21 reasons why picking the Derby winner is so hard
Hurry, quick, call home on your cell phone from the grocery because you don't know what kind of cereal to buy; come on, let's go, you can update your MySpace site on your cell while walking; listen, take one ear off the iPod, can I get my email off your BlackBerry?
Guess what, we've become obsessed by non-essentials.
Nobody knows how to sit quietly with his or her thoughts; or is afraid to.
Read? You mean, something besides books on tape? You actually want me to take the time to turn off the electronics and sit down and read something? Fine. Give me a list to read. And make it fast.
Just because some readers are a little hyperactive doesn't mean they're undeserving of sporting info.
So here are a couple of lists for the horizontally mobile horse player.
Every spring you see lists of things to do before you die, things like: Attend Kentucky Derby. Write a novel. Get your kicks on Route 66. Here's one of those, then a list about picking the Derby winner itself.
Things to do before you die:
Twenty-one reasons why picking the Kentucky Derby winner is so hard:
1. Large field. Could I please have a $50 Exacta box, 1-20.
2. Doomsday post positions. It's as though the inside horses are under an avalanche; outside entries need OnStar.
3. The youth of the horses. Predict a teenage human.
4. Regional ties. Unless you live in Kentucky.
5. High Beyer loses. Top number might come from field of five.
6. Too much information. What could a TV expert really know that you don't know (besides how to get paid without betting)?
7. You bet too much. This isn't one of those California stakes where the exacta pays $6.20.
8. There are no terrible jockeys. Who could ever forget the night at Penn National where, in the same claiming race, a mom jockey rode against her son the jockey.
9. You've been living wrong. Don't laugh. Some of you know you don't deserve to win.
10. Too much thinking. Let's see, dosage plus last fractions of stakes winning sires at over a mile.
11. You don't learn from mistakes. Remember last year when, of your wagering strategy, you said never again? Well. It's again, again.
12. Too social. Lots of couples show up for the Derby, wanting to chat.
13. Odds chase you off. Big odds don't always mean the horse is bad, sometimes it means the bettors are bad.
14. Fair track. A lack of bias creates a level racing field; who needs that.
15. Psychology. Many don't expect to win.
16. Whiskey. Once a year for a mint julep is just about right.
17. Victims of the obvious. Most obvious losers are chalk. Bettors sometimes project themselves into their types of wagers. Who wants to be an outsider -- you're a favorite.
18. Travel between all the different tracks. I don't travel well. And I have leather seats.
19. Early speed. First to 15th.
20. Deep closers. Last to fourth.
21. You're a lousy handicapper. It happens.
Write to Jay at firstname.lastname@example.org
MORE HORSE RACING HEADLINES
- Trainer Mott suspended, fined for drug overages
- Weather cancels Wednesday card at Aqueduct
- 74-year-old takes National Handicapping title
- 'Chrome' works for San Antonio, Bayern doubtful
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
THE TRIPLE CROWN
June 9, 2007
• Belmont champ Rags to Riches eyes Travers
• Gomez's loss proves Velazquez's gain
• Pletcher, Velazquez end Triple Crown droughts
• Hard Spun was all done in the Belmont
• Pletcher deserves 'Riches' after Belmont
• Rags to Riches beats Curlin in Belmont
• Street Sense to skip Belmont
• Curlin denies Street Sense in Preakness
• Street Sense wins Kentucky Derby
• Mayne: Racing needs racing
• Finley: What about an encore?
• Cronley: Triple Crown Q&A
• Cronley: My Belmont Day
• Finley: The Belmont horse by horse
• Moss: Street Sense just didn't finish