A New Day

The Cubs had just completed a sweep of the World Series; my brother had paid me back the $20 he owed me, and gasoline was last checked at $1.00 per gallon. – Oh, and after 37 years there is a new Triple Crown winner. You can scrap the first three as they are events that will signal the end of days. But the last statement is in the books. – A bay colt by Pioneer of the Nile won the 147th running of the Belmont in impressive fashion. To say it was a long time between drinks is an understatement, and just to think Las Vegas is hard at work hammering out next year’s “Derby Winter Book” wager. But after the fog has lifted and the official sign is up. Here are a few observations this handicapper predicts will be in the cards.


Steve Cauthen = It seems like yesterday when we watched a youthful “kid” power down the lane striking Affirmed with his left whip for the first time. Yep, he hit him with the left stick to find that extra ounce of gas in the tank. – Every year you could count on every paper, sports show, scribe, blog, and graffiti artist to contact the Kentucky gent. He would be asked the same questions over and over, and after 37 years, his phone may stop ringing off the hook for the first time since 1978. Look for Mr. Cauthen to enjoy his farm and horses and stay clear of the limelight for awhile. – But who knows, the “kid” may be back before we know it.


Money Men = Eddie Arcaro rode about 1/3rd of the mounts of everyone else, and made one heck of a living. Gary Stevens travelled to Europe, and used his extra gained weight to spank the Euro-riders. Mike Smith has followed the patterns of Arcaro, and spends about 5 hours a day in the gym. He’ll still be the best money rider in the world for my money. – Victor Espinoza will now be known as “Mr. Triple Crown.” Want to know how to ride the Preakness ? Call Victor. – How sweeping are the turns at Belmont ? Call Victor. He lost previous attempts at the Triple Crown with War Emblem in 2002, and California Chrome in 2014. For the brain children who called his riding techniques in the Derby a bit over the top, he only went to the “encourager” twice down the lane to lock up the Belmont Stakes. – He isn’t magic, and didn’t make a deal at the crossroads. His ability is good every day, but the cream rises to the top when you put a confidant, talented rider in the saddle. Pair this up with a powerhouse trainer, and owners who love the sport. – Quoting my grandmother about cooking; ” You put the good things in, and you’ll get the great things out.”


Bob Baffert = Once upon a time, the “White Haired Wonder” used to dance and toss flowers in the winner’s circle. Now, after Father Time has set in and a brush with a health scare, in walks the man who defines racing. Ladies and gentleman, meet the new spokesman for Thoroughbred racing. – I’ve grown to enjoy Bob Baffert over the years. Now, he speaks with a lump-in-throat emotion that was found in the greats of our game. They didn’t talk crap, and you never heard them brag. Why ? – “It ain’t bragging if you can do it.” – I had tears in my eyes as he walked with the camera, and the questions asked hit him right in the emotional spot of his heart. – I’m so glad to see Mr. Baffert join the pantheon of the great names in racing. He’ll always look good in his tinted glasses and blue blazer talking about the sport he grew up with.


It’s Monday afternoon, and the big race is in the books. If you watched the race at Belmont, an OTB, a race track, or on DVR. You heard the roar of the crowd no matter how many were there. If you missed this one-of-a-kind event, just click below and you’ll find out just what you missed. – I’m so happy there is another name added to the list of champions. He was the real deal, and it just so happened we were lucky enough to see history made.