Sunday, November 5, 2017

Picture This, If You Will... Part 2

   When 45 returned to his senses, he asked, "Where are my clothes?  I need my clothes."
   His response was, "No.  You do not need clothing for any reason."
   "I need to cover myself - for decency."
   A tinkling laugh shook through his cellular structure.  "No.  You have no decency."
   - _ -
   "Where is my hair!?!?," 45 suddenly asks, having run his hands over his head.
   "You have none.  You need none."
   45 mutters, "Well, at least it will grow back..."
   "No.  We have removed all of your so-called 'hair' follicles.  We find those eruptions from your pebbly and porous skin...    Ummm - disgusting."
   "You think hair is disgusting?  What do you look like?  What kind of m-monster - or thing - are you?"
   "Petty little man.  You would not survive seeing me.  I am all."
   - _ -

   "Where am I?"
   "You are here."
   "Where is 'here'?"
   "You have not the knowledge to understand, 45."
   "How long are you going to keep me here - wherever this is?"
   "Until the end."
   "The end?  The end of what?"
   "Until the end.  The end of time, as we know it.  The end of existence.  The end of being."
   "Listen to me.  I don't know who put you up to this.  I don't know who you are.  Someone - some...enemy of mine - must have paid you to do this.  I will pay you triple - no, wait - make that four times the amount this other person paid you - to let me go.  Just let me go - no questions asked.  No trouble for you in the future.  Just let me go now."
    The keeper's amusement nearly knocks him over, flowing through his body.  
   "What the hell...?"
   "You are very predictable, and therefore, quite amusing, 45."
   - _ -

   "I'm hungry.  Do I live on air here?"
   "No.  You have fresh water to slake your thirst at hand.  I will see that a meal is prepared."
   "I'm very hungry.   I want a 16-ounce sirloin steak, no bone, well-done.  I want a large pile of home-made fries, with plenty of salt.  I want chocolate cake with chocolate icing for dessert.  And do not forget the bottle of ketchup - I need that for both the steak and the fries."
   Within a few minutes, a small bright blue panel opens next to the table built into the wall.  A small tray appears, with two bowls.  Forty-five begins to sputter with rage as he looks at the tray.
   "Just what the hell is this... shit?"
   "You are grossly obese, 45.  You have been placed on a vegan diet while you are here.  Perhaps, once you reach your best weight, you may once again partake of your favorite foods."
   " I won't eat that... stuff."
   "That is entirely up to you, 45.   I would think that roughly cut oatmeal would bring back nice childhood memories of your Mother.  Of course, this is made with almond milk.  Doesn't the fresh fruit look inviting?  Strawberries, bananas, orange slices, kiwis, and grapes.  It looks good to me."
   "I hate that crap.  I won't eat it."
   "It will be available to you until your next meal time."
   "When is that?"
   "When I decide, 45."


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Nine New Breeders Cup Champions Today

Normally, I bet on the Breeder's Cup races - the past two years, I haven'y had "extra money" to lose, so I didn't bet.  Well - rats!

Special thanks to EquiSport Photos/Wendy Wooley for the use of two copyrighted photos!!!

    If you've read my blogs about horse racing and betting, you know that I don't like to bet on a favorite, that will give me a low return.  There are horses I bet on, even if they are the favorite, because of a wonderful memory or because of a sympathetic story...  But I generally avoid placing bets on public favorites.  Forever Unbridled is a wonderful memory horse for me, taking me back to the 1990 Kentucky Derby, with trainer Carl Nafzger calling the race for his nearly blind owner, Mrs Frances Genter... Then kissing her full on the mouth when the colt won by 3 1/4 lengths, and declaring to the entire world, "Oh, Ms Genter - I love you!"
   I didn't even look at the races to be run yesterday until noon - I read the four listings, and I read the entries, with sires and dams, jockeys and trainers, and post positions.  If I had made my usual $2 to win and $2 to place bets, I would have only bet $8 yesterday.  The weird thing is that each one of my win choices  actually won their race.  I would have paid out $8 at the window, and would have received back $59.40 from winning tickets...
   I essentially did the same thing today, but I looked at the races, fields, etcetera, at 8 a.m. and scribbled down my choices.  Since I had not bet yesterday, I was still strapped for cash today - and did not bet.  Sometimes I am just such a sucker for life....   There were 9 races today; I would have placed $20 in bets for win and place showings.  Missed out on almost $500, since I didn't make those $2 win , place, and one $2 Perfecta - for Wuheida (GB) and Rhododendron (Ire) in the Fillies and Mares Turf....

  The Breeders Cup was the place for long-shot horses today at Del Mar in California.  I think the most stupefying return amount was for a $2 Superfecta bet in the Juvenile Fillies Turf - if you chose the correct four horses to finish in order, you won $587,420.00 as your payout from the cashier.  (And I'm sure that IRS officials were standing by, too...)  Here's a short synopsis and a photo of the winners:

Bar of Gold won the Fillies and Mares Sprint, covering 7 furlongs on the dirt in 1:22.63.  The Medaglia d'Oro filly held off Ami's Mesa by a nose at the finish, with Carina Mia in third and Skye Diamonds finishing fourth.  Bar of Gold was a 66 to 1 long-shot at the start of the race...

The Turf Sprint was won by Stormy Liberal, a 5-year-old bay gelding by Stormy Atlantic.  Richard's Boy was a head behind the winner with Disco Partner another half-length back, and Bucchero finishing fourth.  The time was 56.62 seconds for the 5 furlongs.  Stormy Liberal was also a long-shot, paying $62.40 for a $2 win ticket...

The 6-furlong Sprint on the main track was won in 1:08.61 by another 5-year-old gelding, Roy H.  The son of More Than Ready finished one length in front of Imperial Hint.  Mind Your Biscuits ran third, with American Pastime in fourth.....

Good Magic was the winner of the Juvenile Colts race.  The chestnut son of Curlin ran the 1 and 1/16 miles in 1:43.34, winning by 4 1/4 lengths, and paying $25 for a $2 win ticket.  Solomini ran second, one length ahead of Bolt d'Oro (the betting favorite).  Givemeaminit was 8 1/4 lengths behind Bolt d'Oro in fourth.  Good Magic had not broken his maiden when he began today's race...  What a way to get your first win!!

The Mile Turf was won in the time of 1:34.55 by World Approval, a 5-year-old gelded son of Northern Afleet.  The grey was one and 1/4 lengths in front of Lancaster Bomber (my choice), who finished a head in front of Blackjackcat (my second choice), who finished a neck ahead of Suedois (Fr).  World Approval was not a long-shot, but the second and third horses were...  The $2 Trifecta ticket paid $12,812.40.

Wuheida, a chestnut filly by Dubawi (Ire), won the Fillies and Mares Turf race, covering the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.91.  The sentimental betting favorite was Lady Eli, who was coming back from near-death from laminitis, after stepping on a nail.  I bet on Wuheida because of her jockey, William Buick, who returned to the races after breaking a vertebrae last spring.  (I also bet on the second horse, mentally.)  Wuheida finished a length in front of Rhododendron (Ire), who was 3/4 length ahead of Cambodia, who was a head in front of Dacita (Chile).  Lady Eli had bad racing luck, and had be be pulled up several times in close quarters...  so sorry for her and her connections.

Long-shot bets continued to win, as Caledonia Road won the Juvenile Fillies Turf under the ride of Mike Smith.  The Quality Road filly ran the  1/16 miles in 1:45.05, and won by 3 1/4 lengths.  Alluring Star ran second, 1 3/4 lengths in front of Blonde Bomber, who was 1 3/4 lengths in front of Separationofpowers.  All of these fillies were long-shots.  Caledonia Road paid $36.60; Alluring Star $10.40; and Blonde Bomber $15.20.  Add Separationofpowers to a $2 Superfecta, and you get $587,420.00.   Yowza.....

The one-and-one-half mile Turf was expected to be a show piece for Ulysses, but the colt had swelling and heat in his fetlock early this morning, and was scratched from the race for medical reasons.  The chestnut son of Galileo (both Irish breds) had been the morning-line betting favorite at 7 to 2 odds.  Talismanic, a 4-year-old white-faced colt by Medaglia d'Oro, stepped into the breach, winning the Turf by a half-length, having run down Beach Patrol in the stretch.  Highland Reel (Ire), who won the Turf last year was third, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Sadler's Joy. Talismanic was  ridden by Mickael Barzalona, and is trained by the great Andre Fabre.  Talismanic paid $30.20 for a $2 win ticket.

The Breeders Cup Classic, worth $6 million in prize money this year...  There were two betting favorites as the race began:  Arrogate and Gun Runner.  I was secretly rooting for War Story, who has tried so hard the past two years.   But Arrogate looked tired to me this morning, in his stall.  I admit to betting $2 to win on three horses in this race - both favorites and War Story.  The only worry that Arrogate seemed to have was that he had drawn the #1 post position, starting back in the chute before joining the main track.  All Mike Smith had to do was get, and keep, him running straight ahead.  When the gates opened, Arrogate shied out to the left and lost about 5 lengths in the first two jumps.  Gun Runner, on the other hand, broke nicely.  The 4-year-old son of Candy Ride (Arg) won the race by 2 1/4 lengths, in a time of  2:01.29.  Collected finished second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of West Coast, who was 1/2 length in front of War Story (fourth).  One other eye-opener was that there was a Dead Heat for fifth place - between Arrogate and Gunnevera....

... And NO injuries that I'm aware of....

Breeders Cup Championship Horse Racing - Yesterday and Today

Four new Breeders Cup Champions were crowned yesterday at old Del Mar - Bing Crosby's race track, "where the turf meets the surf...."
   The big story for today's racing is that Ulysses has been scratched from the Turf, due to heat and inflammation in a fetlock.

   Yesterday, Rushing Fall proved to be the best of the juvenile fillies on the mile turf course.  A striking bay filly by More Than Ready, and out of Autumnal, by Forestry, Rushing Fall covered the mile in 1:36.09, under the guidance of Javier Castellano.  Best Performance ran second; September (Ire), who walked out of the starting gate, was third; and Significant Form was fourth.  Rushing Fall paid $8.00 to win; Best Performance paid $11.80 to place; and September (Ire) paid $4.80 to show.  The payout for a $2 Perfecta was $107.40; a $2 Trifecta was $743.20; and the $2 Superfecta paid $3,756.20.  The betting favorite, Happily, ran into trouble and had to be checked multiple times, and ended last.

    Battle of Midway proved his mettle by winning the Dirt Mile in 1:35.20, under the guidance of jockey Flavien Prat.  The 3-year-old son of Smart Strike, out of the Concerto mare Rigoletta, was a contender for this year's Kentucky Derby. Sharp Azteca battled with the winner down the stretch, finishing second by a half-length; he was 4 1/4 lengths in front of Awesome Slew, who was a half-length in front of Practical Joke.  Battle of Midway paid $30.40 for a $2 win ticket; Sharp Azteca paid $4 for place; and Awesome Slew paid $7 for show.  The $2 tickets for the Perfecta paid $164.20; for the Trifecta, $1,481.20; and for the Superfecta, $5,716.40.

   In the Juvenile Turf, Catholic Boy was undefeated at the start.  He finished fourth.  Mendelssohn ran from the one spot, and finished one length ahead of his nearest competitor, Untamed Domain.  The colt, sired by Scat Daddy, and out of Leslie's Lady by Tricky Creek, covered the mile on the turf in 1:35.97.  Jockey Ryan Moore was in the saddle, riding with trainer Aidan O'Brian's instructions. Voting Control was third, a head before Catholic Boy.  For $2 bets, Mendelssohn paid $11.60 to win; Untamed Domain paid $11 to place; and Voting Control paid $6.20 to show.  A $2 Perfect paid $146.60; Trifecta paid $1207.00; and the Superfecta paid $6,413.60.

  In the Distaff, Forever Unbridled  showed her championship form.  The 5-year-old mare, sired by Unbridled's Song, and out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare, Lemons Forever, won the race by a half-length over Abel Tasman.  Abel Tasman was three lengths ahead of Paradise Woods, who was a length in front of fourth-place finisher Elate.  Trained by Dallas Stewart, there was consternation when it was announced soon before the race, that Joel Rosario, the regular jockey would not be riding the mare.  She was guided to this win by veteran jockey John R Velazquez.  Forever Unbridled's winning time for the 1 and 1/8 miles on the dirt was 1:50.25.   Again, for $2 bets - Forever Unbridled paid $9.40;Abel Tasman paid $5.40; and Paradise Woods paid $3.80.  Payout for a $2 Perfecta was $46.80; for a $2 Trifecta, $294.40; and a $2 Superfecta was $741.40.
         Long live the Queen!