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Best ever?

11/7/2009

At one moment Saturday, more horses than you could quickly count drove hard for the Breeders' Cup finish line; a Big 12 quarterback threw an interception; an SEC kicker made an important field goal; another Pac Ten defense was folding; clearly, this was one of the greatest sports days in TV flipping history.

It's obvious who won.

Here were the losers:

The British person wearing a Sherlock Holmes hat and blundered onto the TV screen and started screaming in what sounded liked a pub accent about how Conduit and Zenyatta had no chance whatsoever to win. Conduit and Zenyatta then both won. Next time they should think about keeping that rascal in quarantine a little longer.

"Value" handicappers. Each time a "value" bet was mentioned on TV over the weekend, the horse saw a lot of backsides. Pick winners, not prices.

Missouri. Which lost at home to Baylor, which heretofore had been considered next to impossible.

Dirt runners. As everybody who consistently skips away from the track with a profit knows, the key to winning is identifying and collecting off a racing bias, which gives a horse an edge. The most obvious race track biases are surfaces that help or hinder speed, the most noticeable game-altering element being fake dirt. Horses without fake dirt success, or some grass wins, have no chance at racing's highest level -- like at this Breeders' Cup. Similarly, wildly successful horses going from fake dirt to real earth, they run like claimers. On the Santa Anita fake dirt, early speed is a ticket to nowhere.

Celebrity watchers. About all we got off the tube was the cast from Entourage, which, collectively, looks to be about six feet, ten inches tall.

Expert pickers. The IOU's should fly at half-mast above the TV booth.

Notre Dame. It was beaten by Navy and mercifully banished from a BCS bowl.

Chalk players. A couple or three favorites won over the two-day Cup. But there is more to chalk than the dust of a winner. Low-priced horses rarely finish 1-2 at the Cup.

Iowa. I adjusted my set. But those guys were actually moving that slowly.

Rachel Alexandra. Is Zenyatta Horse of the Year? Yeah, in at least one imagined category that could become real if the trend continues: Best on Synthetics. Overall? I'd guess yes, because you have to play to win.

Write to Jay at jaycronley@yahoo.com.