Members of the Baltimore press corps, including WNST’s own “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio will find out how difficult it is to call a race on Friday, May 3 in the first annual Celebrity Announcer Day at Pimlico Race Course. Track announcer Dave Rodman will take a backseat for much of the afternoon while nine media celebrities get the opportunity of a lifetime. Here is the lineup:
Race 1 – Bryan Nehman, WBAL Radio
Race 2 – Jamie Costello, WMAR-TV
Race 3 – Gerry Sandusky, WBAL-TV
Race 4 – Mark Viviano, WJZ-TV
Race 5 – Bruce Cunningham, WBFF-TV
Race 6 – Nestor Aparicio, WNST Radio
Race 7 – Steve Kolbe, CBS Radio
Race 8 – Jim Hunter, Baltimore Orioles
Race 9 – Phil Chenier, Comcast Sports Net
“They are all extremely talented at what they do,” said Pimlico president Tom Chuckas. “Many even have play-by-play experience but track announcers are a different breed and to be able to do what they do, day in and day out is amazing. It should be interesting to see who will stand out. I am sure all will have greater respect for Dave Rodman after completing the call.”
For the record, I offered some words of encouragement to Nestor saying, “Boy you got lucky getting the 6th race. It only has 6 horses and it’s a sprint. So the race will be over in about one minute and 13 seconds.” He did disclose to me a few ziggers that he may use during his race call. Nestor might even resurrect one of the many classic catch phrases to honor two of Maryland’s most colorful media personalities who loved Maryland horse racing… Clem Florio and Charlie Eckman. Good Luck Nestor… you will need it!
In Derby News: Knock on wood, over 24 hours since the Post Positions were drawn for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, all 20 runners remain healthy. But if something unfortunate happens to one of the 20 runners prior to scratch time on Friday morning, Churchill Downs has a backup plan. For the first time in Derby history there is a horse on the Also-Eligible List, Fear the Kitten. So in case a runner scratches out of the Derby on Friday morning, Fear the Kitten can draw in to keep the field at 20.
The biggest story out of Louisville (pronounced Lou’vull) is the weather. All this week it’s been gorgeous, sunny in the low 80’s, but the storm front that dumped snow in the Midwest is headed to central Kentucky. It’s due to arrive Friday evening in the form of rain showers and stick around for the Derby.
So you’ve been warned. Alter your handicapping to find the “Mudders”, like Kramer did in a classic Seinfeld episode…
Recapping Pimlico’s Thursday 9-race card posted had just 5 winners (2 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $10.80 (2nd race), $7.80 (3rd), $13.00 (7th), $8.20 (8th) and $4.20 (9th).
The BEST BET of the Day (15 7-2-1) Berry Berry Bueno (R5 #1 5-2 PT; 5-2 M/L) saved ground disputing the pace, opened a clear lead leaving the far turn, lost the lead in upper stretch then weakened to finish 4th.
The LONGSHOT PICK (15 4-0-1) Bold Joe (R4 #5 44-1 PT; 15-1 M/L) was flat, offered no energy from start to finish and earned the dubious chart comment, “Failed to menace”.
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on Sheppard’s Pie (R6 #1 2-1 PT; 9-5 M/L) bad racing luck put the SHOW Parlay out of its misery. He was rated nicely early on, then was put to a ride after 6 furliongs, advanced between foes but was steadied when lacking room inside the sixteenth pole, costing him not only a chance to win, but an in-the-money finish, missing SHOW money by a head.
Frankie Lovato’s JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #123… “Gallop Out”
Selections for the Day 18 Pimlico Friday, May 3rd card are on Page 2.