Friday, June 7, 2013

Belmont Picks & "Big Brother" in US Government

Tomorrow is the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of America's Triple Crown.  Elmont Park, where Belmont is situated, is right in the projected path of Tropical Storm Andrea, and is expecting 2 to 8 inches of rain.  The track manager began sealing the track yesterday evening, after the last race, to try and keep the track as dry as possible for Saturday's big race.  If Orb wins tomorrow, he will be the 12th horse to win the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes (the last was Thunder Gulch in 1995).  If Oxbow wins the Belmont, he'll be the 19th horse to win it and the Preakness (the great Man o'War did it, but was not entered in the Kentucky Derby, as his owner thought 1 1/4 miles on the first Saturday in May was asking too much of a three-year-old).
  So, who do I like in tomorrow's field of fourteen?  I like all of them, due to one thing or another, in actuality.  Palace Malice and Vyjack are related to my horses - both dams trace back to *Forli, with Vyjack having Affirmed in his sire's pedigree, and Palace Malice being a son of Curlin.  Both Orb and Incognito have A. P. Indy in the sire line, with Unbridled in the dam's line.  Revolutionary goes back to Man o'War on top and bottom; while Midnight Taboo is by Langfuhr.  Oxbow is by Awesome Again, while the filly Unlimited Budget is by Street Sense.  Golden Soul has Sadler's Wells on the top and Mr. Prospector on the bottom; Overanalyze is from the Dixieland Band family.  Belmont is the home track for Giant Finish, and, for some strange reason, I like the fact that his great-grand dam was named "Miss Betty."   I have picked both Frac Daddy and Will Take Charge in previous races due to their pedigrees and looks.  And Freedom Child, the chestnut ridgling, could be a surprise contender.
   It's a mile and a half race.  Three of the colts have run in the other two legs - Orb, Oxbow, and Will Take Charge.  I would like for any of the veteran jockeys to win the race - John Velasquez, Edgar Prado, Gary Stevens, Jon Court, Mike Smith, or Julien Leparoux.   I can't get my wager pool any smaller - so I'm picking five horses that I think can win the race:  Oxbow, Midnight Taboo, Palace Malice, Unlimited Budget (of course I have to bet on the girl!), and Golden Soul.   Depending on the weather, the track, and the looks of the horses, I might change my mind before post time...  But those are my picks for now.
Kudos for Mark Udall!
From his perch on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Mark Udall has sounded alarms, written letters to cabinet members, sponsored bills, threatened to hold up confirmations and even personally engaged President Barack Obama about his increasing sense of alarm that the federal government was trampling Americans' constitutional rights.
  The first-term Democrat said Thursday that he was well aware the federal government was broadly monitoring Americans' phone and e-mail communications and he did "everything short of leaking classified information" to try and bring attention to the issue.
   Information he's gleaned from the highly secretive intelligence committee has, he said, provided him an education into the programs that he finds "shocking."
  "I've learned a great deal more about our surveillance laws and how they've been implemented," he said in a Senate floor speech in December. "Terrorism has forced us to have a conversation about our civil liberties and our threats.
  "We must, as the federal government and the protectors of our Constitution, protect the constitutional liberties of the American people and live up to the transparency that our democracy demands. ... We need to balance the civil liberties in our constitution with our ongoing fight against terrorists."
  I have read Senator Udall's comments, critiques, and requests since he was voted into office.  He needs support.  He has been warning his constituents for months about the way the government is looking at private citizen's phone and internet records.  Now folks are screaming because they are finally listening to the facts.  I feel like everyone else just woke up inside 1984 - and I'm happy that I've been listening to my Senator!

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