if that’s what you’re looking for.

However, if you want to read my race picks, stay here.

Today, Friday, there are two races at Churchill Downs on which I’ll bet. In the first race, I like Fancy Fusaichi and Tactical Warning (both across the board). In the 10th, the Kentucky Oaks, if both Proud Spell and Eight Belles run, I’ll bet them both across the board and in a boxed exacta. Eight Belles is also scheduled to run in tomorrow’s Derby. If she scratches from the Oaks, I’ll pick another horse in the post parade, but keep Proud Spell across the board.

Saturday’s Race Card at Churchill Downs:

Race 1:
Biker Boy is scheduled to run on Friday, but if he doesn’t, I’ll bet him here. I also like Bullet Rain and Sale Pending. I’ll probably bet all three across the board. Communicated will be a post parade decision – it’s a John Velazquez/Todd Pletcher partnership and I don’t want to dismiss it without one last look at the horse.

Race 2:
Most of my bets today will be across the board. I’m doing it again in this race with Sly Storm, Loving Vindication, and BR’s Girl. My longshot show bet here is Belle Roja. I like Stealing Kisses, but not sure she can triumph in this field. I’ll make the final decision on her in the post.

Race 3:
Spin Master across the board. Forty Grams to place or show if he looks amazing.

Race 4:
I’ll probably sit this one out. I’ll look at Cherokee Artist and Chris Got Even, but they will have to really impress me for me to spend money on them rather than a cocktail.

Race 5: Churchill Downs Stakes:

Looks like it’s time for another cocktail. I’ll look at the long shot Island Warrior and 5/1 shot Elite Squadron (because JV’s on him) in the paddock, but probably sit this one out, too.

Race 6: La Troienne Grade 3 Stakes:

Game Face across the board – that’s what she has, and it’s JV/Pletcher.
Secret Gypsy to place and show.
I want to look at Informed Decision because Jonathan Sheppard is the trainer. I want to look at Keep the Peace because Edgar Prado’s the jockey. If they were teamed, this would not be a decision, but they’re not, so I want to see the horses first.
My long shot pick for this race is Tiz To Dream at 30-1 for a show bet.

Race7: Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Grade 3:
Dreaming of Anna is the favorite here; if the jockey was different, I’d be more inclined to favor her. I’ll look at her in the paddock. If she’s in a good mood and looks sharp, I’ll bet her. If she frets, I may skip her.
I like Sharp Susan and Danzon (JV/Pletcher) across the board. I’m going to take a look at Bayou Lassie (Dale Romans trainer, Edgar Prado up) for a place or show spot. Ventura looks like a pretty safe bet to get in the top four somewhere, but my longshot will be VIP Princess at 50-1 for a show spot, unless she fusses in a bad way in the paddock.

Race 8: Humana Distaff Grade 1:
Sugar Swirl has low odds, but I’m not familiar with her racing style, so I’ll have to wait and see how she looks. Hystericalady, Miss Macy Sue, and Miraculous Miss are all old favorites. I’ll probably go across the board with those three and maybe toss them into a few boxed exactas or a boxed trifecta. Change It Up will probably be my longshot show bet at 15-1. I’m surprised that Baroness Thatcher’s odds are 10-1 – I would have expected them to be shorter. She disappointed me the last time I bet her, so she will have to really impress me to win me back.

Race 9: Woodford Reserve Turf Grade 1:
War Monger across the board. Einstein to place and show. Duveen and Artiste Royal to show. I want to look at the Irish horse Golden Balls, who’s the current favorite. He should like the turf, so he’s worth some money unless he has a very bad day.

Race 10: The Kentucky Derby Grade 1:

Big Brown is the favorite. He’s also got the outside post. He’s going to have to be a Freak horse to keep his poise, not wear himself out early, and win. If he was in the middle post position, I’d throw him out, because I think he’d freak the minute he got squished. I think the outside post helps him, but he’s going to have to move that big butt of his awfully fast AND not run out of steam to win this. Will Kent tuck him to the rail, if he can? Will that make BB feel more confident, or will the pressure of 19 horses to his right upset him too much? Will he lather in the post, like he did in his previous race – because, while it worked last time out, one needs a heck of a lot more stamina in this one. I will probably bet him across the board as a safety bet, but I have my doubts. But then, I was wrong about Street Sense last year, so . . .
Pyro and Gayego are still my favorites, and will get bet across the board. If Eight Belles winds up running here instead of in Friday’s Oaks, I will place a show bet on her, even though I believe she will come in ninth or tenth. Because I’ll support the filly. Tale of Ekati and Cowboy Cal are my longshots, with at least show money going towards them. I think Big Truck will try very hard (he’s a wonderful horse), but I don’t think this is his race. If it rains, Visionaire gets into my picks; and I’ll probably box him with Gayego. If it’s dry, I’m on the fence about him. To my surprise, Smooth Air is running, in spite of being sick last week. I’ll pass. Colonel John’s gotten a lot of good press, but I’m on the fence about him, too. Court Vision is growing on me – we’ll see how he looks. Behindatthebar didn’t make it in. Maybe we’ll get to see him in the Preakness. I’m staying away from exotics in this race because I think the field is too inconsistent.

Race 11:
Sonoma Cat across the board. Tiz Now Tiz Then for place and show. MapMaker to show and Lemon Custard to show.

Race 12:
Maiara and Pious Ashley across the board. I think Quiet Mover and Syrup both have the potential to be upset horses here, so they’ll get at least show money.

Tune in to FemmeFan ( next week for the Derby wrap-up, with commentary on hits and misses. If you want to tips on how to bet a horse, I have an article up on my website:

Have a great Derby day!

Published in: on May 2, 2008 at 11:23 am  Comments (4)  
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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

“Racing Ink”, the results of yesterday’s picks, is towards the end of this post.

Not much on the writing front today; mostly home-and-hearth kerflamma. A few writing bits sprinkled in, but if you’re here to read about writing process – not much was processing today. Sorry.

My apartment looks like a bookstore after an earthquake. I mean it. I even got three carloads of stuff into storage yesterday, and I’m not seeing a whole lot of headway here. Other than putting books into stacks so that when I get my hands on more book boxes, I can pack by project and actually get at them.

The kitchen altar and main altar area packed, the crystals and prayer flags and all that stuff are packed. That makes me feel very exposed. Oh, horrors, I have to count on my own energy and not external symbols, imagine that. I can hear my friend Gayle right now, “Buck up, bunny!” Okay, okay, I’m bucking up. Plus, it’s not going into storage, jut stacked on top of bookcases away from the windows so I can put it all back as soon as the new windows are in.

So, I’m looking for this DVD of a movie called A Dog’s Breakfast I figured I’d have to order it, but hoped maybe it would be at one of the video stores around here, so on my return trips from the forays to storage, I investigated places in Westchester where one can purchase DVDs. Not such a good selection. At one place, the guy was arguing with me that he’d order it for me if I agreed to purchase a membership and rent it. I said, no, I need to BUY it. He wanted to know why I’d buy a DVD. Not that it was any of his business but: A) I want to support someone whose work I like and respect, so dammit, I’m buying the effing DVD (sort of like buying my friends’ books as they come out in hardcover instead of waiting for the paperback), and B) I know I’m going to have to watch it multiple times for research. A return date is not going to work. I reminded this guy, hello, I’m the CUSTOMER, you’re supposed to SERVE me, not ARGUE with me.

Struggled to get some writing done in the evening; kept getting distracted by research. And pleased because this time next week, I am working onsite, out of town, for a few days, and I can’t wait to get away from the stress for even a short time. I’m putting as many safety mechanisms in place before I go as possible. I’m seriously thinking about using the time to go to ground and just write, read, do yoga, do the work that’s paying me to go out of town and onsite, and not deal with human beings any more than absolutely necessary.

I visited a friend, kind of sprawling on the couch for awhile, and he’s giving me a hard time – in fun, but still a hard time – about something, and I finally said, “If I had the energy, I’d get up and kick your ass”, to which he responded, “Why do you think I picked now to bust your chops about this?” And he wonders why I won’t date him! 😉

I felt I made progress in a different situation with a different person today, when, instead of reacting to something that provoked me, I realized, hey, that’s not this person’s problem, it’s MY problem, and it doesn’t have to be a big deal if I don’t let it. Not only that, if I wasn’t under so much house-and-home stress, it’s not something that would normally bother me. So I let it go, and avoided what could have blown into unnecessary drama. Pick the battle, know when to hold the line or give ground, don’t be a doormat, but don’t look for trouble, either. Because there are just times it’s better to keep one’s mouth shut. This was one of them.

I got a bit of work done on the erotic fairy tale – not easy when I, personally, feel about as sexy as wilted lettuce, and I’m at a point of fatigue where it’s hard to throw the switch into the genre part of my writing brain. I’m sure there are many erotic possibilities in wilted lettuce, but right now, I really don’t want to hear about them. Good thing the men in my life are out of town this week – I’m not a fun date!

I had a few moments of panic when I realized the research books I need for the next two Gwen/Justin adventures (The Balthazaar Treasure and Sandoval’s Secret) went to storage, but they’re in the box marked “priority books”, so they’ll come back the day after the windows go in. I kept telling myself, it’s only for a few weeks, and if I need them THAT badly before, I can open the box and bring them back early. It’s not like the storage units in the city, where I can’t actually GET at anything. In case you’re wondering why I haven’t talked about Tracking Medusa lately, that’s because it’s out in the world, and once I have a signed contract, there will be something to say.

Oh, someone asked what the price was for the new windows – our sanity, of course! What we NEED is flood mitigation. What the scumbags are doing is putting in a few cosmetic touches (and handling them in a way to guarantee the most disruption in our lives as possible) – so that they can flip the building. They have no intention of being around long enough to pay up when the wheels of justice roll in our favor (and they will).

I hope I can resume the house hunting soon. Brandy’s right: I am frustrated; I am angry; I’ve been living under siege for three years, and I’m sick of it. What they want is for us to be scared; I won’t give them that. I’m angry, and I’ll use that anger as a weapon. If it was as simple as renting a truck, packing up and taking off, that’s what I’d do. Unfortunately, this time around, it’s more complicated.

Today’s agenda: more packing and hauling stuff to storage; work on the essay and on the erotic fairy tale. Maybe, just maybe, finish the outline for the piece that has to be started April 1.

My grandmother’s worse again, so somewhere in all of this, I have to figure out a time to get to Maine.

Here’s some Racing Ink:
Eva Maria let me down in Race 2—she came in 5th. But that was nowhere near as disappointing as Moon Catcher in the 5th race, who came in last. Made me glad I tossed some money at Baroness Thatcher just because of Johnny V—they came in 2nd, that’s what I wanted, good for us.

Highest Class came in third and Backseat Rhythm came in fourth in the Bonnie Miss S, so that was also a disappointment.

However, I more than made up for all of it in the Florida Derby. In the post parade, I reshuffled my deck. I liked BB Frank, didn’t think he had it in him today – out. I was on the fence with Face the Cat, in spite of Johnny, so – out. I tossed Fierce Wind, much to the dismay of several colleagues. I liked Elysium Fields and wanted to see Majestic Warrior do well, so I waved some show money at them. That didn’t work so well – Elysium Fields came in second to last, which makes me thinks there’s an injury, and Majestic Warrior was a disappointing sixth.

BUT – Big Brown looked great in the paddock, so I tossed money at him. I got worried in the post parade, because I was afraid he used himself up, but wow! With a great break from the gate, he took control of the race, and never let go. I feared he’d wear down, especially since he did the first quarter in 22 seconds and change, but no – this big brown boy won by 4 ½ lengths. Very impressive.

He’s not yet my top pick for the Derby – he tends towards foot problems, and Churchill’s track is less forgiving than Gulfstream’s. (But then, Point Given also had foot problems, and he was a fantastic horse). War Pass, Pyro, and Georgie Boy still top my list. But he’s worth another look. We’ll see how he comes out of this – and he is 3 for 3.

Arkansas Derby is April 12 – it’ll be interesting to see which, if any horses in that have an impact on the Derby.

I caught up pretty well today for someone who hasn’t been paying attention since November! 😉


Devon’s Bookstore:

5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.

Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Racing Ink — Preakness Day Undercard

If you’re looking for the regular entry of “Ink in My Coffee” and the photos from Iceland, keep scrolling – they’re the entry below this one.

Sorry this is late going up – it took longer to handicap the undercard than I expected!

First Race:
The first race of a day is rarely this interesting. We have progeny from Real Quiet, Monarchos, Victory Gallop and Lemon Drop Kid here – wow! My choices are Leagelnote (Notebook’s colt), and Brandon’s Oboe (sired by Lemon Drop Kid) in an exacta with Cherokee Spirit across the board due to Mario Pino being his jockey.

Second Race:
I like Colonial Silver – the sire is Silver Deputy and the jockey is Mario Pino. I also like Magical Gem, who I think will be a pleasant surprise here, with Stormatic to round out the top three.

Third Race:
At 1 1/16 miles, this is a good endurance test. Alphabet Storm, sired by Alphabet Soup is my top pick here – unless it rains. My second choice is Pay Off Time (sired by Touch Gold and ridden by Ryan Fogelsonger). Grey Dorian’s not getting much respect; I’m hoping for a bounce off his last effort.

Fourth Race:
Roth Ticket (also sired by Touch Gold) and Suave Jazz are my top choices. If Musician’s Pride looks good in the saddling ring, I’ll toss him in at the last minute.

Fifth Race: — Baltimore City Turf Sprint:
Unbridled Sidney is entered on Friday’s card; if she doesn’t run there, I’d love to see her beat the boys here. Bingobear gets Gomez as his jockey, which can only help an already good horse.

Sixth Race – Hirsch Jacobs Grade III
Street Magician, sired by Street Cry, is my pick. He’s a good horse who’s kept the same jockey for his last few races. After a less than stellar showing last time, he’s due for a positive bounce.

Seventh Race – The Gallorette Handicap (Turf)
The Irish horse Grigorieva is my top pick in this race – good record, Graham Motion as trainer, Ramon Dominguez as jockey. Precious Kitten and High Moment are my other two picks.

Eighth race – Emirates Airlines Maryland Breeders’ Cup Spring Handicap
This has four horses worth a wheel – Talent Search, Diabolical (sired by Artax), Celtic Innis, and Semphore Man.

Ninth Race – Barbaro 100K
Much as I adored Barbaro, they should have renamed some other race for him and left this as the Sir Barton. Chelokee, one of my Preakness picks, moved to this race instead and he is my top choice, trained by Michael Matz. Zephyr Cat and Soaring By are my other choices. If Stonehouse looks good while saddling, I’ll toss him in at the last minute.

Tenth Race – Dixie G2 (Turf)
The field is large here. My choices are Cosmonaut (another Lemon Drop Kid progeny), Einstein, and Mending Fences. My hope is that Mending Fences wins – he’s improved so much over the past year.

Eleventh Race – William Donald Schaefer Handicap Grade III
Both Sunriver and Flashy Bull look good here. I like Smelling Salts, but would feel more confident if Aaron Gryder made the trip east to remain the jockey.

Twelfth Race – Preakness – Grade I
There were some roster changes in the race since my article in FemmeFan earlier this week. Chelokee is now in the 9th race instead and Circular Quay is here. I’ll take Street Sense across the board; Mint Slewlep and Flying First Class to place and show; and Circular Quay to show.

Thirteenth Race
Fire House, Misty County, and Moon Bean.

Other interesting Races:

Belmont Race 1: Theatrical Glory
Belmont Race 6: Black Adonis

Delaware Race 1: Plagiarize
Delaware Race 5: Miss Classy Trash

Hollywood Park Race 2: Fortunate Victory, Moteado
Hollywood Park Race 4: Flying Bearcat
Hollywood Park Race 5: Flip the Penny (if he gets in)

Happy Racing! Look for my Preakness Day Wrap-Up article in next week’s issue of FemmeFan.

Published in: on May 18, 2007 at 2:10 pm  Comments (1)