Commentary

Everybody wins ... in a way

Updated: October 23, 2007, 10:12 PM ET
By Jay Cronley | Special to ESPN.com

Breeders' Cup payoffs run high, which means a relative few win an actual lot.

Here are some things the losers can take, if not to the bank, to a nice park with your sack lunch.

You still have your friends.

Most of your family probably still loves you.

Hopefully you have your health.

Small pleasures like flowers are still worth a few minutes.

Humility can be an asset.

That's about it for numerous horse players this weekend.

Here are some Breeders' Cup thoughts before some picks.

Weather.
Most guess at a chance of a small shower. Wet dirt causes extreme running style reactions. I can hear you saying, thanks a lot. You're welcome. Here, at Monmouth, wetness probably equals even more up-front action than is normally the case.

Bias.
I've never heard so much talk about the importance of a track condition. If you're going to the races, ask a hitchhiker, he'll know for sure if speed is still the play. It should be one of the lead topics on television.

Turf races.
As is usually the case, one of the turf races puts up a trifecta that needs a comma. Here, the Filly and Mare Turf has a full-figure tri written all over it.

The weekend's superstar, Dylan Thomas, is in the mile-and-a-half monster Turf and has scared off all but seven. Certain to be the shortest price of the weekend, Dylan Thomas comes over with soccer-hero-type praise, but has no frequent flier miles, it's his first trip across, and he ran two and a half weeks ago.

Coverage.
Sure to be fancy with variations of the sky-cam, the blimp-cam, the rail-cam, the out-rider-cam, perhaps even a cam-cam.

A true world championship.
Unlike the World Series, or even golf, where players from far-away lands learn the game at an American college, then claim tournament victories for their homelands, the Breeders' Cup is the real deal, with many horses from overseas hitting the ground here for the first time.

Misc.
The horse named Argentina was bred in Ireland.

D. Wayne Lukas and I have the same number of entries in the Breeders' Cup.

A 17-year old jockey rides the favorite Nashoba's Key in the Filly and Mare Turf.

Picks: Friday
Filly and Mare Sprint
1. Miss Macy Sue
2. La Traviata
3. Dream Rush
4. Shaggy Mane

Juvenile Turf
1. Strike the Deal
2. Achill Island
3. Prussian
4. Gio Ponti

Dirt Mile
1. Corinthian
2. Gottcha Gold
3. Lewis Michael
4. Discreet Cat

Picks: Saturday
Juvenile Fillies
1. Indian Blessing
2. A to the Croft
3. Grace Anatomy
4. Cry and Catch Me

Juvenile
1. Tale of Ekati
2. War Pass
3. Wicked Style
4. Pyro

Filly and Mare Turf
1. Passage of Time
2. All My Loving
3. Nashoba's Key
4. Honey Ryder

Sprint
1. Smokey Stover
2. Greg's Gold
3. Idiot Proof
4. Midnight Lute

Mile
1. Excellent Art
2. Jeremy
3. Trippi's Storm
4. After Market

Distaff
1. Ginger Punch
2. Hystericalady
3. Unbridled Belle
4. Indian Vale

Turf
1. Dylan Thomas
2. Red Rocks
3. Grand Couturier
4. English Channel

Classic
1. Any Given Saturday
2. Lawyer Ron
3. Street Sense
4. Curlin

Just in case: Oregon over USC; Ohio State over Penn State; Texas Tech way over Colorado.