Tag Archive | "Churchill Downs"

137th Kentucky Derby Detailed Analysis, and the Winner is…

Tags: , ,

137th Kentucky Derby Detailed Analysis, and the Winner is…

Posted on 06 May 2011 by Gary Quill

Christmas has finally arrived for thoroughbred horse players everywhere. Churchill Downs is to horse racing as Augusta National is to golf, as Daytona Speedway is to NASCAR, and as the Rose Bowl is to College Football. Rain or shine, nothing will dampen our enthusiasm come 6:25pm on Saturday as we watch the most exciting 2 minutes in sports.


The forecast for the Louisville area is for scattered thunderstorms, high 70 degrees. That really throws a wrench into an already tough task of handicapping this race due to the fact the track condition could be labeled fast, good, sloppy or muddy come Derby race post time.


Just in case you haven’t heard, #19 – Uncle Mo was scratched out of the race yesterday. Also, his jockey Johnny Velazquez picked up the mount on #16 – Animal Kingdom because his original jockey, Robby Albarado on Wednesday in the 3rd race Post Parade was thrown by his mount who then stepped on his face! Albarado suffered a broken nose and multiple facial lacerations yet still wanted to ride on Saturday.But once Velazquez became available, the owners of Animal Kingdom opted for a jock who was 100% healthy. Tough business.   


The balance in this 19 horse field is uncanny as far as their running styles. The way I see it there are…


4 – Speed

5 – Tactical Speed

4 – Mid-Pack (Plodders)

6 – Closers


With Uncle Mo out of the race, that leaves four (4) “Speed” horses which many believe will help the other Speed types, thinking the early pace will not be too quick. Maybe so, but in Derby history only 22 winners have gone gate-to-wire. That’s 22 for 136! The last one to do it was War Emblem in 2002.


One blog reader suggested (tongue in cheek) a PETA Trifecta, #9 – Derby Kitten, #11 – Master Of Hounds and #16 – Animal Kingdom. Here’s another (Exacta) bet that I’m sure will be popular with the locals in Kentucky… #9 – Derby Kitten with #10 – Twinspired.


137th Kentucky Derby logo


Here’s how I see the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands playing out, listed in my predicted order of finish. Odds shown are the current betting odds after Friday’s advanced wagering.


Keep in mind I’m picking horses 24 hours BEFORE they walk out on the track. If at all possible, you should not make your wager until you’ve seen the horses in the Post Parade (15 minutes before the start). When horses reach the track, their physical appearance and body language can tip you off on which one(s) to include in your Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta or simply WIN, PLACE and/or SHOW bet. Good Luck!


1st  – # 2 Brilliant Speed (30-1): Of all the synthetic surface runners in this race, he could be the one to come out victorious. The first 2 races of his career were on natural dirt last Summer sprinting. He ran 4th by 19 and 7th by 21. On the surface one could immediately dismiss him in a dirt race. But the Past Performance Comment lines tell the story. “Off slow 4 wide; green lane” and “Off bit slow; rank; green”. Translated he was still immature and not yet ready to start his racing career. His bloodlines are not necessarily turf dominant, but loaded with stamina and he has moved forward in each race since hiis initial 2 on dirt, albeit 5 on turf and most recent on synthetic, even with 3 troubled trips along the way. He always trains on dirt, so it is nothing new to him. He has loved the sloppy track at Churchill all week, so more rain would be to his benefit.


2nd – #8 – Dialed In (9-2): Was made the 7-2 Morning Line favorite mainly because he hasn’t done anything wrong leading up to the Derby. He’s under care of two-time Derby winning trainer Nick Zito who has been talking very confidently about his colt. This son of Mineshaft possesses one helluva late closing kick, but when you need to get past 18 rivals to win, traffic is always a concern. His last-to-first Florida Derby victory was especially impressive because that day the track was very “speed favoring”. He was the only winner who rallied from more than 3 lengths off the lead at any point in the race all day. If you recall seeing any of Zenyatta’s races, that’s exactly how Dialed In runs. Look for him in the back of the pack until the field hits the far turn.                        


3rd – # 12 Santiva (23-1): 3 months ago this guy sat atop my GQ’s Derby Double Dozen list and sticking with him to run a big race even though he only has 2 races in 2011. Until his most recent race (9th by 6) in the Blue Grass he had never been off-the-board, but supposedly had an excuse (“Bothered; lacked room”). Watching that race over & over again, the jock never hit or asked Santiva to run in the final 3 furlongs because he had nowhere to go until reaching the 1/16th pole and it was too late then, so he was just hand ridden without urging and still only lost by 6. There are a couple negatives about him that do concern me… only 2 races in 2011 and WHY did Mike Smith who rode him 2 races back not ride him in the Blue Grass? He does get reunited with the jock who rode him to victory over this (CD) track last Fall.


4th  – # 13 Mucho Macho Man (12-1): Is trained by Kathy Ritvo who received a heart transplant in 2005. Female trainers are 0 for 14 in the Derby, but this guy has got a ton of heart and could carry his trainer into the Derby record books. In his most recent race (LA Derby on Mar. 26th) he lost a front shoe coming out fo the gate, yet still ran a game 3rd, less than 1 length behind the winner. He has a stalking running style which should give him the best shot at picking off the early speed horses that should begin to fade in the stretch.

He was a late foal (born June 15th). So technically he is still 2 year olds, but over the past weeks has been maturing physically.


5th  – # 11 Master Of Hounds (18-1): His Grand Sire is Mr. Prospector, who has had 10 male-line descendants of his win the Kentucky Derby:.. Unbridled (1990), Thunder Gulch (1995), Grindstone (1996), Real Quiet (1998), Fusaichi Pegasus (2000), War Emblem (2002), Funny Cide (2003), Smarty Jones (2004), Street Sense  (2007), and Mine That Bird (2009). That’s pretty impressive. 10 of the past 21 Derbies! But unlike Master Of Hounds, all 10 ran on natural dirt AND had more than one race as a 3 year old AND had beaten winners AND last prep race wasn’t in Dubai BEFORE running in the Derby! On the other hand, none of the 10 had raced beyond 1 1/8 mile (he’s run 1 3/16) nor had carried Derby weight (126 lbs.) or more prior to the Derby (he has in 5 of 7 career races).


6th  – # 17 Soldat (17-1): Never worse than second in 7 starts prior to last race, the Florida Derby (5th by 10). I was there and he was getting “washed out” in the Post Parade, so that could have been his excuse. Everyone has written him off saying because he didn’t get the early lead, he was toast. Didn’t like being on the rail behind horses getting dirt kicked in his face… maybe, but in all 3 of his turf races he wasn’t on the lead and passed plenty horses. His trainer (Kiaran McLaughlin) said the FL weather was brutally hot and feels Soldat will welcome the cooler weather… and if the track comes up SLOPPY, his odds will drop!


7th  – # 16 Animal Kingdom (24-1): Has his work cut out for him as he only has four (4) career races under his belt, 2 as a 3 year old. None of the four were on a dirt surface, his bloodlines (top & bottom) are filled with successful TURF runners and his most recent race came six (6) weeks ago. There’s plenty of Derby history in each of these facts that suggest he cannot win. On the positive side, this week he had a dynamite 6 furlong workout (1:13) over a sloppy CD oval. Many people saw this as his ability to handle dirt… really wet dirt, which turf and synthetic runners usually do, but how he’ll handle a dry, fast track remains to be seen.       


8th  – # 1 Archarcharch (13-1): Holds the “feel good story” of this years Derby. After 30 years and 3,500+ wins, 50 year old jockey Jon K. Court will ride in his first Kentucky Derby. His father-in-law (William “Jinks” Fires) trains this horse so what a story it will be if he wins. The horse has looked exceptional every time he’s taken the track since arriving at CD, but Mother Nature may be his most daunting foe come Saturday. His only off-the-board finish (4th by 13 when even money favorite) came on a track listed as “good”. The confidence both trainer and jockey have in Archarcharch‘s ability is second to none. In his 6 race career he has set a win-then-lose pattern. He won his previous race.               


9th – # 19 Nehro  (7-1): This year’s Derby Wise-Guy horse, who by the way have never won the Derby. He’s a late bloomer who has only raced 4 times. Less then 3 months ago he was still a maiden, not winning his 1st and only race until Feb. 21st. He followed that up with two runner-up finishes in the LA and AR Derby’s, displaying an impressive closing kick, suggesting that when he runs the added eighth of a mile, he’ll win. My thought is the Derby will be his 3rd race in a span of 6 weeks and he is the only Derby runner whose Dosage Index (4.33) exceeds 4.00. Dosage used to be the primary indicator of whether a horse had the stamina in his bloodlines to get the Derby distance. Recently when Giacomo (2005) and Mine That Bird (2009) won with DI’s greater than 4, many stopped using it as a barometer in picking Derby horses.      


10th  – # 15 Midnight Interlude (11-1): Trainer Bob Baffert had 3 Derby contenders just a few weeks ago, but the 2 most promising ones suffered injuries. This guy wasn’t even in the Derby picture until his upset victory in the Santa Anita Derby on Apr. 9th one race after breaking his maiden. With only 4 career races to his credit, his inexperience might be his second biggest hurdle to overcome. The first? Well, he was unraced as a 2 year old. The last Derby winner who didn’t start his career until age 3 was named Apollo… 129 years ago!


11th  – # 14 Shackleford (19-1): Everybody thinks he ran the race of his life in FL Derby… I don’t, I think he is the one Speed horse who could “stay”. I watched the Fountain Of Youth as they were going in the gate… he looked like he had ALREADY run 2 miles! Probably one of the worst cases of being “washed out” I had ever seen… and he ran like it (5th by 23). So immediately everybody thought he was out of his class in these graded stakes. Not so, you look 3 races back (Feb. 5th win). The runner-up Casper’s Touch was 1-2 and was hyped so much as a Derby contender. That was a legit win. But on the negative side… final time in FL Derby was slow AND since the advent (1994) of Brisnet PP’s and Speed Figures, NO DERBY winner has had a “10 point or more difference” in his Speed Figure from 2nd to last prep to last prep race. His is 77 to 101. He did work quite well this week on the slop at CD even though he has never run a race on an OFF TRACK.


12th – # 10 Twinspired (21-1): The group who owns this guy has had a bad case of Derby fever since he won a $50k stakes race on the synthetic track surface at Turfway Park in early February. He’s continued to run exclusively on synthetic since then and there lies the problem. In his only dirt track race he finished 8th by 11 lengths when 4-1. He hasn’t even trained on the CD track since arriving in Louisville, but has worked out on other dirt tracks in decent times, so maybe he can run on dirt, but just didn’t care for the Remington Park dirt track? He was able to attract Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith who won his first Derby on longshot Giacomo in 2005, so maybe lightning can strike twice?          


13th – # 20 Watch Me Go (29-1): Hit the Derby scene via his win in the Tampa Bay Derby at 43-1. That was the pinnacle of his terrific winter in Florida, but lost all of his luster when he ran 6th by 17 lengths as the 2-1 favorite in the Illinois Derby. His trainer, Kathleen O’Connell would be the first female trainer to win the Derby. Breaking from post 19 won’t help and neither will an OFF TRACK. 


14th – # 4 Stay Thirsty (17-1): The most interesting horse in the world”. Not really, just making a lose connection to the Dos Equis beer commercial. Just like his stablemate (Uncle Mo) he’s run only 2 races this year, not ideal for being in top condition for the biggest, longest and toughest race of your life. He has looked a bit better than “Mo” in the A.M. drills as they always work together. So is it that he has vastly improved since his woeful performance (7th by 16) in the FL Derby or is Uncle Mo not quite the same colt he was at 2? I tend to believe the latter considering Uncle Mo was scratched. His breeding screams for the classic distance, but not since 1957 (Iron Liege) has a horse won the Derby after finishing worse than 4th in the race prior. The phrase “Stay Thirsty my friends” should remain infamous with a brand of beer and not mistaken for a tip on a Derby horse, though a sloppy track would enhance his slim chances.          


15th – # 2 Twice The Appeal (7-1): One week ago 3-time Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel was without a Derby horse, but picked up the mount on Twice The Appeal over the weekend. Borel has the same number of Derby wins as the other 19 jockeys combined (only 3 others have 1 win…Pat Valenzuela, Mike Smith and Victor Espinoza). He’s run on every type of surface (5 on dirt, 4 on synthetic and 1 turf) but dirt appears to be his best with 3 wins a 2nd and 3rd.  Don’t get too excited. His most recent race was 6 weeks ago and not since 1956 has a horse won the Derby on a layoff of more than 5 weeks.      


16th – # 7 Pants On Fire (9-1): Will be a huge underlay (i.e. odds lower then they should be) due to Rosie Napravnik, only the 6th female jockey to ride in the Derby. The former Maryland apprentice rider will need to get him out of the gate quickly and clear from the pack to have any chance in this contest. But I cannot see him being a factor beyond the 1/8th pole as the bloodlines do not suggest stamina at the Derby distance. The best female rider finish in the Derby has been 11th.        


17th – # 6 Comma To The Top (43-1): One month ago his trainer advised the horse racing world that this guy was off the Derby Trail. Then after a game 2nd place finish in the Santa Anita Derby, the owners made the call to run the horse in the Derby. This is a classic case of Derby Fever. “Comma” will be one of the 4 speed horses whose slim chance relies on getting to the front early… and if he does he won’t be there for long has he’ll likely “bounce” off of that huge effort in his last rarce.


18th – # 9 Derby Kitten (29-1): If the Derby were run on turf or a synthetic surface, he’d have a legitimate shot to win, but it’s not. He’s the son of Kitten’s Joy who was a very successful turf runner and has turned out dozens of offspring who all shared their Dad’s fondness for running his best on any surface other than dirt. His owner/breeder is a 75 year old Kentucky native who has always wanted a horse in the Derby, and now he can check that off of his Bucket List.    


19th – # 5 Decisive Moment (42-1): Will carry the oldest jockey (Kerwin Clark, 52) among the 19 who also happens to be riding in his first Derby. If you’re into short, cheap thrills then this horse is for you. After breaking out of the gate, he’ll surely be one of the front runners as the field passes the Grandstand for the first time. But before the field turns for home, this guy will have already thrown in the towel as he’s just not cut out to run the classic (1¼ mile) distance and will have begun to retreat to the back of the pack.      



Based on my analysis of the Derby, I’ll play…


$10 WIN, PLACE, SHOW on # 2 (Brilliant Speed)


$1 EXACTA BOX on # 2 (Brilliant Speed), # 8 (Dialed In), # 12 (Santiva), # 13 (Mucho Macho Man)


$1 TRIFECTA PART-WHEEL #2, #11, #12, #13, #17  with #8 (Dialed In) in 2nd spot with #2, #11, #12, #13, #17  




Pimlico facade


Recapping Day 20 (Friday, May 6th) at the Pimlico Spring Meet…


Best Bet Line Change (#1 9th race; M/L 6-5; P/T 1-2) was heavily backed and didn’t disappoint with a convincing victory returning $3.00 to WIN, $2.20 to PLACE and $2.10 to SHOW..

Best Bet pick scorecard from 20 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 7 WIN – 3 PLACE – 5 SHOW.

Longshot  Elusive Appeal (#8 5th race on turf; M/L 10-1; P/T 7-1) didn’t fire and finished off the board.

Longshot pick scorecard from 20 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 3 WIN – 5 PLACE – 1 SHOW. 


Here’s how the WDYL (Who Do Ya Like?) Plays panned out…


1st race ($2 DD): 1, 7 w/ 1  ($4)… came 3-6                         

3rd race: # 10 – Frogtown (6-1)… SHOWED paying $3.60

7th race: #2 – Giant Talent (7-1)… SHOWED paying $3.80

9th race ($1 DD): 1 w/ 4, 7, 8, 9… came 1-4;  WINNER paid $21.60 for a $1  



For the Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 21 (Satuday, May 7th) … 


Soup of the Day: Chicken Noodle 


Best Bet: J W Blue (#7 10th race – Federico Tesio Stakes; M/L 5-2) competed at Oaklawn Park in a couple Derby preps unsuccessfully, but was not grossly overmatched. He was 6th by 7 lengths to Archarcharch in the Arkansas Derby. Early in his career he ran behind another Derby runner Pants On Fire. He’s a nice horse who could find his way into the Preakness in 2 weeks if he is a winner here.      


Longshot: Skidoodle (#4 1st race M/L 6-1) is a 6 year old maiden who is 0 for 35 lifetime, so why is today the day?! His competition has struggled as well, with the exception of the 2-1 favorite (#7 – Rain Stopped Play) who makes only his 2 career start. Skidoodle has shown signs of life lately on a fast track. The fact he caught a sloppy track (only 1 for 10 ITM) in his last race and finished 4th might be why he has a generous Morning Line. 


Other “Who Do Ya Like” (WDYL) Plays…  


1st race ($2 DD): 3, 4, 7 w/ 1, 3 ($12)

4th race:: #3 – Belongs To Dixie (6-1) is 1st-timer for hot barn

5th race on turf: #6 – Reine De Bonbon (7-2) 4 yr old gray ready to graduate

6th race: #4 – Romantic Cuvee (2-1) is lone speed in this sprint

7th race on turf: #12 – Malibu Mambo (20-1) training nicely for turf debut

8th race: #5 – Mythical Power (3-1) fires in 1st race in 2011; 7-5 fav. vulernable  

9th race ($2 DD):  4, 7 w/ 4, 6, 8 ($12)


Enjoy a great day of thoroughbred horse racing. Share the fun with a friend.




Comments Off

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 03 May 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Mixed Martial Arts-Bellator Fighting Championships 43 (Saturday 9pm from Newkirk, OK live on MTV2); Arena Football: AFL Tampa Bay Storm @ Orlando Predators (Friday 8pm from Orlando live on NFL Network); Soccer: MLS-Seattle Sounders FC @ DC United (Wednesday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on MLS Direct Kick), FC Dallas @ DC United (Saturday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on MLS Direct Kick)

10. Carbon Leaf (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live), Manchester Orchestra/Cage The Elephant (Sunday 6:30pm Rams Head Live), Donald Glover (Monday 7pm Rams Head Live); Mint Condition (Saturday 7pm Bourbon Street); Ballyhoo (Saturday 7pm Recher Theatre); Asia (Tuesday & Wednesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); FOALS/Freelance Whales/The Naked & Famous (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), Airborne Toxic Event (Sunday 8pm 9:30 Club); Talib Kweli (Wednesday 8pm Sonar), Bowling For Soup (Friday 8pm Sonar); All Time Low/Yellowcard (Saturday 7pm RAC Arena-UMBC); Towson University Tigerfest feat. Brand New, Reel Big Fish, Far East Movement (Friday 3pm Unitas Stadium); Plain White T’s/Parachute (Saturday 12:45pm Pimlico); Harland Williams (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Beastie Boys “Hot Sauce Committee Part 2″ available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

If you’re not familiar with Carbon Leaf…I suggest you get familiar with them as soon as possible…


I REALLY dig Cage The Elephant. I mean, I REALLY dig Cage The Elephant. This song is quite good…


Airborne Toxic Event=totally underrated…


Really surprised Towson couldn’t do better than Brand New and Reel Big Fish for Tigerfest. But at least I really dig “Jude Law and a Semester Abroad”…


9. Maryland Film Festival (Thursday-Sunday Charles Theater), Ocean City Springfest (Thursday-Saturday 10am Ocean City inlet)

George Jones and Richard Marx are the headliners for this year’s Springfest. Now word on why Rick Astley wasn’t available.

As far as the Maryland Film Festival is concerned-I’ve amazingly never attended the event. I feel a bit ashamed as a Baltimore native to say that, as the event is one of the city’s more significant economically.

Of course, I feel like I would have been more inclined to make sure I got out there had they ever screened something more along the lines of…say…Superbad…


8. Deadline for underclassmen to remove name from NBA Draft (Sunday)

This is a little bit different than the last time this day was significant for area sports fans.

In 2009, Terps fans were concerned about the future of guard Greivis Vasquez after an impressive run to the NCAA Tournament. The “Vivacious Venezuelan” rewarded Terrapins fans by returning and leading the team to an ACC regular season title.

This year-we’re not expecting the news to be quite as good.

Gary Williams’ team is coming off a disappointing year that ended with the team even being left out of the NIT. Now it appears that All-ACC, All-American big man Jordan Williams will not give Maryland fans the same good news that Vasquez did two years ago.

If the news goes the wrong way Maryland fans, take heart. We still get to keep this thing he did to Jon Scheyer…


7. Golf: PGA Tour Wells Fargo Championship (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Charlotte, NC); Champions Tour Regions Tradition (Thursday & Friday 1pm, Saturday & Sunday 3pm from Shoal Creek, AL live on Golf Channel)

I have no idea what’s going on in the world of golf. Forrester kept saying something about Bubba Watson this morning, but I figured that was because he was involved in some sort of weird dream sequence Drew had.

But in golf-related news, former “Big Break” star Nicole Sikora recently changed her Facebook profile picture. I’m assuming she did so because she loves America…


6. Auto Racing: NASCAR Showtime Southern 500 (Saturday 7:30pm from Darlington, SC live on FOX)

So we’ve reached the part of this where I literally have nothing to say about NASCAR. As I’m writing this, I looked at my girlfriend and said “can you help me with some shtick?”

She said…”How much does it cost for a pirate to get his ears pierced?”

I responded, “I don’t know.”

She said “A buck an ear.”

This has been the first episode of “a contribution from my girlfriend.” I’m sure it was a hit.

5. NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Semifinals: Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat (Game 2 Tuesday 7pm from Miami live on TNT, Game 3 Saturday 8pm from Boston live on ABC, Game 4 Monday 7pm from Boston live on TNT), Atlanta Hawks vs. Chicago Bulls (Game 2 Wednesday 8pm from Chicago live on TNT, Game 3 Friday 7pm from Atlanta live on ESPN, Game 4 Sunday 8pm from Atlanta live on TNT); Western Conference Semifinals: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Game 2 Tuesday 9:30pm from Oklahoma City live on TNT, Game 3 Saturday 5pm from Memphis live on ESPN, Game 4 Monday 9:30pm from Memphis live on TNT), Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Game 2 Wednesday 10:30pm from LA live on TNT, Game 3 Friday 9:30pm from Dallas live on ESPN, Game 4 Sunday 3:30pm from Dallas live on ABC)

Holy crap could Greivis Vasquez’s run in the NBA Playoffs be any more exciting? I’m not sure I can even find Memphis on a map, but I’m the biggest fan of the Grizz of all time!

So much so that I recently purchased this t-shirt…


4. Boxing: Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley (Saturday 9pm from Las Vegas live on Showtime Pay-Per-View); Friday Night Fights: Gilberto Sanchez Leon vs. Diego Magdaleno (Friday 10pm from Las Vegas live on ESPN2)

Is there any way for me to make a joke about the fact that the biggest boxing matches of the year always come right after Cinco De Mayo and yet not have it sound racist?

Nope. Okay, moving on…

Cinco De Mayo is Thursday. I’ll be celebrating by drinking a lot of Pacifico and doing the Macarena.

That’s what people do on Cinco De Mayo, right?

3. NHL Playoffs: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (Game 3 Tuesday 6:30pm from Tampa live on Comcast SportsNet & VERSUS, Game 4 Wednesday 7pm from Tampa live on Comcast SportsNet, Game 5 if necessary Saturday 12:30pm from Verizon Center live on NBC, Game 6 if necessary Monday TBD from Tampa live on Comcast SportsNet & VERSUS)

So, while we all know I’m rooting for the Bolts during this series, but I encourage you to come join me at The Dark Horse in Bel Air Tuesday night to root on the Caps.

Yep, I’m as confused as you. But it’ll be fun because we’re drinking beer.

In the meantime, I share with you this picture. I’m not sure what it is, but here it is.


Hockey is so great.

2. College Lacrosse: Johns Hopkins @ Army (Friday 7pm from West Point, NY live on CBS Sports); Colgate @ Maryland (Saturday 3pm Byrd Stadium); ECAC Tournament: Loyola vs. Fairfield (Thursday 6pm from Denver live on AM1570 WNST), ECAC Championship Game (Saturday 1pm from Denver live on ESPNU-and AM1570 WNST if Greyhounds win Thursday); America East Tournament: UMBC @ Hartford (Wednesday 7pm from Hartford); NCAA Tournament Selection Show (Sunday 9pm live on ESPNU)

Best news about Selection Sunday? Monday will be BRACKET DAY! $15 to get in on my pool, but don’t be a pansy and pick all one seeds to get through. No way Syracuse, JHU, Maryland and Notre Dame all find their way to Baltimore!

Good luck to the Retrievers and Hounds, who will be fighting to get their way into the Dance. If they don’t make it, they can get a nice parting gift from me…this picture of Lisa Marie de Oliviera. (Thanks, Gorilla Mask!)


1. Horse Racing: Kentucky Derby (Saturday 4pm from Louisville live on NBC), Kentucky Oaks (Friday 5pm from Louisville live on VERSUS)

I’m really bitter I won’t be going.

But I’ll share a few things with you anyway. One-if you’re headed to Chuchill Downs, bring sunglasses…


Two, don’t bet on anyone Rick from Reisterstown tells you to bet on…


Three, if you don’t like this…move to Russia. This is the best moment in sports…


And as a bonus, here are my friends from Nappy Roots. This song is incredible. I can’t believe I won’t be there…


Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


Comments Off

Tags: , , ,

Derby Trail goes through Gulfstream Park

Posted on 25 February 2011 by Gary Quill

The Derby Trail or better known as the Road To The Roses makes its way through south Florida on Saturday, Feb. 26th at Gulfstream Park. There is a huge day of thoroughbred horse racing on tap which features a trio of graded stakes races, all restricted to 3 year olds. The 8th race is the one mile, $250,000 Grade 2 Davona Dale Stakes for fillies. The 9th race is the 7 furlongs, $150,000 Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes and the 10th race is the program feature, the 1 1/8 mile $400,000 Grade 2 Fountain Of Youth Stakes.    


Nothing against the ladies, but we’re going to concentrate on the latter two races whose runners are all males (colts and geldings), who are trying to prove worthy of a spot in the starting gate at Churchill Downs on the first  Saturday in May. But… if you put a gun to my head and insisted on a selection for the Davona Dale Stakes, I’d take #3 – Oh Carole (4-1).


In the Hutcheson Stakes is a field of 10 runners, most of who are very fast and like to be on the lead early. But that could spell trouble for many of them as going 7 furlongs requires a bit more stamina than just running a sprint (6 furlongs or less). The likely Post Time favorite appears to be #3 – Travelin Man (5-2) who made a smashing career debut last month at Gulfstream, winning by 7 lengths in an extremely fast time. The last 3 year old to turn in a performance similar to that one was The Factor  whose next race was a winning one in last weeks San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita. It wouldn’t be a shock to see Travelin Man go 2 for 2 in his career, but it’s in my horse racing handicapping blood to find a contender elsewhere. So if the likes of speedballs such as #1 – Crossbow (5-1), #2 – Madman Diaries (6-1), #5 – Flashpoint (4-1), #9 – Manicero (12-1) and #10 – Royal Currier (8-1) hook-up with Travelin Man early, the race could step up perfectly for a late-runner like #4 – Razmataz (10-1), #6 – Little Drama (20-1), #7 – Leave Of Absence (12-1) or #8 – Black N Beauty (8-1). Each of these offers an attractive price. The one who I believe could rebound from his last effort is #8 – Black N Beauty. He’s cutting back in distance from two one mile races, has moved forward asfaras his Speed Figures in each of his 5 lifetime races, his most recent A.M. workout is reminiscent of those he put in when a 2 year old and finally, but most importantly, his final furlong fractions going 6 and 6 ½ panels last Fall were the faster than any of his foes in here. And it’s during this stage of the race where the “real” running takes place.           


Onto the Fountain Of Youth, which is geared more towards the serious Derby contenders as it requires the stamina necessary to compete at 1 1/8 miles (or 9 furlongs), one furlong shorter than the Derby distance, but the longest race any 3 year old will need to run prior to the Kentucky Derby. Horses who have previously run a 9 furlong race have a slight advantage for obvious reasons… they’ve been there, done that. Whereas those who haven’t might get a shock to their system when their rider continues to ask them for more after they have already run one mile. All eight (8) runners with the exception of #2 – Gourmet Dinner (5-1) have already been tested at 9 furlongs. So that takes me to the early speed angle where #1 – Soldat (2-1), #7 – To Honor And Serve (8-5) and #8 – Shackleford (8-1) all enjoy being on the lead. The simple fact is IF they don’t get the lead, they’re done before the race is even one quarter the way run. So I’ll go elsewhere and take a flyer on a longshot, #5 – Bowman’s Causeway (20-1). It took him 3 tries to break his maiden, but in that 3rd try, his final furlong time was the fastest by a few ticks over #1 – Soldat  and a full second better than the Morning Line favorite #7 – To Honor And Serve, who is making his 3 year old debut. What’s even more intriguing about Bowman’s Causeway is that jockey Julien Leparoux jumps off a highly touted wise-guy horse #4 – Casper’s Touch (6-1) OR did he lose the mount due to the horrible trip he gave “Casper” in his last race? I’m banking on this is not being the case and trainer Patrick Biacone, who helped bring Leparoux from France a few years ago, may have a special runner in Bowman’s Causeway.


Whether you agree with my analysis or not, checkout these races on Saturday afternoon, you won’t be disappointed. 


2011 Derby Prep race Scoreboard


Date        Prep Race              GQ’s Pick               Order of Finish

Jan. 30th Holy Bull                  Dialed In                   Dialed In, Sweet Ducky, Gourmet Dinner

Feb. 5th    Whirlaway        Preachintothedevil   Toby’s Corner, JJ’s Train, Preachintothedevil

Feb. 12th Sam F. Davis           Beamer                    Brethren, Too Experience, Watch Me Go

Feb. 12th Robert B. Lewis      Tapizar                    Anthony’s Cross, Riveting Reason, Quail Hill

Feb. 12th El Camino Real   Positive Response  Silver Medallion,Jakesam,Positive Response

Feb. 19th Risen Star               Santiva                    MuchoMachoMan,Santiva,RogueRomance

Feb. 20th San Vicente            Sway Away           TheFactor,SwayAway,PremierPegasus              

Feb. 26th Hutcheson               Black N Beauty                                                                        

Feb. 26th Fountain of Youth   Bowman’s Causeway                           



These selections and more from Laurel Park for Saturday are available at GQ’s No Chalk Zone.


Enjoy a great day of thoroughbred horse racing. Share the fun with a friend.


Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

MJC Renews TV Deal with NBC, adds VERSUS

Posted on 22 February 2011 by WNST Staff


Multi-Year Agreements to Renew Preakness Stakes and Reacquire Belmont Stakes

Previously Announced Kentucky Derby Extension Now Includes Increased Programming

More Than 25 Hours of Triple Crown Coverage on NBC and VERSUS

NEW YORK – February 22, 2011 – The NBC Sports Group will broadcast all three legs of horse racing’s prestigious Triple Crown, renewing the rights to the Preakness Stakes and reacquiring rights to the Belmont Stakes. As previously announced, NBC and Churchill Downs, Inc. renewed rights to the Kentucky Derby. This marks the first time that all three races will be on one network since NBC aired them in 2005. The agreements were announced today by Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Sports Group, Tom Chuckas, President and Chief Operating Officer, Maryland Jockey Club, and C. Steven Duncker, NYRA Chairman. Like NBC Sports’ agreement with Churchill Downs, each agreement announced today gives NBC exclusive rights to the Preakness and Belmont through 2015.

The agreements include coverage of the Black Eyed Susan Stakes and other Preakness-day and Belmont-day programming on VERSUS.  Additionally, expanded Derby week programming including the Kentucky Oaks and Derby day programming will air on VERSUS. In all, the NBC Sports Group will broadcast more than 25 hours of Triple Crown coverage (detailed schedule to be released at a later date). Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“Everyone at NBC Sports Group is delighted that the Triple Crown has been reassembled. We are now uniquely positioned to significantly expand the reach of these iconic events with extensive coverage on VERSUS,” said Ebersol. “As we previously announced, we are continuing our long-standing partnership with the Kentucky Derby. To add this extension with the Preakness while reacquiring the Belmont gives our new NBC Sports Group the three most important events in thoroughbred racing. And we want to thank Churchill Downs Incorporated and CEO Bob Evans for his leadership in paving the way for the Triple Crown to return to NBC.”

“We are pleased to renew our broadcast partnership with NBC Sports,” said Chuckas.  “Our relationship with NBC allows us the opportunity to reach more than just sports fans.  The partnership not only affords us the stature and exposure of a continued presence on network television but provides the added benefit of NBC’s consistent promotion through the Kentucky Derby leading into the Preakness.”

“We are thrilled to return our premier race to NBC Sports,” said Duncker. “They have done a terrific job covering horse racing, including their Kentucky Derby and the Preakness broadcasts over the prior decade. With an excellent production team that has pioneered innovative camera angles, and a tremendous group of on-air talent that offers unique insights into the races, NBC Sports will be a great partner for the Belmont Stakes.”

NBC SPORTS AND HORSE RACING: The NBC Sports Group is now the exclusive home to Horse Racing’s Triple Crown.  This marks the first time that all three races will be on one network since NBC last aired the Triple Crown in 2005.  NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001.

KENTUCKY DERBY: In the 10 years that Churchill Downs and NBC Sports have been together the event has experienced remarkable growth. The Kentucky Derby is now seen by 7.4 million more viewers than the last Kentucky Derby broadcast by ABC in 2000 (16.5 million vs. 9.1 million, up 51 percent). The shared vision of Churchill Downs and NBC Sports’ successful ‘Big Event Strategy’ to assemble the broadest possible audience led to the 2010 Kentucky Derby being the most-watched Kentucky Derby in 21 years, in addition to the year prior which was the most-watched Derby in 20 years.  Last year’s Kentucky Derby averaged 16.5 million viewers, the most watched Kentucky Derby since 1989 when Sunday Silence won the Derby (18.5 million).

PREAKNESS STAKES: Since NBC Sports began broadcasting the Preakness in 2001, every Preakness telecast on NBC over that period attracted more viewers than any Preakness telecast on ABC in the previous seven years.  Viewership for the Preakness is up an average of 69% in the 10 years on NBC compared to the previous seven years on ABC.

BELMONT STAKES: NBC Sports broadcast the Belmont from 2001-05, including three straight years in which the Belmont had a Triple Crown at stake.  The 2004 Belmont featuring Smarty Jones racing for the Triple Crown was seen by 21.9 million viewers, the most for a Belmont broadcast since Seattle Slew captured the elusive Triple Crown in 1977.

Since its involvement in the Triple Crown, NBC Sports has been honored with 11 Eclipse Awards for its thoroughbred racing coverage, Preakness (2002-03-05-06-08), Kentucky Derby (2007), Belmont (2004) and Breeder’s Cup (2001).  Additionally, NBC Sports has won three Eclipse Awards in the features category: 2002 on War Emblem (Preakness broadcast), 2005 Afleet Alex (Kentucky Derby broadcast) and 2009 Mine That Bird (Preakness broadcast), and the 2005 and 2006 Preakness broadcasts were nominated for the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Sports Special.

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Games of 2010

Posted on 30 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Yep, it’s another list. It’s the end of the year. It’s what I do.

This one is also compiled by the law offices of…Glenn Clark.

This used to be an annual ESPN SportsCenter special every year.

All sports, everywhere…what were the best games?

Here’s my list.

10. WEC 53: Anthony Pettis def. Benson Henderson (December 16 Glendale, AZ)


The easy choice for fight of the year (RIGHT?) is remembered much more for how it finished than anything that happened for the better part of three rounds.

This was a really good fight BEFORE Anthony Pettis channeled Keanu Reeves with a kick that could have been taken right out of The Matrix.

It was awesome.

The final curtain for WEC before merging with UFC provided the greatest moment in the promotion’s history; and the greatest moment in Mixed Martial Arts in 2010.

9. NCAA Lacrosse Final Four: Duke 14, Virginia 13 (May 29 Baltimore, MD)


As I wrote in my “Top 10 Local Sports Moments of the Year” roundup, this game was the definition of an “Instant Classic.”

The buildup that went into the game (including the Yeardley Love tragedy and George Huguely fallout in Charlottesville; the presence of the last class of “Super Seniors” at Duke following the 2006 rape allegation scandal) was intense.

Amazingly, the game lived up to the hype…and then some.

8. Breeders’ Cup Classic (November 6 Louisville, KY)


Usually horse racing has NO relevance outside of Triple Crown season. This year horse racing was actually MORE relevant outside of Triple Crown season.

The buildup that surrounded Zenyatta’s quest to finish off a perfect record at Churchill Downs was intense, yet once again it was lived up to.

Never before has a favored competitor lost…but yet somehow found themselves praised as if they had won. The celebration of the late charge from the filly was almost poetic in nature, with even regularly irreverent folks like Deadspin waxing poetic in their analysis.

The movie would have been better had Zenyatta managed to get past Blame.

Then again…maybe not.

7. NFL Playoffs: NFC Wild Card Round-Arizona Cardinals 51, Green Bay Packers 45 (OT) (January 10 Glendale, AZ)


Holy hell.

I have to admit that I didn’t get to see this game the first time around, as sadly I was on a bus on the way back from Foxborough after the Ravens had defeated the Patriots.

I’m glad the NFL Network exists so that folks like me get a second chance.

This was incredible drama, with Aaron Rodgers matching Kurt Warner right up until the final overtime fumble.

It was fitting that this allowed us one more opportunity to celebrate Warner before he would retire. An improbable future Hall of Famer; Warner gave us a lot of memories. This was a great one to tie a career together.

6. MLB Playoffs: NLDS Game 1-Philadelphia Phillies 4, Cincinnati Reds 0 (October 7 Philadelphia, PA)


A lot of folks should feel proud to have been involved with games that are on this list.

The Cincinnati Reds probably shouldn’t include themselves in that group.

In fairness to the Reds, Roy Halladay would have been dominant against just about ANY team at Citizens Bank Ballpark that night. Maybe not no-hitter dominant, but dominant nonetheless.

For the rest of eternity, Halladay will be able to hear his name with Don Larsen’s every time a pitcher flirts with a postseason no-no. It’s a pretty cool club to join.

Baseball doesn’t provide us as many of these “hairs on your arms raised” moments as it once did-but when they come around, they’re still pretty special.

This one definitely qualifies as special.

5. NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game: Duke 61, Butler 59 (April 5 Indianapolis, IN)


Drew Forrester and I were discussing this recently on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST.

Had Gordon Heyward’s shot gone in at the buzzer…would it have been the greatest moment in the history of sports?


The Bulldogs’ run to the Final Four (which was of course in their hometown in Indy) was so improbable it HAD to be compared to the movie “Hoosiers.”

If the shot had gone in…this movie would have been better.

What makes me think the shot would have been the greatest moment in the history of sport is the fact that the shot was MISSED yet we still put it in lore.

How would history have been different had David stood toe-to-toe with Goliath for 10 rounds only to see a final slingshot toss just miss?

4. Wimbledon: John Isner def. Nicholas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68 (June 24-25 Wimbledon, England)


Despite the surreal (I’m not kidding, I’m still in a state of disbelief about this epic clash) nature of this showdown, it WASN’T better than the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal final two years ago. In fact, it wasn’t better than Federer’s final clash with Andy Roddick in 2009 either.

But it was an AMAZING two days.

Two players no one had ever heard of (not named Glenn Clark anyway) caught the attention of the entire world, nearly shutting down Twitter in the process.

It wasn’t always high-level tennis; but it was about impossible to comprehend.

It was MORE meaningful because it just so happened to come on the heels of #3…

3. World Cup: Team USA 1, Algeria 0 (June 24 Pretoria, South Africa)


As far as “best moment of the year” is concerned, the video above is all of the evidence you would need to certify this as your winner.

When Landon Donovan finally delivered salvation to the Yanks, strangers hugged strangers across the country.

A number of those strangers won’t find themselves watching soccer again until 2014.

The game wasn’t necessarily as good from start to finish as others on this list, but it was damn compelling. The storyline WOULD have been an incredible amount of missed opportunities for the Americans had Tim Howard never hurled a football toss towards midfield in stoppage time.

Of course, that wouldn’t have made this list.

2. Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans Saints 31, Indianapolis Colts 17 (February 7 Miami, FL)


As football fans, we’ve been treated to a number of really good Super Bowls recently.

This was absolutely amongst the best.

The game was compelling; with Drew Brees outdueling Peyton Manning. The drama was better; as Sean Peyton’s decision to go for an onsides kick to start the second half will be remembered amongst the all time great calls in football history.

The celebration…and the belief that winning the Super Bowl truly represented “hope” in the city of New Orleans…made this even better.

1. Olympics Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game: Canada 3, Team USA 2 (February 28 Vancouver, ALB)


We were in the airport in Indianapolis (it was the weekend of the NFL Scouting Combine) as this game was happening.

Every human being in the airport was GLUED to a television.

Had it been Patrick Kane scoring the game winner instead of Sidney Crosby, there would be no argument about what was the game of the year.

In fact, we would probably think of Ryan Miller in a similar way we think of Jim Craig.

With no offense to the NHL…they could never give us this.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


Comments Off

Tags: , ,

Horse Players Christmas – Breeders’ Cup Saturday

Posted on 05 November 2010 by Gary Quill

Friday’s opening act for Saturday’s races started off resembling a boxing undercard, as an incident that occurred during the Marathon (1st BC race) exploded into fist-a-cuffs in the Winners Circle between jockeys Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano. Never in my 40+ years of watching horse races had I ever witnessed anything like it. Even though horse racing could use a fresh marketing approach to attract new players, the billing “Smack Down at Churchill Downs” would be a bit too much.


It was a tough day for the “chalk” (aka betting favorite) players, as Post Time favorites went 0 for 6, but a great day for Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank as his runner Shared Account won the BC Filly & Mare Turf at odds of 46-1. $2 WIN Payoffs in the six (6) races were very attractive… $23.20, $29.20, $19.20, $10.40, $94.00 and $17.00. Saturday’s eight (8) races may yield lower payoffs as there are a number of superstars set to take the stage and live up to the hype. Post Time for the first BC race (is Race 4 on the CD card) is scheduled for 1:50pm. The first 3 BC races will be broadcast live on ABC. Then ESPN will pickup the remaining five (5) BC races.


Below I’ve provided some insight and facts on each of Saturday’s eight (8) Breeders’ Cup races as well as a Horse To Watch in each, which does not necessarily mean that’s who I pick to win that race. For that information and more exotic wager plays, go to GQ’s No Chalk Zone .


2010 G1 BC Juvenile Turf – 1 mile (Turf) – $1,000,000  (CD – Race 4)


This race has 13 2 year olds (12 colts and 1 gelding) going postward. Each of them having only a handful of career starts. It’s here where you could see a nice priced runner cross the wire first. Those to consider should be #13 – Pluck (6-1) whose won 2 of 3 grass races. #11 – Rough Sailing (15-1) whose GrandDaddy (Cozzene) is my favorite turf runner/sire of all-time. Then there’s a European trio… #3 – Mantoba (5-1), #5 – Master Of Hounds (9-2) and #6 – Utley (6-1).      


The Horse to Watch may be #13 – Pluck (6-1). Trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Garrett Gomez teamed up with his half-sister (More Than Real) to win the Juvenile Filly Turf on Friday.



2010 G1 BC Sprint – 6 furlongs (dirt) – $2,000,000  (CD – Race 5) 


If the Kentucky Derby is “the most exciting 2 minutes in sport”, then the BC Sprint could be billed as “the most exciting race in a blink of an eye”. 12 of the fastest active thoroughbreds will break from the starting gate and the winner will have completed the ¾ mile contest in about 78 seconds.       


The Horse to Watch is #12 – Warrior’s Reward (12-1) has no early speed. He’ll pretty much walk out of the gate while his competition will be hell-bent to get to the front early. A lightning fast pace plays right into his hands, giving him a great shot at running down the fading speed in deep stretch.


Fact: The #1 Post in Sprints require a horse with early speed to get out of the gate quickly. #1 – Big Drama (7-2) often does not break fast but gets into gear shortly after. He can’t do that in the #1 hole and win.  


2010 G1 BC Turf Sprint – 5 furlongs (Turf) – $1,000,000  (CD – Race 6)


It’s the shortest race among all the Breeders’ Cup races. These runners will go gate to wire in less than a minute… even the last place horse will do that. The winner will stop the clock around just over 55 seconds.


The Horse to Watch is a filly #9 – Rose Catherine (6-1). She’s only 3 years old and has never faced the boys in her 11 race career. So why is she worth watching? How about 4 for 4 at this distance.


Fact: #8 – #8 - Quick Enough (8-1) was claimed (i.e. purchased) for a mere $40k three races back by an ownership group who did it with specific intentions to run him in this race.  


2010 G1 BC Juvenile – 1 1/16 mile (Dirt) – $2,000,000  (CD – Race 7)


This is the race that could be the coming out party for a future star and probable early favorite to continue onto the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday of May. As with all young horses, brilliance early in their career does not guarantee long-term success. Those who are being highly touted here are #2 – Boys At Toscanova (5-2), #7 – Uncle Mo (7-5) and #10 – Jaycito (8-1). 


The Horse to Watch may be #1 – Biondetti (12-1). He’s making his North American and natural dirt surface debut. He’s run twice in Great Britain and his 3rd start (most recent race) was run in Italy. This race schedule is identical to that of last years longshot winner (Vale Of York), whose jockey Ahmed Ajtebi will also have the mount here.


Fact: In the 26 runnings of this race, only one winner (Street Sense) went on to win the Kentucky Derby.


2010 G1 BC Mile – 1 mile (Turf) – $2,000,000  (CD – Race 8 )


The Turf typically is dominated by European runners, and this year in this race should be no exception. There are four (4) of them including the two-time returning champion #10 – Goldikova (6-5) who will try to become the first three-time Breeders’ Cup winner. Those with the best chance at dethroning her are #3 – Gio Ponti (3-1) who has won 11 of 22 starts with 7 second place finishes; #6 – Paco Boy (6-1) who has unsuccessfully challenged the champ four times, losing by a ½ length, a nose and twice by a neck.


The Horse to Watch is #9 – Sidney’s Candy (10-1). In the spring he swept 3 California stakes races in prepping for the Kentucky Derby, went into the Derby with high hopes but flopped. He resurfaced in August to make his turf debut and was a run-away winner. He’ll take the early lead by a very large margin, but by the time the field turns for home, he’ll be retreating to the back of the pack.       


Fact: Aidan O’Brien, the trainer of #1 – Beethoven (20-1) is 1 for 36 in BC races since 2003.


2010 G1 BC Dirt Mile – 1 mile (Dirt) – $1,000,000  (CD – Race 9)


Here’s a race that features the most unassuming group of thoroughbreds assembled. Only 3 of the 12 starters have won a Grade 1 event. This isn’t to say they’re not top-notch runners, just have a hard time getting to the Winners Circle. One that has is #12 – Vineyard Haven (10-1) whose owners put up a $90k Supplemental Entry Fee to get him in this race.       


The Horse to Watch is #7 Thiskyhasnolimit (10-1). He was last seen losing to Lookin At Lucky in the Indiana Derby on a sloppy track, but back at Churchill Downs today where he’s won 3 and ran 2nd once in 5 lilfetime efforts and is 1 for 1 at this distance.  



2010 G1 BC Turf – 1½  miles (Turf) – $3,000,000  (CD – Race 10)


The Turf typically is dominated by European runners, and this year should be no exception. There are 4 making their North American debut…likely betting favorite #6 – Workforce (7-5) who is fresh off a victory in the prestigious L’Arc De Triomphe in France, #7 – Behkabad (9-5) is a winner of 6 of 9 races and a hard-luck 4th in ‘L’Arc’. #8 – Dangerous Midge (12-1) is 5 for 10 lifetime with an impressive 4 length victory in his latest race.       


The Horse to Watch may be #5 Al Khali (10-1). He’s had troubled trips in his 2 most recent races. Two back encountering traffic but still managed to win. In his last race was behind a wall of horses entering the stretch, nearly came to a dead stop, shifted to the outside and finished strong to get 4th.     


Fact: Breeders’ Cup races have not been kind to Japan shippers, as their best finish is 6th from 6 races. 



2010 G1 BC Classic – 1¼ mile (dirt) – $5,000,000  (CD – Race 11)


A star-studded cast of equine characters will go postward in the early evening at Churchill Downs, under the lights for the first-time in Breeders’ Cup history. One could make a case for any one of the 14 entrants. Even the sports fan who may only watch horse racing when broadcast on TV (re: Kentucky Derby, Preakness and/or Belmont) may recall some the the runners in this contest… 2010 Preakness winner Lookin At Lucky and runner-up First Dude, 3rd place finishers in the Kentucky Derby Paddy O’Prado (2010) and Musket Man (2009), but there is one who will get all of the attention… Zenyatta.

She’s a perfect 19 for 19 lifetime and this race is her Swan Song, win or lose, her racing career will come to an end on Saturday at approximately 6:50pm EDT.


The Horse to Watch is Zenyatta, but not for the obvious reasons. For the person who has never seen Zenyatta run, you are in for a treat. She is the “Drama Queen” of the equine community and every race day she puts on a show… even before entering the starting gate. While walking in the paddock through the Post parade onto the track, she will prance and strut like no other thoroughbred, kicking out her front right leg and scraping the surface below her as if she’s a bull ready to charge.


When the starting gate opens and the field passes the Grandstand for the first time, she’ll undoubtedly being trailing the field, loping along as if she is giving all of her foes a 100 yard head start. Pay no attention to the horses in front as they travel along the backstretch and reach the far turn, as at this point in the race is when Zenyatta decides ‘It’s Show Time”!


From the far turn through the head of the stretch (i.e. straight away), focus on the jockey in turquoise silks and cap w/ pink band, this is Zenyatta. They’ll be swinging to the outside of horses, picking them off one by one. As the field enters the stretch, she’ll probably have just a few more runners to catch, and IF she is on her game, as she has been in all 19 previous races, she’ll win in dramatic fashion, getting the lead in the final strides.


Fact: 17 of Zenyatta’s 19 victories have come on a synthetic racing surface. The other 2 have come on natural dirt (Oaklawn Park), which also happens to be her two greatest margins of victory. The Classic will be run on the natural dirt surface of Churchill Downs main track.                           

Comments Off

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 01 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Auto Racing-NASCAR AAA Texas 500 (Sunday 3pm from Fort Worth live on ESPN); College Soccer: William & Mary @ Maryland (Tuesday 7:30pm Ludwig Field), Coastal Carolina @ Maryland (Friday 7:30pm Ludwig Field); Boxing-Jimmy Lange vs. Joe Wyatt (Saturday 7pm Patriot Center); ShoBox-Edwin Rodriguez vs. James McGirt, Jr. (Friday 11pm from Fargo, North Dakota live on Showtime), Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Rafael Marquez/Allan Green vs. Glen Johnson (Saturday 10pm from Las Vegas live on Showtime); Zab Judah vs. Lucas Matthysse (Saturday 11:15pm from Newark, NJ live on HBO); NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Washington Capitals (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on NHL Network & Comcast SportsNet), Boston Bruins @ Washington Capitals (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on NHL Network & Comcast SportsNet), Philadelphia Flyers @ Washington Capitals (Sunday 5pm from Verizon Center live on NHL Network & Comcast SportsNet)

10. The Cult (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Little Big Town (Wednesday 7:30pm Rams Head Live), Wolf Parade (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live), Social Distortion (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live), La Roux (Sunday 7pm Rams Head Live); All Mighty Senators (Saturday 8pm 8×10 Club); Phil Vassar (Sunday 7:30pm Rams Head On Stage); The Script (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Ra Ra Riot (Friday 6:30pm 9:30 Club), Umphrey’s McGee (Friday & Saturday 10pm 9:30 Club); Blue Man Group (Tuesday-Friday 8pm, Saturday 2pm & 8pm, Sunday 1pm & 6:30pm Hippodrome), Interpol (Wednesday 7pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall), Kevin Hart (Friday 8pm & 10:30pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Bedouin Soundclash (Thursday 8:30pm Rock N Roll Hotel); Jaron And The Long Road To Leave (Thursday 8:30pm State Theatre), Soulive (Friday 9pm State Theatre); Daniel Tosh (Friday 7:30pm & 10:30pm Warner Theatre), Vince Vaughn & Kevin James (Monday 8pm Warner Theatre); Don McLean (Sunday 7:30pm Birchmere); Good Charlotte “Cardiology” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday), “Toy Story 3″ available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday), “Megamind” opens in theaters (Friday)

Not everyone likes country music. But I like country music. At least country music when Little Big Town is playing it…


Mike Ness is one of the toughest dudes on the face of the planet. I feel like not only could he play a gig with Social D in Charm City this weekend, but he could possibly play safety for the Ravens as well if Dawan Landry were to get hurt…


Some people think it isn’t very manly to be a fan of The Script. To those people I say, “why in the hell would you have thought I was manly otherwise?”


Drew Forrester and I are going to see Ra Ra Riot Friday night in DC. I’m planning on telling everyone that my grandfather actually does have fairly decent taste in music.


9. World Championship Punkin Chunkin (Friday-Sunday Nassau, Delaware)

This is certainly outside the radius of what I would usually consider “local”, but it’s also awesome enough that I’m going to be forced to let it slide.

Seriously, how in the hell can you argue with an event like THIS?


8. Lingerie Football League: Orlando Fantasy @ Baltimore Charm (Friday 9pm 1st Mariner Arena)

I don’t consider myself an expert on the LFL by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel like it has to be somewhat disappointing that the Charm have been outscored 93-6 in their first two games of the year.

That being said, I still like it would be unfair to label the team as 0-2 for the season. Mostly because that would mean we’re labeling anyone involved with the LFL as losers…


7. Pro Wrestling: TNA “Turning Point” (Sunday 8pm from Orlando live on Pay-Per-View)

Mr. Anderson is facing Jeff Hardy at Turning Point for the strap. But that’s not what I’m most interested in. Instead, I’m much more interested in the match between the Motor City Machine Guns and Team 3D. Why? Because Team 3D is FREAKING AWESOME…


6. High School Football: Perry Hall @ Hereford (Friday 7pm), Glen Burnie @ Chesapeake-Anne Arundel County (Friday 6:30pm)

As always, my PHHS Gators are coming off a blowout win (56-15 over Milford Mill) and Forrester’s Gophers are coming off a blowout loss (44-6 to North County).

But Hereford is always a tricky trip for my Gators. Which bothers me, because there is no team I want to beat more than the Bulls every season.

Why’s that?

Picture a 14 year old Glenn Clark sitting in front of window at 6am…staring out at a thin layer of snow/ice and listening to Dave Durian on WBAL…

“Baltimore County Schools…two hours late…”


“…Hereford Zone only.”

WHAT?!?!?!?!? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So to my Gators…I don’t ask for much. But PLEASE. Win this for all of us who ever had to have our hearts broken by hearing the words “Hereford Zone only.”

Love, G.

5. NBA: Philadelphia 76ers @ Washington Wizards (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ New York Knicks (Friday 7:30pm from New York live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Cleveland Cavaliers @ Washington Wizards (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet)

Since the ‘Zards appear to stink again this year, thank God Ted Leonsis and company have a favorable schedule. I mean, not even two weeks into the season and they’re already getting a visit from LeBron James and the Cavs!

Oh. No? Well at least they have other good things going on in DC. For example…


Oh Thank God for Rex Grossman. He couldn’t happen to a better group of A-holes.

4. College Basketball: 2K Sports Classic-Seattle @ Maryland (Monday 8pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Shepherd @ Loyola (Thursday 7pm Reitz Arena); Women’s College Basketball: Gallaudet @ Maryland (Tuesday 7pm Comcast Center), District of Columbia @ Maryland (Sunday 2pm Comcast Center)

Oh College Basketball how I love thee and how much I have missed thee.

Seriously-there are few things in life that I love HALF as much as I love College Basketball.

Off the top of my head, I’d say I love O.A.R., Chris Farley movies and Belgian Wheat beers as much as I love College Basketball. Nothing else.

Well….maybe this…


3. College Football: Maryland @ Miami (Saturday 12pm from Miami live on ESPNU), Navy @ East Carolina (Saturday 3:30pm from Greenville, NC live on MASN)

Okay, I REALLY don’t think the Terrapins are that good.

I know they’re 6-2. I know they’re now 3-1 in the ACC. I know they just hung 62 points on Wake Forest. I know there’s a chance Jacory Harris might not play for the Hurricanes Saturday, and the ‘Canes just lost a game to effing Virginia ANYWAY.

I’m just still not convinced Ralph Friedgen’s Terps are THAT good. But I’ve been wrong before.

For example, I was told recently that there were some new pictures of a gal named Jarah Mariano that deserved a gander. My response was “I bet they’re not that great.”

I was wrong. (Thanks Guyism!)


2. Horse Racing: Breeders’ Cup (Friday 4pm live on ESPN2, Saturday 1:30pm live on ABC, Saturday 3:30pm live on ESPN. All racing from Louisville, KY)

I can’t believe I’m missing this.

There is NOTHING better than a big racing weekend at Churchill Downs.

Of course, I’m not so sure it’ll be quite the same without the Prince of Kentucky…


1. NFL: Miami Dolphins @ Baltimore Ravens (Sunday 1pm from M&T Bank Stadium live on CBS)

It’s not that I’m NOT excited about the Ravens and Fins Sunday afternoon. Trust me, I’m PLENTY excited about it. It’s just that it’s hard to think about ANYTHING going on at “The Bank” right now as being even in the neighborhood of the importance of what will be going on there come June 22, 2011…



Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


Comments Off

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 10 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Tennis-Madrid Open (Tuesday-Saturday 8am, Sunday FINAL 12:30pm from Madrid live on Tennis Channel); Golf: PGA Valero Texas Open (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from San Antonio.), Champions Tour Regions Charity Classic (Friday & Saturday 6:30pm, Sunday 7pm from Hoover, AL on Golf Channel), Bell Micro LPGA Classic (Thursday 6:30pm, Friday 12pm, Saturday & Sunday 4pm from Mobile, AL live on Golf Channel); Soccer: MLS-Colorado Rapids @ DC United (Saturday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet); Women’s NCAA Lacrosse Tournament: Marist @ Maryland (Saturday 12pm College Park), Towson @ Virginia (Sunday 1pm Charlottesville); MIAA High School Lacrosse: Loyola Blakefield @ Boys’ Latin (Wednesday 4pm), Mt. St. Joseph @ St. Paul’s (Wednesday 4pm); Robin Hood out in theaters (Friday)

10. Swimming: Charlotte UltraSwim (Friday-Sunday 6pm from Charlotte live on Universal Sports)

Do I have a “Michael Phelps is headed back to the pool so I should make a pot joke” joke prepared? I do not.

Instead, I pass this along. I don’t know who Chloe Sutton is (you know, other than the fact that she’s a swimmer participating in this Charlotte event), but I think I like her…


…you know, she seems nice.

9. Pro Wrestling: TNA Sacrifice (Sunday 8pm from Orlando live on Pay-Per-View)

Reasons to watch a TNA Pay-Per-View:

A. Rob Van Dam is AWESOME.

B. Jeff Hardy is also AWESOME.

C. The chicks are hot.

D. WOOOO!!!!!


8. Auto Racing: NASCAR Autism Speaks 400 (Sunday 1pm from Dover live on FOX)

If you’re piling on the Rex Snider bus and headed up to The Monster Mile this weekend, please say hello to this guy for me while you’re there…


Oh, and then ask Dad to try to remember to wear pants on Mother’s Day next year…geez.

7. NHL Playoffs: Blackhawks/Canucks (Game 6 Tuesday 9:30pm from Vancouver live on VERSUS, Game 7 if necessary Thursday 8pm from Chicago live on VERSUS); Canadiens/Penguins (Game 7 Wednesday 7pm from Pittsburgh live on VERSUS); Bruins/Flyers (Game 6 Wednesday 8pm from Philadelphia live on VERSUS, Game 7 if necessary Friday 7pm from Boston live on VERSUS)

You mean to tell me the Habs have a chance to make BOTH the fans in the Steel City AND the fans in Washington completely miserable in the same postseason?!?!?

I have never supported anything from Canada they way I now support the Canadiens. Like my pal Sam Angell said via Facebook, do it for Youppi!!!


6. NBA Playoffs: Cavaliers/Celtics (Game 5 Tuesday 8pm from Cleveland live on TNT, Game 6 Thursday 8pm from Boston live on ESPN, Game 7 if necessary Sunday 3:30pm from Cleveland live on ABC)

Boy, the 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs have sure been…uhh…dreadful???

I was gonna root for the Atlanta Hawks because Joe Smith is down there-but…apparently no one informed them that they beat the Bucks and actually ADVANCED to the next round. You would have thought a courtesy call would have at least been nice.

You don’t need to wonder about who I AM rooting for, as it is rather obvious. VIVA.LOS.SUNS!!!!


5. MMA-Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery (Saturday 10pm from St. Louis live on Showtime), Bellator Fighting Championships XVIII (Thursday 8pm from Monroe, LA live on Fox Sports Net); Boxing-Amir Khan vs. Paulie Malignaggi (Saturday 9:45pm from New York live on HBO)



Look, I’m well aware that he lost to Fedor, but let’s be honest here…he DIDN’T lose my heart. I LOVE “The Grim.”

4. NCAA Lacrosse Tournament: Hofstra @ Maryland (Saturday 12pm from Byrd Stadium live on ESPNU), Johns Hopkins @ Duke (Saturday 12pm from Durham live on ESPN), Loyola @ Cornell (Saturday 2:30pm from Ithica, NY live on ESPNU), Mt. St. Mary’s @ Virginia (Saturday 7:30pm from Charlottesville live on ESPNU); D3 Tournament: Cabrini/Denison winner @ Stevenson (Saturday 1pm Caves Athletic Complex)

I don’t mind that the Terps got Hofstra in Round 1 at all. Folks on Long Island are fairly easy to dislike, so I’ve got that under control. But…Hopkins playing Duke? Is there any way BOTH teams can lose???

(Edit from GMC: Of COURSE I’d prefer the Blue Devils lost, I just have to keep up appearances as a Blue Jays-hating fan of the Terrapins. It’s how things work.)

So with that in mind…you’re going down, Duke!!!


3. Preakness Week Events: Pee Wee Preakness (Tuesday 11am Federal Hill), Preakness Frog Hop (Wednesday 12pm Patterson Park), Preakness Alibi Breakfast (Thursday 9:30am Pimlico), Preakness Crab Derby (Thursday 12pm Lexington Market), Hot Air Balloon Festival (Thursday & Friday 3pm Turf Valley), Preakness Parade (Friday 8:30pm Inner Harbor)

This is what I know…I’ll be enjoying about 3-4,765 of THESE this week…


And while we don’t have a WHOLE lot of things going on better than the Kentucky Derby; I do know this much…

Black-Eyed Susans >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Mint Juleps

2. Infieldfest feat. O.A.R., Zac Brown Band, Collective Soul & Mr. Greengenes (Saturday all day Pimlico), Sugarland (Sunday 6:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Corinne Bailey Rae (Friday 7pm Rams Head Live), Puddle of Mudd & Adelita’s Way (Thursday 8pm Power Plant Live), Pearl Jam (Thursday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live), Sister Hazel (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club)

EVERYTHING to like on this list…

First of all, the Maryland Jockey Club couldn’t have done better than O.A.R. EVER for Saturday…


Plus, Zac Brown Band is pretty good too…


And Mr. Greengenes can even DO O.A.R……


And as far as Sister Hazel is concerned…I mean…come on…


1. Preakness (Saturday 6pm from Pimlico live on NBC), Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (Friday 5pm from Pimlico live on HRTV), Preakness Post Position Draw (Wednesday 5pm Turfside Terrace live on HRTV)

I’ll save you my “I’m picking Sarah Jessica Parker this year” comments. I mean, I AM…but it’s completely irrelevant.

The only real question left for me is whether or not to wear the same attire to Pimlico Saturday that I wore to Churchill Downs. Your call…


Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


Comments Off

Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 05 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because last night was the annual “Undie Run” at Arizona State University. As someone who lived right down the street from ASU for two years, I can’t even BEGIN to explain what a good idea this is…


The failure to copy this idea at Towson University is absolutely UNTHINKABLE. The University of Maryland is putting together their first ever Undie Run in 6 days, and they’ll have a lot to live up to…


Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says AJ Burnett shut down Orioles as Yankees won 4-1

AJ Burnett is a hell of a pitcher. He might not be Roy Halladay, but he’s pretty damn good.

That being said-it is UNACCEPTABLE to have runners on 2nd & 3rd base with no outs and then see Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters strike out. It’s just unacceptable. There’s no other way to put it.

What Gary Thorne, Mike Flanagan and Ben McDonald said during the MASN broadcast was telling however. With runners and 2nd and 3rd with none out, the pressure in that situation was somehow on the Orioles hitters and NOT on Burnett.

How could it have EVER come to this?

ALL of the pressure was on the Orioles hitters. Instead of going to the plate and thinking “cool, another spot to drive in some more runs”, Orioles hitters were thinking something along the lines of “oh dear God I better get a hit here because I have no idea if we’ll ever get a chance like this again!”

How telling was it that in the bottom of the inning; after Jones misplayed Francisco Cervelli’s single into a triple; Dave Trembley decided to pull the infield in.

In the THIRD inning.

Watching the Orioles is slightly less fun than going to the dentist at this point.

2. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of loss

Maybe I’m the one responsible for this. I went away to hang out at the Kentucky Derby over the weekend, and the Orioles swept the Red Sox in 3 games I couldn’t even watch on TV. I’ve been able to actually SEE the O’s win exactly FOUR games this season!


The Orioles had no RBI at all last night, and haven’t driven a runner in from scoring position YET through two games at Yankee Stadium.

Brian Matusz was by no means bad last night, although he did walk in a run.

It’s just like a continuous nightmare.

I know what will brighten our spirits….a picture of Serinda Swan from BarstoolSports.com…


…yep, I feel better already.

3. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark uncomfortably says Birds ‘could learn from’ Washington Nationals

And believe it or not, it ISN’T just by putting a Ben’s Chili Bowl inside the stadium…


I seriously credit Nats President Stan Kasten for saying the right thing when asked about low attendance. When you have a bad product (like the Nationals HAVE had; and the Orioles certainly DO have), it’s YOUR fault. YOU need to fix it.

And if Dave Trembley just said the wrong thing out of frustration when asked about attendance, Andy MacPhail just just make a statement to “correct” him.

Or the team can keep allowing the fans to be blamed for the bad product. That’s a good idea too.

4. The AP says former Tigers, O’s broadcaster Ernie Harwell dead at 92

While Ernie Harwell has very LITTLE to do with Baltimore, it is certainly worth discussing this. Harwell represented what fans used to LOVE about baseball-especially in towns like Baltimore. He will be SORELY missed.

Just try watching this without tearing up. Ernie Harwell was a SPECIAL man…


5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Robert Andino, Josh Bell, Zach Britton, Billy Rowell all had big nights on farm

And before we move on from the Orioles, a few things…

-If you missed Zach Britton on with Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST; you can check it out in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net.

-Congratulations to today’s “Apologist of the Morning”, Steve Melewski from MASN. He wrote a great piece talking about how Luke Scott had a better slugging percentage than Brian Roberts last year-so we should defend Scott’s poor play this season.

That’s right. Luke Scott’s slugging percentage was better than the team’s leadoff hitter last year. That makes him a good player who deserves to keep his spot in the lineup.


-The O’s and Yanks are back at it this afternoon in The Bronx; with David Hernandez facing licensed Orioles killer Andy Pettitte. First pitch is at 1:05pm. Follow us on Twitter (@WNST) during the game for humorous updates.

6.Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Elizabeth City State WR Reggie Smith to try out with Ravens this weekend


But…uh…what the hell is Elizabeth City State?

I mean, if it was Elizabeth BERKLEY City State I might be a bit more interested…


(Edit from GMC: I love NO ONE more than I love Jessie Spano. Okay, maybe Topanga. But that’s it.)

For the record, Smith is a 5’11″ receiver who put up good numbers in college. If he shows up in Owings Mills again after this weekend, I’d be STUNNED.

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Edgar Jones switching back to OLB

Maybe they should just throw him in the kicking competition too while they’re at it???

The Ravens have a TON of depth at linebacker. Terrell Suggs is backed up by Paul Kruger; Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe are backed up by Tavares Gooden, Antwan Barnes, Jameel McClain, Jason Phillips, Prescott Burgess and Brendon Ayanbadejo; and Jarret Johnson is backed up by Sergio Kindle. Now add Edgar Jones to that mix.

I don’t think they’ll all be in East Rutherford the night the Ravens play the Jets.

If you missed Ravens center Matt Birk or QB Coach Jim Zorn with Drew this morning, they’re both up in the Audio Vault.

8. The Sun’s Katherine Dunn says Notre Dame Prep lacrosse beat St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes in honor of former teammate Yeardley Love

I haven’t had a chance to say much about the tragic situation at Virginia, and I probably won’t say much about it here, as we are MUCH too light-hearted for poignancy. The Cavaliers are probably doing the right thing by playing in the NCAA Tournament, but you can’t imagine it won’t have an impact.

“The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet” is a NDP grad, and I know the community there has been TERRIBLY shook by the news. Prayers for all of them and blessings to the Love family.

9. UMBCRetrievers.com previews tonight’s America East Tournament semifinal against Albany at UMBC Stadium

For as bad a start as Don Zimmerman’s Retrievers got off to this season, they have a realistic chance of making the NCAA Tournament-although they would likely have to play the conference championship game at Stony Brook this weekend.

They certainly have a better chance of making the NCAA Tournament than I do of getting to know Tulisa Contostavlos on a more personal level (Thanks Guyism!)…


10. TowsonTigers.com previews tonight’s CAA Tournament semifinal against UMass at Unitas Stadium

The Tigers also HAVE to win their conference tournament to make the NCAA Tournament, although it isn’t quite as steep a climb. They’ll be able to host the Championship game Saturday should they win tonight.

In a completely unrelated story, former Oregon cheerleader Amanda Pflugard is apparently a model now. I thought this was important enough to pass along (Thanks Busted Coverage!)…


11. Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee says Bob Baffert working with Lookin At Lucky in Louisville before making decision on Preakness

Rumor has it that when asked about what he’ll do differently this time after failing to win at Churchill Downs; I believe he may have said…”Well I’m sure as hell not going to talk to that clown Glenn Clark before the race this time.”

And finally, I leave you with this…

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!!


Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


Comments Off

A Photo/Video Journal from the Kentucky Derby

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Photo/Video Journal from the Kentucky Derby

Posted on 04 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

LOUISVILLE, Ky. I was going to write a lengthy piece describing my first experience of attending/covering a Kentucky Derby Sunday. Unfortunately, as the words started to come off my fingers, I felt it was more poetry than any form of true journalism.

My Kentucky Derby experience was SPECIAL, there’s simply no doubt about that. But in hopes to avoid gushing, I’m going to try to tell the story with photos and videos, which I will follow with explanations and/or thoughts. I hope you’ll enjoy.



Louisville is such a cool place during Derby week. Upon landing, I was greeted by representatives from Woodford Reserve, who were bearing gifts of “Bourbon Balls”, a candy composed of chocolate, bourbon and a pecan. It’s a thoughtful gift, take my word for it.

As hopeful as I was to start the trip, the first person I bumped into at the airport was Shane Battier. Ugh. Sadly my FlipCam was packed up, or the conversation we had about Duke losing to Maryland on his Senior Night at Cameron Indoor Stadium would have been recorded for prosperity. We would have edited out the part about how the Blue Devils went on to beat the Terps in the ACC Tournament and NCAA Tournament semifinals that same year.


I was told my multiple Kentucky residents that there are tracks more beautiful than Churchill Downs (including Keeneland in Lexington); but it didn’t look that way Thursday night. As the sun was just leaving it’s highest point-the view from 6 floors above was breathtaking. Of course, I had been informed that morning on “The Morning Reaction” that there was record rain in the forecast for the Derby, so I composed some thoughts…


There was a crew from HRTV on the same balcony. They told me they weren’t surprised to hear I was from Baltimore. Not sure what that meant, but I was both offended and proud at once.


Probably the most iconic Kentucky Derby champion of my lifetime, Barbaro is remembered outside the front gate of Churchill Downs. It would be nice if he could direct the post-race traffic on Kentucky Derby day, but he’s doing a fine job nonetheless.

On my way out of the track I bumped into a fella you may have heard of named Calvin Borel. He told me he had ran “Super Saver” at Churchill Downs in the mud a year earlier, and the horse loved the slop. He also called me “sir” a lot. He’s won 3 of the last 4 Kentucky Derbies, and 3 of the last 4 Triple Crown races overall. I’ve won “worst dressed” at informal Harford County Farm Fair polls at least 4-5 times in my life.


Lyle and Linda Graham were my hosts for the weekend. They’re outstanding people, which is remarkable considering their relation to “The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet.” The first mint julep came Thursday night with dinner. I was almost at the floor after just 3 sips. They sell them for 10 bucks at the track on Derby day and they’re made with Early Times whiskey. The same Early Times that is 40% alcohol by volume. I’m reasonably certain that in Kentucky, bourbon is consumed starting at the age of 13. Instead of chocolate milk in your 8th grade lunch, it’s straight bourbon.

I was told by a number of folks that mint juleps aren’t popular other than during Derby season. Other things that are popular during Derby season:

1-Losing keys
2-Losing clothes
3-Losing inhibitions
4-Losing your mind

The bourbon thing will baffle me for years. As a beer drinker, I don’t much care for a “sipping” drink. Of course, no one was “sipping” Mint Juleps. They were drinking them as if they would make the pretty girls like them more.



In covering “The Run for the Roses”, there’s no more exciting time than Friday morning between 5:30 and 8am. NBC broadcasts “The Today Show” live from the backstretch, as does every local morning show based in Louisville. Multiple radio stations broadcast live as well, and there’s something cool about watching the sun come up at The Twin Spires. I’m trying to avoid the poetry, I swear. Al Roker looks good these days. I asked him if he had any tips for Ray Bachman and he said “Duke sucks.” (That may or may not have actually happened.)

They just installed the lights at Churchill Downs for night racing a year ago. Before that, horses would apparently just run in the dark. I suggested they re-consider the decision. Had the lights been off, I may have had a chance at talking to some of the girls in Kentucky.


Apparently, if you wear a nice shirt on the morning of the Kentucky Oaks, important people will talk to you. Not only did Bob Baffert chat with me, but Nick Zito and Todd Pletcher gave me a few moments off-camera as well. Baffert made it clear that he wasn’t happy about Lookin’ At Lucky on the slop and with the bad post draw; and Zito appeared concerned about Ice Box; eventually ending our chat and telling me we’d talk again in Baltimore. I passed all of that information along to you-and sure enough, Ice Box struggled (even though he eventually rallied), and Lookin at Lucky had an awful trip. If only John Harbaugh could be this honest when I talked to him…


Sometimes an interview isn’t JUST an interview. Colonel Sanders is much more than an interview. He’s an icon. As someone who has inhaled original recipe and Honey BBQ Wings for the better part of his life, I was almost speechless in his presence. Until-of course-he ruined it for me by telling me his name was Bob Thompson before we started recording. Bob Thompson?!?!? UGH. That’s like Santa Claus telling little Ralphie “Hi there, Steve Kellerman. What can I get you for Christmas?” I couldn’t even call him Colonel Sanders when I talked to him. I just called him “The Colonel.”

Matt Hobbs from WHAS 11 in Louisville told me the interview gets me a “hood pass.” The gal from KFC told me the interview gets me a coupon for a free “Double Down Sandwich.” Hobbs told me they’re the same thing. Matt is a qualified authority on this. Just trust me.


When it comes to debauchery, there’s no one that knows more than Nestor Aparicio. I don’t always trust “The Nasty One” about everything, but this was an area where I ABSOLUTELY trusted him. He directed me to leave the track by 8:30 Friday morning, and to head over to Lynn’s Paradise Cafe. BEST.DECISION.EVER.


When you ask a pretty girl for a recommendation upon sitting down and she says “How about a Bloody Mary?”, the answer is YES. The next response is to sit back and order ANYTHING she thinks you should…


That’s right. “TLDGOTFOTP” and I enjoyed a breakfast of Crabs Benedict, Bourbon French Toast, Home Fries, Cheese Grits and Bloody Maries with Bob Dylan playing in the background. I hope to know what Heaven is at some point, but I find it hard to believe it could be any better than this. Oh-and there were FLAMENCO DANCERS…


…the scene in front of me was so amazing that even Adam Duritz couldn’t put it into a song. Worth noting, there is an outstanding modern art shop next to Lynn’s called Regalo that has sells fleur-de-lis (I’m not really certain what the plural form of that is) in every possible formation. Cool place.

Also, there were a slew of joggers who ran barefoot through the streets of Louisville Friday morning. Try that in Charm City and you’d probably have to learn about treatments for Hepatitis. Yikes.


You really can’t stroll through Louisville without stopping at the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum. Mostly because while you’re strolling through Louisville, it’s hard to avoid a bat so large only Godzilla could possibly swing it. Anne Jewell is the executive director of the museum, she gave me the scoop on the bat…


As you know, I am by no means baseball geek, but this was an issue for me. Ol’ “Lucky” got to hold Babe Ruth’s bat. That’s right, she got to hold BABE RUTH’S BAT. It’s just a shame she HAD NO IDEA HOW TO HOLD IT…


Ugh. They showed me how the bats were made there, but only after I put on some awesome goggles…


…apparently they make Miguel Tejada’s bats at Louisville Slugger…


…but I wasn’t sure what the vile labeled “B12″ sitting by his section was all about. I guess it’s a mystery.

In all seriousness, the Louisville Slugger museum and factory is very cool, despite the fact that they have to hit you with this ton of bricks on the way out…


You can see Eddie Murray’s 501st home run bat (and if you’re like me-when you saw the thing, you IMMEDIATELY remembered that 501 was a grand slam in September 1996 on a night where the team got just 2 hits); as well as bats used by Cal Ripken, Frank Robinson and even good players from OTHER teams (I just don’t care about them), including teams that are actually good currently.


The Muhammad Ali Center is also on the water in Louisville. I didn’t get to spend much time there, but I’m still pretty certain it was a better experience than Shane Mosley had in Las Vegas later that night.


Kentucky Oaks day is special. Nothing like Black-Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico. There were 116,000 fans in attendance at Churchill Downs Friday, and I’m pretty sure that 80,000 of them were freaking GORGEOUS women. In fact, the line for the women’s bathroom was one of the best places to be all day, as you could just take in the imagery. I wandered to the infield to gather my thoughts…


Why didn’t I bring sunglasses to Louisville? I have no idea. Maybe I was too concerned with things like alcohol and women. Trust me, there was good reason to be concerned with those things. Lucky preferred the Kentucky Oaks Lily to the Mint Julep; probably because it tasted like Kool-Aid. Amongst the 116,000 in attendance-I somehow managed to find some family members…


Despite being an overwhelming favorite, we bet on Blind Luck to win. She won. We made money. Not much, but we made money. It’s a better result than the other 364 days of my year. Apparently the locals love Kentucky Oaks day in Louisville-so much so that they actual close schools to celebrate. That’s right, they close schools for a horse race. And apparently most businesses allow a “floater” day for Friday. These are GOOD things. The women of the city SHOULD be allowed to take the day, drink, wear sundresses and hug strangers. The men of the city should me allowed to do the same…you know, if they want.


Dinner was at a joint called “Monkeywrench” in the arts district Friday night. The place had RIDICULOUSLY good Fried Green Tomatoes, but sadly my phone wasn’t charged. Life goes on. We stopped by a place called “4th Street Live” downtown (if I said it was Power Plant Live, you’d be looking at the same place). 3 Doors Down was there. We watched for less than a song. Other acts in town that night included Puddle of Mudd, Uncle Kracker, Candlebox, Young Buck and Drowning Pool. I saw none of them. Instead, I took Nestor’s advice again and wandered into a bar called “Phoenix Hill Tavern.” This was another good decision.


There’s so much to say about The Velcro Pygmies. They play every year on the nights leading up to the Derby at Phoenix Hill. They are almost as much a part of the Derby as seersucker suits. Celebrities come to see the Pygmies on Derby Eve. I was told that one year Dave Matthews himself strolled into Phoenix Hill just to see the Pygmies. I bumped into the guys from Puddle of Mudd who had come by to see the Pygmies because they wanted to see the group’s version of their own “She Hates Me.”

I consider myself a fan of Mr. Greengenes, and I never skipped a Metalhead show when I lived in Arizona-but on Derby weekend there isn’t a better cover band in the world. Their version of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” is better than Poison’s. I’m not sure David Allan Coe can do justice to THEIR version of “You Never Even Called Me By My Name.” Especially not in Kentucky on the night before the Derby.


I’m not sure if you can tell this by the picture, but there is underwear hanging from the ceiling fan in the middle of the floor. Plenty of it in fact. The Pygmies have no trouble convincing gals to disrobe right in the middle of the bar. It’s an impressive feet. We should consider something like a Congressional medal for the accomplishment.

The best part about Derby Eve is that despite last call already being at 4AM, the bars don’t hide the fact that they’re staying open until 6 or 7AM that night. Having been up at 5am to get to the track and being used to a 2AM last call, I didn’t see last call Friday night. There were conflicting reports Saturday morning regarding whether or not there ever WAS a last call.

As a note to government leaders in Baltimore and the state of Maryland. If you want to make Preakness a bigger event that attracts more folks from out of state, consider something similar. Of course Preakness will never match the Derby, but having a 4AM last call on Friday night could attract more folks to come in on Friday and spend the weekend instead of coming down Saturday morning.

It isn’t rocket science.



The thing about the liberal last call on Derby Eve is that it sets up well for a late arrival on Saturday afternoon. Unless you have some particular desire to spend your entire morning betting, there’s no need to get to the track particularly early. I used Saturday morning as a chance to sleep in before heading over to Uptown Cafe in the arts district for lunch.

The point of going to Uptown Cafe was that I had been told I needed to try a “Hot Brown” while I was in Kentucky. But when our waitress recommended that I give “Kentucky Burgoo Soup” a try, I took the bait. The payoff was a combination of chicken, duck, pork and beef that was more “odyssey” than “appetizer.” I have no idea why the thing is called “Burgoo”, but I know that you could call the thing “Don’tEatThisEverIt’sDisgusting” and it would STILL be delicious.


The Food Network has spent plenty of time in Louisville, particularly for the show “Throwdown with Bobby Flay.” One episode was about the legendary Hot Brown, which deserves not only an episode of a cable TV show, but quite possibly an entire Ken Burns PBS Documentary series.

The Brown Hotel in Louisville apparently came up with the Hot Brown to provide patrons another late night food option. Which is strange, because I was pretty certain they came up with it to help Jesus feed 5,000 people in The Bible.

A Hot Brown is a magical combination of bread, turkey, cheese and tomatoes baked together and then covered with more cheese. It’s called a sandwich by some, but it is really more like an experience. It isn’t JUST delicious, it’s completely life-changing. In fact, just go ahead and insert your own adjectives here; because I could use just about all of them.

To steal the great line from “Superbad”, it really was “like the first time I heard the Beatles.” Or had a crab pretzel. Or had a crab pretzel while listening to the Beatles.


Sean Schmidt is a WNST listener and avid Ravens fan who now lives in Ohio. Two funny things there-didn’t the Orioles say we only had one listener? Sean’s girlfriend told me she listened every morning too. That’s two! And I could have sworn I heard Bruce Cunningham say that you couldn’t hear the station outside of Baltimore County? Sean listens in Ohio!!!

In all seriousness, Sean and his family were great. They stayed in Frankfort Friday night and were at the track by about 8am. They bought me an 8 dollar Budweiser, which makes them even better in my book. You can put me in a fancy suit, but it won’t change my desire to drink beer as if I was pitching horseshoes at the Angle Inn over in Dundalk.


The only frustrating moments of my weekend came when I found out that I wouldn’t be able to access the red carpet because I didn’t get the right credential. Oh well, lesson learned. I tried to position myself between the red carpet and “Millionaire’s Row”, but the mix of the weather and the fact that the only people who came by were some gal from “The Real Housewives of Whatever Town They’re In This Time” and former NBA big man Kevin Willis convinced me it wasn’t worth waiting.

By chance, I bumped into Ravens LB Ray Lewis, we chatted for about a minute before he was ushered into the exclusive part of the track. Apparently Cal Ripken made it to the race, but I never saw him. I did see Chris Redman, as the former Louisville Cardinals QB was gripping and greeting at the exclusive entrance. You’d never believe how popular he is there.

As far as the celebrity pictured above? Beats me. I was told he was a boxer, but I have no idea. Someone walking with him asked me if I would pose for a picture because we were wearing the same suit. I bet his cost more than mine. He wasn’t the last person to ask me to pose for a picture that day.


Maybe I should dress nice more often. Or at least clean underwear. I composed my thoughts…


That’s right, I told you to bet the 4. I hope you listened.


I thought my hat was awesome, but I’ll give credit where credit is due. This was the hat of the day. There were 150,000+ people at the track Saturday (twice as many as attended Preakness a year ago, but who’s counting?), and this guy was the winner. Well, this guy and the guy who went home with Diane Lane. A few winners at the track Saturday.


In a word…sexy. It rained all day Saturday-right up until about 15 minutes before post time. The infield was a MESS. As you’d expect, there were plenty of high school and college kids on the infield, and they celebrated appropriately. The rain continued throughout the weekend-in fact the storms were so bad that the Louisville Courier-Journal couldn’t print their Sunday issue…only the most important newspaper of their year.

Who says the industry is struggling?!?!?


Special thanks to Lucky for getting the action shots in the mud while I purchased and smoked a cigar. We have a happy relationship. After this picture, a cougar in the grandstand hit on me for 20 minutes while Lucky cleaned her shoes and feet. I call what we have your typical “Give and Take.”


I think I posed for this picture about 15 times before leaving the infield. In one picture, a dude asked me to flip him off. Hey-anything for a fan.


Our Derby seats were tremendous. First box seats behind the grandstand at somewhere near the 8th mile pole. By the time it stopped raining, they were amongst the best seats at the track. We bet a bunch of money on Super Saver, which left me breathing a little heavier. Rascal Flatts did the national anthem (meh-Little Big Town was MUCH better the day before).

“My Old Kentucky Home” is one of those goosebump moments that are just so rare in sports. I remember how I felt the first time I saw the walk-on of the Briage of Midshipmen at a Navy game; and I remember how particularly special it was when the Brigade came on the field before the Maryland/Navy game at M&T Bank Stadium in 2005.

This is even more than that. 150,000 people-all of whom would never want to be ANYWHERE but Louisville on the first Saturday in May. The same people whose lives practically shut down for the week leading up to the race in celebration of their town, their traditions, and their event. I’ve sang “Maryland My Maryland” with TREMENDOUS pride many times on Preakness Saturday…but even I was overwhelmed by the significance of the moment.


The guys sitting a row ahead of us for the race just gave all of Baltimore an idea for Preakness Saturday. Nicely played. Outside alcohol is banned from the Derby, but as these gentlemen pointed out-it IS 10 bucks for a Mint Julep.


Even by the time the post parade began, the sun was already starting to poke through. By the time the race was over, the sun was almost glaring. The race was ELECTRIC, as the 150,000 in attendance were hollering throughout. Super Saver won me a bunch of money, and I was NEVER in doubt.


Todd Pletcher was practically stoic despite finally breaking through for his first Kentucky Derby victory. The staff of Chuchill Downs wasn’t quote as subdued, offering him a raucous ovation after introducing him as “Kentucky Derby Winning Trainer Todd Pletcher.” In a radio interview with The Fan 1060 (KDUS) in Arizona Saturday morning, I told Mike Grose and Damien Anderson that Todd Pletcher was GOING to win a Kentucky Derby. I don’t think anyone ever doubted it.


Calvin Borel was late to the post-race press conference because he rode another horse after winning the Kentucky Derby. Of course he did. In the meantime, his beautiful bride engaged reporters (including the hard-working Kevin Van Valkenburg of The Sun, who is now the Triple Crown reporter for all of Tribune Newspapers) with stories about Preakness 2009 Champion Rachel Alexandra, who had lost to Unrivaled Belle in the La Troienne just a day earlier.

Glen Fullerton won $800,000 on a $100,000 “Derby Dream Bet” via CNBC. When he met Calvin Borel in the Media Center, I was reasonably certain they’d never stop hugging. I don’t know why they would have.


Dinner Saturday night was late at the Bluegrass Brewing Company in St. Matthews. And while the Beer is Food there (I recommend the American Pale Ale and the Nut Brown Ale amongst others), the Food is Food as well. I actually ordered something called the “Sausage Fest.” It was quite the party.

There isn’t as much reveling in Louisville on Saturday night. The parties are nothing like the lavish VIP events (including the legendary Barnstable Brown party) on Friday night. Saturday night is more of a night to wind down. Much of the city watched the Floyd Mayweather-Shane Mosley fight, and I was told that the city roundly took in the Floyd Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya tilt on Derby night in 2006 as well. It’s a good way to wind down. Plus, it’s legal. Not every effective way to wind down is.



If Friday is a day for civic jubilation in Louisville, Sunday is a day for civic recovery. Brunch was at Hunting Creek Country Club, followed by the VERY popular Derby Pie desert.


They now how to do things in Louisville. Chocolate, walnuts, pecans, chocolate chips, bourbon and caramel are all potential ingredients in Derby Pie. Derby Pie is now a common ingredient in Glenn Clark’s heart.


Even to the last moments of the trip…classy. What else would I have expected?

There it is. I know I gushed, but I hope you were still able to follow.

Go to the Derby. I seriously can’t recommend it enough. Just go. Figure out what it will take-cut some corners as necessary-just go.

There’s seriously nothing like it.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


Comments Off