Category Archives: horse racing

The Graveyard of Champions… and Claimers as well.

The Paulick Report reported the unusual number of fatalities at Saratoga Race Course. The loss of two horses on Thursday during the Mrs Ogden Phipps and Birdstone stakes brings the total number of fatalities to NINE since the Spa meet opened. Not only that, Paid Up Subscriber, a stakes winning filly, broke her ankle after her 30+ length win in the Shuvee Stakes. The surgery went great, but her connections are deciding whether to retire her for broodmare duty.

NOT GOOD.

What is going on with the Spa? Did the track get prepared differently in its prep prior to the opening? I know the NYRA stringently tests for illegal drugs or devices, plus vets who would scratch unsound horses. Saratoga is not like the racetracks of Pennsylvania. I do think that there is improper track composition. I also think that the genetic makeup of today’s thoroughbred is unstable. You can only can cross two descendants of Native Dancer so many times. I am for the diversity of the genetic pool. I even asked Winstar about how they can improve the diversity of overall gene pool. They have a Man O War descendant.

I would suggest not only an appropriate mix of track surface (not necessarily polytrack or Tapeta– the purists would scream bloody murder if any of our major US racetracks had artificial dirt…and double if the Kentucky Derby features synthetic for the first time in its 144-year history), but also methodical breeding of horses without Native Dancer bloodlines. The Jockey Club would not open the stud books to introduce hybrids, so all we need are non-Native Dancer linked horses.

Unless breeders are game to breed for durability over speed, this sport will suffer very much.

My first weekend off in Louisville

It was a long week at United Tote. After signing papers for Human Resources, getting acclimated to a computer station, and figuring out what I must do, I have the weekend off. Naturally, I decided to spend my Saturday at Churchill Downs.

I really miss the coziness of the Winner’s Circle. I can get my Diet Coke for free and plug my cable into the bar. I wish there are charging outlets on the table stations. But at least the well drinks are cheap and it is smoke free.

I am debating on revising Weep No More to reflect my move to Louisville. Last year, I was lucky to visit Barbaro’s grave twice. Now, I can sit there and plot my week.

My phone needs to be charged, so I will make this post short.

The Finickies: a horse racing theory

The last few months has been filled with work as my boss allowed me to work the mutual line. Now I also process bets. I felt better regarding my books. A deaconess fieldworker at my church now has the books for her own theological library. I just ordered more DRF books and in the meantime prepping for the Kentucky Derby in less than three weeks.

During certain times of the week, usually Saturday or Sunday, I would be the most successful with Aqueduct and Tampa Bay Downs. It was when I stumbled across this factor.

I noticed that in a given circuit, most horses would favor one racetrack over others. The dirt ground of one track is different in composition. For example, a horse would be in the money constantly at Gulfstream Park West (formerly Calder), but once he ships to Gulfstream or Tampa Bay, he would perform abysmally. And if you read Steve Haskin’s Derby Dozen for this week, read the McCraken part. He noticed that horses that did very good at Keeneland won’t do well at Churchill Downs. Check out last year’s Ashland Stakes and the Kentucky Oaks. For the lack of a better term, these horses I describe have “the finickies”.

Spotting the finickies has helped me be in the money. I remember noticing one horse at Aqueduct, her name is Roman Ceres. She was a 15-1 shot and at post was around 30-1. In her past performances, I saw that she did not did well at Belmont or Saratoga, but did very well at Aqueduct’s inner track. Add a jockey that works with her very well, and you got a massive overlay. Man, my voice was hoarse when she won by a head. I also saw that at a Tampa Bay Downs stakes, in which Muggsamatic was 5-1 in the morning line but was 30-1. I checked if he had the finickies. Oh yes he did, and oh look! A good jockey that worked well with him. Let’s say I have been the recipient of many high-fives.

Later on, I will edit and add material to fatten up this post. See if this may be of help to you. My advice is free, so it’s either priceless or worthless.

Photo Album Feature

I just added a photo album to my website and changed the design of my index page. I finally figured out how to get into my webpage and add more stuff.

You may find my photo album at http://www.carolrutz.com/photoalbum/.

The first set of pics features my recent trip to Kentucky from a little over than a week ago. As mentioned, the cure for cowbell is more cowbell. I have visited the Lexington area and the Keeneland race track with my best friend Lindsay. We met various Derby winners, had a VIP tour in one of the farms, and attended the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes. I will need to add the captions.

Degenerate Arts: Songbird Canvas Shoes

Introducing a new category: Degenerate Arts! If you want horse racing themed crafts, this is the place to get inspired! Show how much you are dedicated to the craft by making stuff to wear or show off!

My cheapo pair of canvas shoes I got at Macy’s were coming apart. So I figure: I’ll get some canvas shoes… maybe Converse like that Lucha Libre video or Vans.

Then I remember that there was an art store that sold blank canvas shoes and markers. Maybe I can customise a pair for myself. Maybe I can do a themed shoe so I can wear at work. Pharoah? The Preakness? Too much drawing. Maybe a Tapit-themed design featuring his blacktype progeny. But, my drawing is primitive– the Picts were better artists than I am.

That is when I thought of a quick and not-so-dirty solution: Iron-on transfer paper.

I thought of a simple design. One horse. Songbird. Her pic on one shoe, silks on the other. So I downloaded a few images and I printed them up on opaque dark fabric transfer paper. I thought I was quite successful.

View post on imgur.com

The most important part is to preserve the design and correct/hide the melted transfer at one section. I am going to get Mod Podge and seal the design.

Coming up next: Travers Day shirt design, featuring one of my picks!

New Poster: Now with Correct Spelling.

View post on imgur.com

I thought, prior Kentucky Derbies had good prints, so I searched on various sites. And I found great posters. This one did not incorporate the year into the graphic itself. So I got the 2002 edition, and got a nice frame for it.

It’s of a crowd gathered around the jockey and his horse, with Churchill Downs in the background. One lady is holding a mint julep.

Best of all, no misspellings that make me twitch. I double checked that before ordering. Next year, I hope to get a giclee print and put it in the living room.

I also got a Preakness print as well, on special:

View post on imgur.com

It was in honor of the 125th stakes. The artist who did that is talented. That poster was quite big, but I managed to fit it on the other side of the bedroom. I looked for recent prints, but it looked like I would have to wait less than 9 years for an 150th stakes edition.

So now my room is properly decorated and tied together. That is the end of the poster typo saga. Less twitching, more sleep.

The Poster Typo Saga, part 2

Wrote an email to the designers this afternoon, that the C looked like a G. They assured me that the Art Deco font is correct, after all they sold many posters without problems.

Okay, fair enough. But how one explain the C in the Kentucky Oaks poster? The fonts does look similar… except for that C.

I’ve talked to my coworkers and on Facebook. They said that it sure looked like a G. So it’s hanging back on my wall, for now. But I am staring at it and will stare at the letter until I fall asleep.

Be glad they did not use an F for the T in “Kentucky Derby.”

Sometime back after the estate sale, I redecorated the house to make it more my living space. Kept a few things and ordered a few prints for the family room and bedroom. Found this on sale. After all, you never forget the Derby in which you played an active role. I was not a mere spectator watching the telly, but I was a hostess guiding people to a crowded restaurant, bussing tables and getting the word on who would win. This print would look great in my bedroom. I had the Kentucky Oaks print framed near my wine bar along with a Secretariat poster, an American Pharoah print, and a Nyquist print.

This afternoon, I thought to dust and spiffy up when I saw something a bit off.

The C had a bit of a horizontal line, making it look like a G. Compare that with the C in the Kentucky Oaks poster.

I was miffed and then thought to pass it to my work, who may not mind having it in their break room. I showed the poster to one of the waitresses and a VIP patron. He was from Kentucky. I asked: “Guys, what’s wrong with the picture?”

The VIP responded: “The horse does not have any balls.”

“Of course not, it’s supposed to be classy, not vulgar. Read the words.”

“The 142nd Kentucky Derby. So?”

“Look at the C.”

*blinks* We all laughed. I went to the manager and he thought it was awesome to see a typo on official Derby prints. He wanted me to keep it, but I told him that I would twitch and get annoyed every time I walk past that on the wall. “Maybe you could call Churchill Downs and let them know about the G. Maybe get a corrected version.”

So I’m sending it back. And now, my bedroom wall is bare. Too bad, it really tied the room together.

Belmont 2016: Weep No More


View post on imgur.com

Saturday afternoon, I told my bosses about being nervous over my picks, especially choosing 13) Creator as my pick. They told me it’s alright and it’s the nature of the game to make incorrect guesses. As long these guesses are informed guesses, it’s no worries.

A lady won a 500 dollar voucher and she must place a win bet. She asked me for advice, and I told her it’s my belief Creator will be the best choice, but ultimately, she must go for her gut feeling. She chose Stradivari. I advised her that she should view her chance as play money, and at least it was not her own actual money.

A group of gentlemen asked me about why I recommended Creator. I gave them a crash course of the Dosage index, a number denoting how pedigree influences a horse’s endurance. They did not know that this was a handy tool for races like the Belmont. (Note that it may not be a sole indicator to guess victors of the Kentucky Derby [i.e. Nyquist has an unfavorable number of 7] but it’s great to gauge classic distances.) I told them that horses like Lani (1.92), Creator (3.00), and Destin (1.43) has good dosage numbers… and alas, Exaggerator does not.

The race went and I was puzzled who was the winner? Destin? Gettysburg, the rabbit? The noise drowned out the announcing. After it was over, I saw the Winstar logo on the winner’s silks and then I saw the number on the saddle towel. WHAT? CREATOR?! I actually guessed THAT correctly?! I was very thrilled and most of all felt that I found my niche in life. An unorthodox niche, but it is MY niche. I quickly apologised to the lady on not being pushy enough to recommend Creator. The guys at the party table gave me high-fives for correctly guessing Creator. The bosses gave me fist bumps and high fives. The bartender who was pushing for Exaggerator smiled and flipped me off. I resumed bussing the tables. After my shift was over, I went to Kroger’s and one of the customers recognised me as the Girl who Guessed Creator. She ate at Voodoo and heard my recommendation.

Seeing my Triple Crown picks bearing much fruit was wonderful. The bosses and co workers noticed it, and even my mum thought it was cool to see me succeed. Deo Volente, I will be able to do this for a living, as soon my bosses give me clearance. I will find out within two weeks.

I’ve bought this bracelet in anticipation of my new path in life. On the bracelet, the engraving reads “Weep No More.” I first saw this phrase just before Derby weekend. A filly who was to run the Kentucky Oaks race was named that, it was a reference to Kentucky’s state song. As the horses processed to the post just before the Derby race, everyone in Churchill Downs would sing this song.

During that time, I was depressed, for it was around the time when the Deaconess programme advised me that due to my disability I must pursue another vocation. Since 2005, I had bouts of melancholia and wondered if I should end my life. I did not doubt the existence of God– for I know the universe is too complex, but my question was: Is God a GOOD god? Or is He the Cosmic Terrorist? Yet I attended the Sacrament, I attended Confession, and found great friends along the way.

When I saw these three words on the Daily Racing Form, it was oddly comforting. As if I was told that now is the time to live again because I have a future. I have a new job, and it was working great. So, I slept and I was all right. And after the Derby, I visited Churchill Downs and visited the Derby Museum. For the first time in years, I felt NO psychological pain on 9 May.

The Preakness was the time I must have got my bosses’ attention, as I got a trifecta and the superfecta right. And as the days went on, “Weep No More” became a beacon of hope and somehow, something will fall into place. They knew I was Autistic and they knew I can do many things well. My workplace accepted me!

Just last week, I found out that if things pan out, I will be working the programmes section and most likely, give wagering and handicapping tips. This involves a HUGE pay raise. At last, I will have a full-time job at a proper wage and benefits. I really hoping this comes into fruition. So, I bought this bracelet with these words. This Belmont Stakes, I was successful with Creator. It was not some fluke, it’s a reasonable guess that went well. God willing, I will see that I will no longer weep for my future, that my life has meaning, and my disability is no longer a liability but an asset. Please pray for me. In the meantime, I will hold on to that hope, that echo of the new earth that weeping will cease and I will see Joy face to face.

Belmont Picks: FWIW

Yesterday, I’ve downloaded the past performances for several undercard races and the Belmont Stakes tomorrow. Spent hours looking and staring, writing notes on race cards. Gave them to my general manager… who I’ve learned took them, copied it, and passed them to other managers. Thanks a lot, now I feel the pressure to do well. I did warn them about the nature of gambling, that these are guesses. So, without further ado, here are my picks for several races at Belmont. Use them for exotics (exactas, trifectas, or superfectas), preferably in boxes to increase one’s chance for hitting it.

RACE 7, THE WOODY STEPHENS, Grade II (11 June, 3:15p)
1) Sharp Azteca (he has the chops)
4) Justin Squared (I’ve seen him run well at the Chick Lang stakes on Preakness Day)
6) Seymourdini (he has a good exacta record)
7) Counterforce (for that overlay. He was second in Chick Lang)
And keep an eye for 11) Mrazek. His connections are also Nyquist’s. But… his speed is not there. Maybe he will keep up with the pace.

RACE 9, THE MOHEGAN SUN METROPOLITAN HANDICAP, Grade I (11 June, 4:41p)

4) Noble Bird
5) Frosted
7) Stanford
11) Calculator

RACE 10, THE WOODFORD RESERVE MANHATTAN, Grade I (11 June, 5:37p)

Now, this race holds a special place in my heart. You see, it was the first race I wagered and brought back my interest after years. Last year, I did an exacta for Big Blue Kitten and Slumber. They won. It’s full circle, now I’m working at the same place I made my wager. (My path in life is unfolding, I do not know what will happen, so I must place my trust in Him.) 5) Big Blue Kitten and 2) Slumber are back. I do not know which one I would use, as there are great horses like…

1) World Approval
6) Ironicus
10) Flintshire
11) Divisdero

RACE 11, BELMONT STAKES, Grade 1 (11 June)

I really like the potential of this race. Challenging but so much talent to choose from. Mix and match your preferred horses with these picks:

1) Governor Malibu
5) Stradivari
11) Exaggerator
13) Creator

I’m divided between 2) Destin and the crazy 10) Lani. He’s more disciplined than in prior weeks, but he ran the Derby and the Preakness! I hope he has the energy to endure! But I really like Creator the best.

Now, enjoy the races, bet responsibly, and cheer on!

New Link Category: Horse Racing

Since Preggie got sick, I was at the Winner’s Circle off track betting, eating their pretzel bites and betting on horses. Liked the environment so much, I got a job there when Hoosier Park changed the format of the OTB site to include the Voodoo BBQ restaurant.

But the story of me and horse racing did not begin there. It actually began in 1985, the year when Spend A Buck won the Kentucky Derby.

In California, Santa Anita Park and Los Alamitos play their commercials regularly. My dad used to work at an Italian restaurant where Joe the boss has a penchant for horses and the Rat Pack. I thought gambling on horses was cool. AT SIX YEARS OF AGE. I would read the green sheets in the Sports pages of the newspaper. One year, Joe asked me what I thought of a certain race. I said that Brave Raj would win. Sure enough, he won and I got 20 bux. :D

Other concerns pressed on my mind over the years. And add the Evangelical/Pentecostal dictum to avoid gambling, and then college studies. Got married, and then focused on working.

Then the Brewpub opened. I wanted to visit, but I did not know how Confessional Lutherans would react to me going there. That changed when I’ve heard of American Pharoah and his Triple Crown bid. I’ve spent my breaks reading on the right trifecta box. Carpe Diem and Frosted? Maybe.

Got word of an undercard race the day of Belmont and I’ve heard that Big Blue Kitten and Sleeper will do well. So, after work, I stopped at the Brewpub and used their kiosks. I bought a program for 3 bux and studied it a bit and I did an exacta for Big Blue Kitten and Sleeper. I also did a trifecta for Materiality and Madefromlucky with American Pharoah, plus an exacta for AP and Frosted. Picked up Preggie, went back and found out I won the undercard. WOW!

Visited for food regularly only after that, but it changed when Preggie went to Parkview. I would watch Delta Downs or Charles Town while thinking of how would Preggie would live, with his health problems. Jonah would make me a cocktail, I get pretzel bites, and relax. Several of the staff would ask about Preggie’s health. I did not want to bother cooking big meals at home. Just give me a Diet and a burger, please.

My work as a sample lady was great. However, it was a far commute. When I have heard that Winner’s Circle was hiring, I applied and went to the job fair for an interview. I was stoked when Human Resources extended a job offer on the spot. And from that point on, I decided to reimmerse myself into horse racing, just like I was a kid. I’m still learning, and I am just learning how to read the workout sessions– 12 seconds per furlong is decent. I stick to two main tracks, Gulfstream and the New York Racing Association circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga). My favorite jockey is Javier Castellano.

My ability has improved. No, not gonna enter a handicapping contest, I fear I’d pick all horses that would go into last place. But I would look at various sources including the Daily Racing Form and make some reasonable guess. My bosses would call me to ask me what would be a good horse for some stakes in the future. I thought I would stink at the Preakness, nearly avoiding wagering altogether as it was a muddy mess. BUT, I received various information I cobbled up and used them to make the guesses. I even had weird Preakness dreams. NOT supernatural woo woo, but the re-organising of information in my brain as I rested. (Listen, guys. I believe in Sola Scriptura. Dreams, no matter how clarifying, can NOT replace Scripture as the SOURCE of enlightenment and salvation– even if said dream “reveals” the winners of the Preakness, okay?) This was the gist of the information: 1) Cherry Wine won his maiden race in the mud. Chances are, he will excel in the muck. 2) Exaggerator is a mudder as well. Nyquist has not tried running in mud at that time. 3) Stradivari is a threat. So I would follow these contenders and I made a trifecta box and a superfecta. Showed these observations to the bosses. Gave the usual disclaimer. They were foolish to take my advice and they were amazed at the results.

My workplace wanted me to improve in this craft. I am not at liberty to discuss specific plans until things get official, but I will say that the bosses would like to see me to become a handicapping expert so I can teach new gamers how to wager with confidence. When things go through, I’ll announce it on Facebook and on this site.


“All I want is for the illusion of competency to pass over me once a day.” –Nancy Gabalac.

In the meanwhile, I will post some stuff, some guesses that may or may not be crappy. I am excited that I’m doing something that I did as a child, and maybe I would get paid for that. Keep your eyes peeled for Belmont thoughts!