Sunday, September 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Trane

The heavyweight champ would have been 81 years old today.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Belmont Results, 9/8/07: The Green Flunkey

Hey, look, third place isn't so bad. You generally get 10% of the purse for show - $5200 in this case. The Green Monkey only needs 3,076 similar finishes and he's completely paid for. Of course, that would mean he'd have to race every day for the next 8 years or so, but maybe he could go around twice a day on weekends.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Paulie's Picks, Belmont, 9/15/07

I'm still sore about last week. First, I picked five winners which paid a grand total of $35.40. If I had simply bet an equal amount to win on all my picks for the card, it would have represented a profit of 77%! I got too cute (as I always do) with exactas, trifectas, Pick 3's and so on. The thing is, I haven't learned my lesson and plan to make similar plays tomorrow. And the other thing about last week that I'm still sore about is the fact that my wife narrowly missed a Pick 6 worth $53,000-and-change.

I was going to take this weekend off but there are two races of note. The 9th race is the G1 Gazelle for three-year-old fillies, and the sensational Rags to Riches is making her first start since beating the boys in the Belmont Stakes on June 9th. She's only the third girl to win the Belmont in it's entire 139 year history - the last was Tanya in 1905, and the one before that was Ruthless in the very first running of the race in 1867.

The 4th race is a maiden-special that features the long-awaited debut of the most expensive untested racehorse in history. John Magnier of Coolmore Stud paid $16,000,000 for The Green Monkey at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Calder selected sale. And in the year-and-half since then, the colt has logged no races and a handful or workouts, constantly returning to the bench with minor physical ailments. The Green Monkey's connections have chosen a pretty soft bunch for their horse's debut - I imagine it would be pretty embarrassing for a lot of ego-driven rich people if their solid gold pony comes in last (or even 2nd).

On with the show; here are Professor Paulie's picks for tomorrow's Belmont card:

1st race:
2 - Las Presse
4 - Jibboom
5 - Genuine Devotion

2nd race:
4 - Hedgefund Investor
3 - Commandeered
5 - Devereux

3rd race:
3 - Americanus
9 - Spirit of Gulch
4 - Executive Search

4th race
4 - The Green Monkey
3 - Roi Maudit
5 - Holla Bend

5th race:
7 - Metro Meteor
4 - Fez
1 - Mascot

6th race, The Matron (G2):
3 - Proud Spell
2 - Syriana's Song
6 - Armonk

7th race, The Noble Damsel Handicap (G3):
3 - Silver Charades
8 - Fantastic Shirl
10 - Pommes Frites

8th race, The Futurity (G2):
6 - Kodiak Kowboy
4 - The Leopard
3 - Tale of Ekati

9th race, The Gazelle (G1):
5 - Rags to Riches
1 - Lear's Princess
3 - Tough Tiz's Sis

10th race:
7 - Lightning Larry
6 - Gone Prospecting
4 - Secret Stocks

Tune in tomorrow night for results.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Belmont Results, 9/8/07: A Brush With Riches

My wife took a flier on a Pick 6 today; an $8 dollar ticket which had two horses covered in races 5 and 6, and single-horse coverage in races 7 through 10, which is pretty close to naked in terms of playing this particular wager. Well, when Doctor Dino scored in race 9th race, we all looked at Joy's ticket in amazement - she had gotten through 5 races, and was one race away from what is usually the biggest jackpot on the wagering menu.

After the penultimate race in the sequence, the payouts for a winning Pick 6 ticket are flashed on the monitor. If Really Rollicking were to come home in the 10th race, Joy would have won - get ready for it - a little more than $53,000.

My Man Lars, the favorite in the 10th, spoiled the party, and my much-better-half collected the 5-correct consolation prize of $102.

And what about Professor Paulie? If you look at today's results and compare them to Paulie's Picks, you'll see that that I picked five winners, plus the correct exacta in races 1 and 2. How I came out $66 in the red is anybody's guess, but seems to suggest that Professor Paulie is not nearly as smart as he thinks he is. Don't tell my students - ok?

Friday, September 7, 2007

Paulie's Picks, Belmont, 9/8/07

Here it is, September already, and Belmont is open for the fall meeting. Now that I'm a college professor, I feel sure that I can bring a level of insight and sophistication to my handicapping that I was unable to achieve while I was simply a struggling artist.

With this in mind, here are Professor Paulie's picks for tomorrow's very competitive card:

1st race:
2: Run Red Run
5: Tight Grip
1: Mister Fusaichi

2nd race:
7: Anakim
1a: Cool Coal Man
6: Legacy Thief

3rd race:
7: Treasure Mountain
2b: Saratoga Kaz
4: Front Money

4th race:
9: Si O No
5: Noah A.
6: Gigli

5th race:
8: Vivacious Vivian
4: Delta Weekend
3: Show 'Em All

6th race:
8: Defrereoftheheart
5: Winaway
9: Love Abroad

7th race, The Garden City (G1):
7: Alexander Tango
10: Rutherienne
6: Valbenny

8th race, The Ruffian Handicap (G1):
2: Ginger Punch
4: Take D' Tour
3: Miss Shop

9th race, The Man O' War (G1):
7: Yellowstone
5: Shamdinan
1: Doctor Dino

10th race:
3: Really Rollicking
11: My Man Lars
6: Brazos

Tune in tomorrow night for results.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hi, It's Me

Ho Hassle at the Castle is still a living entity despite the lack of activity lately, and Paulie is still a painter, horseplayer, jazz musician and fan, commie, and lover of samurai films. But in recent weeks all of those things have taken a back seat to preparation for my new job as a college professor. My first day was today, and I addressed two classes of freshman who were not quite born when I moved to New York City. Where does the time go?

I'm hoping to get back to work on painting in a serious way now that my course plan is basically laid out, and lest we not forget that Belmont reopens this Friday (don't tell my students about this - ok?).

I read a film review in today's times about an avant-jazz musician, and how he struggles to make ends meet while maintaining an uncompromising dedication to dissonant music. I identified with this in a real way: I played "out" jazz for number of years and ran my own micro record label - I know about the heartaches attached to this particular endeavor. I also identified with it in a more general sense: I've always put art-making ahead of money-making. I guess I've been pretty lucky, though; some years were definitely fatter than others, but I've never missed the rent, and there was always a little left to blow at the track.

Anyway, some new work, which I've been promising to unveil for most of this year, will hopefully begin popping up on No Hassle this fall, so stay tuned.