Category Archives: Horse racing

May 4, 2008, 1:29 am

Kentucky Derby Coda: Farewell to Eight Belles

Those who know the Radical well also know that she is a handicapper, and loves great horses. Derby Day — and the day before, the Kentucky Oaks and its undercard, are practically national holidays in the Radical household. Although we did not plan it this way, we also live right around the corner from the off track betting parlor, so there is a whole racing community at my fingertips. Yesterday I cleared a large sum at the Oaks, and went into today’s races very optimistic: indeed, financially, it has been a successful weekend, with enough winners to cover and surpass inevitable bad picks and funky trifectas.

But as many of you probably already know, today’s Kentucky Derby ended on an extraordinarily sad note. Eight Belles, the only filly in the race and the runner-up, had to be euthanized after breaking her forelegs; this may have happened as she was trying to slow down after she…

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August 24, 2007, 5:43 pm

While U Were Out

This is a short post to say that the Radical is back in town, and hitting the ground running at Zenith. During our vacation (it was lovely, thank you for asking), the following unexpected things happened at home:

Individual branches of our rose bushes out front crinkled up and died. My suspicion is that they were peed on. The question is — by people or dogs? And do these individuals always pee on my bushes, but because I have been watering more or less every day I somehow rinse the bushes sufficiently? It’s a mystery.

The fire alarm went off, for no reason as usual, and ADT called our neighbor, who raced over just in time to see a fireman raising an ax, with which he planned to fell our nineteenth century front door. “St-a-a-a-a-ahp!” she screamed, and he did, and all was well. Except that now I have to make an appointment to get ADT to clean the fire alarm. Again.

I ended up…

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June 9, 2007, 11:10 pm

How the Radical Picked Rags to Riches in the Belmont

1. Todd Pletcher would not have run her if he didn’t think she could win.

2. She’s a *big* girl.

3. She has a reputation for taking no guff from the colts.

4. Curlin had to be tired after that effort in the Preakness.

Thus spaketh the Radical. And Rags to Riches, brother to Belmont winner Jazil, daughter of Belmont winner A.P. Indy, becomes the first filly since Tanya (1905) to win the Belmont stakes. You can read about the terrific race she ran against Curlin and the other colts at the Daily Racing Form.

Right on. This is one special thoroughbred.

My next predicition: this will turn the three-year old season on its head. Buy your Breeder’s Cup tickets now.

Future blog post: why handicapping horses draws on the same skills required of a professional historian, and how the Radical ended up as a handicapper in the first place.


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