July 27, 2001

On a Lighter Note...
The way some entities talk down to you about horseracing and handicapping, you could almost say "Hey, pastor, easy on the pulpit. You're making the candles flicker!" and you wouldn't be too far from the essence of it. The second they start their sermon, you might half-expect to hear the violins cueing in at any second.

It's easy for them to try to dazzle you with whatever it is they're seeking to prove or seem smart about or sell you, but are they really giving you words and ideas and approaches that can help you improve your bottom line? Or are they looking to scaare you?

Probably. Truth is, there are many excellent and proven ways to beat the races, and anyone who needs to intimidate you into changing your style or talk you off your approach is likely pretty insecure or desperate. And more often than not, after they're done criticizing, they haven't really left you with much of a practical application on how to improve your game. Just something to think about.

We have been pleased and delighted to see some of our pragmatic, actionable calls pay off big during the opening days of Del Mar and Saratoga. Hope you caught some of them.

At Del Mar, trainers Baffert and Zucker came through on back-to-back days with big prices. Mr. Robert J. Frankel also did his part on Sunday, saddling 7-1 Tates Creek.

On Friday, the overhyped odds-on two-year-old Fancy Prancer shipped in after never having been challenged elsewhere and promptly discovered what it was like to have company up front -- and, predictably, did not like it.

At the Spa, trainer Gary Contessa, one of the conditioners we pegged for a hot start, saddled a horse that ran a very good second at 6-1 to a hot 7-10 favorite. And Contessa promptly ran a live 5-1 who finished second in the meet's second race.

And Thursday at Saratoga, it came up rainy and sloppy on the main track. The last edition of this newsletter identified three riders who historically had done well in the off going during the first two weeks of Saratoga -- Pat Day, Jorge Chavez and John Velazquez.

Well, all those three did on hursday's card was win six of the eight Thoroughbred races, including a $17.60 winner and one for $10.40.

Even more impressive, those three teamed up to finish one-two five times, with the exactas paying some nice numbers, including mutuels of $132.50, $70 and $110.

So the next time you hear some mope spout off about science and numbers and all that jazz, ask yourself -- is he trying to baffle me with you-know-what, or is he helping me win some money at the races.

We hope you keep winning with us.

Top 10 Reasons Saratoga Fans Would Rather Be at Del Mar
Having said that, it's now time for some humor. From the Home Office in Latham, N.Y., your first Top 10 list of this issue:

10. That Jan Rushton can be awfully annoying sometimes.
9. No flash-grilled ahi tuna at Harvey Pack's seminars at Siro's.
8. There are only so many hurdle races your eyes will take before they start thinking of bikinis.
7. "Uh, honey. I forgot the umbrella again."
6. Mike Smith, come back, we miss you!
5. It's not the heat, it's all those zombies repeating "Graveyard of Favorites."
4. Calling out "14-14-14-14" in late pick 4 ultimately proves too confusing.
3. "Where the surf eats the turf" not nearly as satisfying as "where the turf meets the surf."
2. Hey, where'd all the maiden-claimers go?
1. Four out of five bettors prefer knowing the night before which horses are actually going to draw into the race.

The Whitney in a Jitney
It's time for the first big race of the Saratoga meet, the Grade I, $750,000 Whitney Handicap at nine furlongs on the main track for older horses.

All eyes will be on the great Albert the Great, 4-5 on the morning line and again bestowed with a race that's his to lose. He'll have the lead entering the lane.

Lido Palace will be the second choice in the wagering, but he might need a faster pace to run down. To complete the exotics, try Unsahded, a budding course specialist, and Perfect Cat, whose stretch-kick isn't much, but is as good as anyone else's in here.

Top 10 Reasons Del Mar Fans Would Rather Be at Saratoga
From the Home Office in Leucadia, Calif., it's this issue's final comedic piece:

10. That Mike Willman is even more annoying than Jan Rushton.
9. "Darn! Here's another horse with a 350 Tomlinson mud rating!"
8. The tote board stops at 12.
7. Just how many races do they let that Baffert guy win, anyhow?
6. That Bing Crosby song, well, it's only a recording.
5. At least one stakes race a day or at least three maiden-claimers a day: you decide.
4. The Philadelphia Orchestra doesn't visit Chula Vista.
3. Thongs on women, OK; guys? no thanks.
2. The tote board stops at 12 -- and it's still impossible to read in the sunshine.
1. Three words: homemade ice cream.

The Read in a Sled
Trying to keep with our theme of rhyming feature-race headlines, except that it's pronounced like "reed" and the whole idea was just a terrible mistake in the first place.

As for the race itself, the Grade I, $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap is at nine furlongs on the turf for older horses.

Irish Prize is the 9-5 morning-line favorite, but he's used to having much faster fraction on ahead of him. This time, there won't be a wicked pace for him to run down by default.

Both Frankel horses -- Super Quercus and Timboroa -- however, look like they'll run anything down late, regardless of the setup. And they'll be better prices. Give 'em a whirl.

July Contest Winding Down; Specials at the Handicapping Store
Unlike months past, this current edition of the Big-Prize Handicapping Contest is still up for grabs, even if you haven't joined in yet. Just spend out all your mythical contest bankroll by July 31 (straight bankroll by July 29) and you're in it to win it. It's fun, and our most competitive and exciting challenge so far. Go to the July Free-Form/Iron Survivor Preliminary Big-Prize Handicapping Contest.

At the Handicapping Store, there are some nice handicapping tools and publications that can help you improve your bottom line. Check out the specials by going to the Handicapping Store.

As always, thanks for reading, and see you next time.

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