WEDNESDAY: Do You Believe In Love?

Regular blog readers know that I tipped CARY STREET on the blog on Sunday. As always, that meant I bet him as well. That might not have been the smartest bet in the world. The point of making him my bankroll play in the first place was that I thought that both Midnight Taboo and Norumbega would be way overbet — I was guessing sub 2-1 on each. I ended up being only half right as Midnight Taboo was hammered and Norumbega was tepid throughout the betting, eventually going off at 5/2. Cary Street was 5/2 pretty much the whole time which in my heart I knew was just the price. But, because I mentioned him on the blog, I decided to bet him anyway. Sometimes you get married to your blog picks and that’s what happened to me.

Speaking of getting married. . .OK, let’s see, the happiest days of my life: Perrin’s birth last December, my first date with Susan (fifteen years prior to the day of Perrin’s birth), hitting the Pick Six at Del Mar with Frank Scatoni and William Murray back in 2004. Good Night Shirt’s maiden win at Pimlico that same summer. What am I leaving out? Oh, yeah, our wedding day in September of 2004 (did I mention 2004 was a very good year?).

Anyway, I’m not much of a hunch player. I probably should be given that the first big bet I ever cashed was on a horse called Editor’s Note when I was working at freakin’ Simon and Schuster. And I did cash on a horse called Birthday on my birthday in 1998. But other than those two instances, hunch bets have never been my thing. As a proper handicapper, I believe them to be beneath my dignity. But after Sunday, perhaps I should make occasional exceptions. You see, the wedding of which I spoke took place in beautiful Camden, Maine, in a Scottish-looking castle on the water called. . .anyone? anyone?. . .NORUMBEGA.

So I get back to the clubhouse seats on Sunday fresh from betting a C Note on CARY STREET only for Susan to tell me something which in retrospect seems entirely predictable: she has placed a bet on Norumbega. But then it got serious. She tells me she placed the bet for Perrin, thus putting her undefeated streak on the line. Had it been up to me, I wouldn’t have made another bet for her until she turned 18. So there I was in the unfortunate position of having to root against myself. But it worked out it in the sense that the tip was through halfway through the race (and I’m being very charitable with that assessment of Cary Street’s performance). That allowed me to root along with Susan and Perrin as Norumbega got up to win in the final strides.

I suppose in the end it served me right for backing a recent 10 claimer against a blueblood with first lasix going out for one of my favorite outfits. . .and with that name! Susan, as she usually does, summed it up best. When asked why she picked Norumbega over her husband’s Play of the Day, she answered, “Because I believe in love.”


So apologies folks for the unscheduled vacation from the blog. We ended up driving back Monday morning, getting stuck in traffic, and by the time I got settled in my office in the Brooklyn Bunker the first was about to go. I figured my time was better spent writing up Pick Six tickets than blogging (it wasn’t).

But let’s get back at them today with two plays. The first comes in Race 3. It looks like #7 RARE PENNY was just given a race last time by shrewd connections. In the old days we always used to back Sky Classic runners on the grass — especially at Saratoga — and these days that angle lives on through the dam side. And this dam, Penny Marie, was a multiple stakes winner on turf. The only issue I see here is that it’s a short field and there’s a world in which this one could be overbet. If we’re getting at least 3-1, I’ll play $50 win.

The other play comes in the John’s Call, a personal favorite of mine (both horse and race). That goes as Race 6 and I’ll try $50 win on #4 ADDRESS UNKNOWN. He’s got some nice UK form and I really like that he ran well at Chester. As I’ve written many times, the Euro runners who do well on the UK courses with tight turns tend to do well here and Chester is the sharpest of all. The ground should suit and it’s obviously nice to see that JRV is enticed to ride, suggesting he’s at least doing OK on out shores. Should be a pleasing price. Let’s just hope the distance isn’t too short for him — try saying that about any of today’s rivals!

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