Thursday, March 30, 2006

Today's Blog is Brought to You by the Compound Words WinStar and Sunland

Before I begin to compose my intuitive horse racing prose, I feel it necessary to share with you an oddity that occurred this evening.

I took my daughters out to dinner at Macaroni Grill. Always a pleasure with excellent cuisine and palatable chianti. However, as usual, we order one piece of chocolate cake for dessert with three forks. That, in itself, is not unusual. What proved to be an aberrancy of behavior, was that we were unable to consume the entire dessert. Technically, 3 female gender individuals and one piece of chocolate cake should be ... well, a piece of cake. Go figure.

The good news is that it is almost April. Okay, that has really nothing to do with Macaroni Grill's chocolate cake other than it pleases me. April means that soon it will be April 13th and Lone Star Park will begin it's spring meet. You will no longer find me in the Post Time Pavilion with the simulcast crowd, but outside, leaning against the rail at the walking ring, dashing through the fine, air-conditioned grandstand, watching the post parade, shouting out an occasional word of encouragement to Roman Chapa or Jamie Theriot, sauntering up to the Courtyard to find my friendly and outgoing pari-mutuel clerk, Barbara, smile at me as I wager my 10-cent superfectas on every race that has more than seven betting interests. Then, my favorite sounds of them all ... bell-sounding, gates opening, hooves pounding, and "They're off!"

In the meantime, I'll write about the WinStar Derby. Something that I know absolutely nothing about.

The WinStar Derby is raced at Sunland Park. I'm somewhat unfamiliar with Sunland Park, although I'm pretty sure that it is on this side of the Rio Grande. My husband, who can be a somewhat reliable source when he is paying attention, told me that it's "somewhere near El Paso." El Paso, it should be noted, is in Texas. Sunland Park is across the border in New Mexico, thus they also have a casino, and thus they have the ability to offer a $600,000 purse for the WinStar Derby, and thus, some pretty good horses show up. Thor's Echo scored last year. Truth be told, I never heard of Thor's Echo until he won the WinStar Derby, but he keeps popping up here and there, and I keep tossing him into exactas and trifectas here and there, and he has proved to be rather reliable as well as profitable. As a matter of fact, he just recently popped up in Dubai and added to his handsome little bankroll. Winning the WinStar Derby proved to be a solid foundation.

So, I'm thinking that there is a potential for some other I-never-heard-of-him 3-year-old to show up in Sunland Park on Saturday. Wanna Runner, one of the two Baffert horses, looks like a no-brainer. Ol' Bob slaps on some blinkers and his horses win one-third of the time. Smart-guy, Dan Illman of DRF, likes Wanna Runner, Sky Diving (another Baffert delight), and Keagan. However, the more I look at the past performances, the more I keep looking at Wait in Line. Never heard of him, but the name is strongly suggestive of our local post office, where I was earlier in the day. His speed figures are a little on the light side, but there appears to be some upside. His trainer, Chris Hartman, who may or may not be related to Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, is winning at 21% at Sunland, and the jockey, which if you are part of the Bug Boys Market-the-Jockey program, is Ken Tohill, who is winning at a remarkable 24% at Sunland. And that's with over 300 mounts. Those are pretty nice statistics. Toss in that he has raced over the strip, and in his loss by one flimsy hand in the Borderland Derby the notation is Lost whip deep stretch. He also boasts the biggest resume of all the entrants, with 13 races; 10 of those races as a 2-year-old. He has a couple of bullets. His morning line is 9-2. I'll be watching tote action.

My 7-year-old daughter likes Sky Diving, Doctor Dechard, and Wait in Line. Sounds like a good trifecta to me.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Lane's End ... 'Underdog' Pays Off

Last year, Lone Star Park introduced the 10-cent Superfecta. A couple of my trackside associates thought that it was the greatest invention since Kraft individually wrapped their cheese slices. Initially, however, the real horseguys and gamblers and purists and braggerts made fun of the wager. If I was inclined to actually do some research, I'm sure I could quote a columnist or two. Hopefully, cyber-resident smart guy, Alan, will set me straight.

Then one reads the payouts on races like last Saturday's Lane's End:

With longshots dominating, there were no $1 superfectas sold on the Lane's End. Six 10-cent supers, each worth $19,783.69, were sold. [DRF]

Okay, don't get all excited because I did not have one of the six. But that's a nice little return for 10 cents. If my Lucky Buddha ever gives me a payout like that, I'm going to invite all of my friends out for a drink. I would rather invite all my friends to dinner instead, but usually when one wins $19,783 "friends" starts to show up. Note to Brad: I'll even buy you a real martini (with gin, naturally)!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Watch out! There's An Assignment in this Blog

Before I begin to write about my recent horse racing musings, it is imperative that you, the reader, go over to, as fellow horse racing blogger and insightful guy, toteboardbrad is the guest handicapper. My request is that you go over to that website, read Brad's selections and then be sure to go back over to Brad's blog and post your comments, such "Brad! You are a handicapping genius!" or "Brad! How many martinis did you consume before you even looked at the past performances?" Then feel free to return here and read what I have to say, which in fact, would not be much.

Here's the links:

Lovedagoat's Guest Handicapper
Brad Buys A Yearling

Go ahead. I'll wait ....

Hmmm... hmmm... No, Alice, you may not bring Chubby to school .... Please put your shoes on .... No, those are not your shoes, those are your sister's shoes ... They're 4 sizes too big for you, go and find your Dora shoes ....

Aha! You've completed the assignment. Now let's get down to business.

This Saturday, there is some fine racing in Dubai, a place that is known for rich racing purses and port operations. I have a tough time getting my post times together when following West Coast races so I'm guessing it may prove to be worse for me in regards to Middle East post times. Lone Star Park will open its Post Time Pavilion early for the Dubai races, which is a real treat because their breakfast is delicious. So I'm planning on Brass Hat and Two Eggs Over Easy with Hashbrowns.

The Lane's End at Turfway will go off around afternoon snack time. But before I discuss the Lane's End, there is something that bothers me considerably. 'Turfway' does not even have a turf course thus the name appears to be misleading and I want to know why somebody associated with the campaign to re-elect Tom DeLay has not done something about this. Furthermore, about this Polytrack - I can't figure it out. I should do some research on this but, as you know, this blog is not dedicated to any real fact-finding missions. Poly, being from the Greek, refers to full, or many, or much. Or it could refer to excessive or abnormal. Track, from Germanic origins, is "a course laid out for racing". Thus, the term Polytrack might actually mean "an abnormal race course." Many might agree with that definition, perhaps Lawyer Ron as he was unable to win on Polytrack and has been a toughie since he discovered dirt.

And another point that I feel I need to make about Polytrack, is that "poly" is a homophone for "Polly", as in "Sweet Polly Purebred" who, as you know, was Underdog's girlfriend. And that very well might prove to be the betting strategy of the Lane's End, as the race appears to anybody's. The underdogs that appeal to me with morning lines of 15-1 are Sharp Attack and More Than Regal.

You know, I'm thinking that I'm not going to be a Guest Handicapper any time soon.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Scientific Support of Race Results

My girlfriend, Robin, is an accomplished horsewoman and, I also believe, she was Gregor Mendel in a previous life. During our coffee break this morning (Note to our boss: It was only 15 minutes, really) we chatted about horse racing, trainers, and the fact that I had had great success at the track over the weekend. My biggest feat had been hitting the superfecta on the Rebel Stakes (gr. III). Okay, maybe it was only a ten cent superfecta, but it still paid a nice $85, not a bad return for a dime. I rambled and gloated and behaved like an annoying-handicapping-know-it-all, and subsequently made a remark that both Lawyer Ron and Red Raymond were both chestnuts. Robin said, whether it is true or she was making it up or she had knowledge from her past life, that "Chestnuts are homozygous dominant genetically, and so they should be the fastest of the thoroughbred."

Hmmm ... I pondered. Yes, I am a scientist and scientific statements draw my attention. However, I must admit that on the path to becoming a scientist, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to my genetics professor in college. If I recall, it was an 8:00 a.m. lecture and the prof wore the same pair of polyester brown slacks with chalk on the fanny and his hair looked as if it had never seen a barber. But I digress. Robin's scientific hypothesis of the chestnuts homozygosity required me to contemplate the past weekend's races to see if there was, indeed, a scientific correlation with well-known theorems and principles. And upon review, I discovered that yes, there is clearly evidence of support.

Mulder's Conspiracy Theorem
- given an owner and a trainer have a Kentucky Derby prospect
- given an owner and a trainer agree to dissolve their partnership prior to the Kentucky Derby
- given said trainer opts to open a public barn

This theorem is demonstrated in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III). Ernie Paragallo and Jennifer Pedersen opt to go their separate ways one week before the Gotham; two days prior to the race, DRF is touting Frank Amonte, Jr. as the trainer for a potential Kentucky Derby horse. I observed this theorem on Saturday and race results clearly supported this theorem. Achilles of Troy finished fifth, was vanned off the track with an apparent sore leg. And now Junior does not appear to be in favor with Paragallo.

The Principle of Ridiculous Tote Board Action
Any 3-year-old horse prior to the Kentucky Derby does not deserve odds of 2-5 when facing a horse that was the runner-up in its previous race.

The Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) is a prime example of this principle. Bluegrass Cat (1-9) and Deputy Glitters (8-1) in a rematch. Just simply following this principle would have been worth $18.80 as proof.

And finally, one can conclude that the following principles and rules were demonstrated in the Rebel Stakes (gr. III):

Husband's Parimutuel Wagering Strategy Rule
Wagers shall remain as near to the cost of the Sunday issue of the Dallas Morning News

which in turn can be coupled with the following principle:

John's Parimutuel Wagering Strategy Principle
If a ten cent superfecta is offered as a wagering opportunity, it is strongly recommended that it be incorporated into the horseplayer's wagering format.

Putting Red Raymond into my $2 exacta wheel as well as my dime superfecta paid off very well. I'm still amazed that Red Raymond, who had run into the trifecta as a longshot in the Southwest Stakes (against Lawyer Ron and Steppenwolfer) was once again ignored on the tote board, with odds of 23-1 at post time. The decision to wheel him into the Place slot can be supported by an extrapolation of the Principle of Ridiculous Tote Board Action.

Therefore, as one can see by the empirical evidence demonstrated by the races described above, following the simple scientific rules can prove to be profitable. However, any good scientist knows that there are exceptions to rules. I may have to dig up my old genetics text book and see if Gregor Mendel ever mentioned anything about luck.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Jockey Short

A couple of weeks ago, there was some fellow sitting next to me at the race book. He was a chatty little guy who continually kept me abreast of his handicapping prowess as well as his dietary restrictions. Somewhere is in his diatribe he kept touting jockey Martin Garcia. I lost count as to how many times he repeated, "Just bet Martin Garcia" ... "Baze and Garcia" ... "Anything that Garcia rides is a sure thing" ... "Jerry Garcia was in the Grateful Dead, but Martin Garcia is a live one" ..."Hey, lady! You need to bet on Garcia if you want to make some money! Are you even listening to me?"

I seldom bet Golden Gate, or Bay Meadows or Portland Meadows or Emerald Downs for that matter. It's what I term the Time Zone Phenomenon. It would require me to purchase a PM simulcast of the Daily Racing Form and come up with some plausible excuse as to why Mommy can't come home to have dinner with her children on Saturday night, then clean up the kitchen, give her children a bath, and watch Veggie Tales' Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Samson's Hairbrush. And, I dare say, I don't pay close enough attention to jockeys, including apprentice jockeys, at tracks that I don't watch.

However, toteboardbrad posted a tidbit on Martin Garcia. The Bug Boys, who blog about the Maryland racing scene, extolled their praises and reverence to apprentice jockey Rosie Napravnik, emphasizing the Bet-On-The-Jockey handicapping methodology. So maybe ol' Chuckles from a few weeks back should be taken somewhat seriously ...

Yesterday, one of my horses that I had previously touted in a post, Movie Star (Brz) was running in the 7th at Santa Anita. Due to the Time Zone Phenomenon, post time would be at an inconvenient 6:15 p.m. Aha! I had to go to work around 4:30 and the track is sorta kinda maybe halfway on my way to the lab, and if all the lights remain green, I could swing by Lone Star Park, place my wagers for the 7th at Santa Anita, put the tickets in my wallet, get to work on time, and see if I was a big winner after work. What a plan!

The plan was executed with precision. I placed all my wagers, but wouldn't you know it, I had $2 left on my voucher. Now, I could place the voucher back into my wallet for later use, running the risk of losing it or accidentally using it for a wad of well-chewed bubble gum, or I could do what any horseplayer would do. Wager.

I looked around the various monitors and I needed a race that would be posting rather quickly. I had no form or other race information. But Golden Gate was 5 minutes away from post. (grr) Oh, look, Martin Garcia is riding the number 4 horse. (grr) He's going off as a strong second favorite. (grr) "Alright already," I mumbled to the past voices of Chuckles, Brad, and the Bug Boys, "Let's bet on the 4. Martin Garcia."

It was a winner. Admittedly, not a big win but enough to cover parking and entry with a whole whopping $1.20 left over. But the point of this story, besides inserting a number of links into my blog, is that by just betting on a touted jockey other that Johnny V. or Edgar Prado proved profitable.

I did take the time to see what exactly I wagered on other than Martin Garcia. Pragmatico (Arg), a 6 furlong 20000 claiming for 4-year-olds and up. But did it really matter? It was the jockey, after all.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Signs of Spring

Springbreak. A word that conjures up beach, sun, and partying for the college crowd. A word that strikes fear into mothers of school-age kids with the constant, "Mommy, can I have a Fruit Roll-Up?" (No) or "Mommy, I want to go to the park," (It's raining) or "Mommy, there's nothing on TV! I'm soooo bored," (Read a book).

This morning, while my daughters are momentarily scurrying about the house and building some sort of fort with my good sofa cushions, I have managed to snag the computer to remark about another of my favorite spring-flings: the Azeri Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at Oaklawn.

Okay, okay, okay ... I know that it was Saturday and it seems rather pointless to tout any particular filly or mare unless there was a distinct possibility that one might get trapped in some type of time loop, something akin to a Star Trek episode. But the story of Happy Ticket is just so ... well, happy.

Happy Ticket, a Louisiana-bred, had enjoyed an outstanding racing career in her home state, beating up on the competition. Fair Grounds, Delta Downs, Louisiana Downs - she was pretty much unbeatable. Eventually, she was sent out into the Great Big Wide Horse World, away from her Louisiana-bred competition, and raced against the likes of Madcap Escapade and Ashado. Where I did not make very much money on Happy Ticket when she ran here in the South, I put her in exactas when she ran at Belmont and Saratoga. I will never forget last fall, when she chased down Ashado in the Beldame (gr. I), coming in second by a half-length at 10-1. Easy money.

The Azeri had Happy Ticket facing another fine filly, Round Pond. Round Pond is trained by John Servis, who invented Oaklawn as a great venue for winning great races when he invented Smarty Jones. A Round Pond/Happy Ticket exact was not going to pay much, "Not worth the effort to even box the thing, " I scoffed. So, I did something that I rarely do: I bet the exacta straight - with Happy Ticket right on top. I bet the trifecta straight - with Happy Ticket right on top again. And we all know the outcome of the race and we all know that my wagering tickets were not happy ones. But it was a thrilling race; a true horse race and a testimony to a couple of fine horses and their trainers, jockeys, owners, and whatever they had for breakfast.

Speaking of breakfast, I hear a little whining voice, "Mommy, I'm hungry!" When does school start again?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Prime Rib and Nick Zito

John Records, manager extraordinaire from Lone Star Park, ensured that I would have a table at Ten Palms at Gulfstream Park last Saturday for the Fountain of Youth. The restaurant would be closed as it was to be used for horsemen and trainers and their entourage. But I was thrilled to have a little two-seat table, tucked away in the corner of the restaurant, even if it meant I actually had to watch the races on a monitor. This location would afford me the opportunity to saunter about the room, mill throughout the crowd, perhaps rub elbows with H. Allen Jerkens and ask him some hard-hitting, fact-finding questions like, "What does the 'H' stand for in your name?"

My little two-seat table inside the grandstand did not happen. I got upgraded.

While waiting for the gates to open, I struck up a conversation with a couple of friendly octogenarian gentlemen, John and Pat. When I mentioned that I was by myself and would be sitting inside Ten Palms, they kindly asked if I would join them, as they had a table for four outside. "It's a pretty good #&^@! seat," said John (a former WWII marine, thus he's quite comfortable tossing around colorful metaphors). Well, this so-called pretty good seat was directly at the finish line, on the terrace, above the winners circle. At that very moment, if I did not even cash in one single winning ticket, I was lucky.

Prime seat and prime rib. Plenty of winners ... Wend, Running Lass, Exclusive Quality, and (almost) Corinthian. Even Nick Zito came out onto the terrace and stood at our table to watch the races. That's how good the vantage was from our seats. Pat calmly asked, "Nick, you wanna sit down?" as if he was chatting with his barber. Well, Nick did not sit down nor offer any conversation. He was not exactly having a winning day. And he would have looked so good in the winners circle with that dapper green tie that he wore.

As it turns out, John had had box seats at Gulfstream for 35 years. I asked him what his feelings were about the new facility. He smirked and replied, "It don't make no #$%^&! difference. I'm a gambler; I like the horses best."

So, there seems to be some sort of sideways-upside-contorted point to this whole pilgrimage to Gulfstream Park. There were horses. There was some great races. There were winning tickets. There were losing wagers. There was perfect weather. There were new friends and great camaraderie. Gulfstream Park, whatever its pricetag, was just the venue.

Maybe sometime this summer, a little drive up to Sallisaw, Oklahoma, and Blue Ribbon Downs is in order. I wonder if they have prime rib on the menu?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Gulfstream Park Ain't Your Grandpa's Racetrack

Last Saturday morning, while sitting at breakfast, drinking my robust coffee and eating Eggs a la Mystery, I happened to strike up a conversation with a gentleman, Pete Kules. As it turns out, he's a broadcaster for some radio station in some area of Kentucky, and has been involved in horse racing since Thomas Darley brought his Arabian to England.

Free Plug
Pete Kules' radio show is also podcast from his website,, Saturday mornings, 8:00 - 10:00 a.m., EST

I asked Pete what his impression was of the new Gulfstream Park. Here is a snippet of his answers:

"That's not a horse track! That's a casino with a strip of dirt around it!"

"The old grandstand used to accommodate 35,000 people every day. Now the outside area in front of the grandstand only can seat 900 people! It should be 9,000!"

"That paddock? Whoever designed that was drunk! Somebody's going to killed."

At some point during the conversation, I attempted to suggest that maybe the Powers That Be, i.e., Frank Stronach and company, were making some attempt of changing the style and perception of horse racing. I'm not sure he heard me, as he continued with his opinion of the sport of horse racing in general:

"They don't even know how to market the sport. Gulfstream Park can't even muster a crowd of 3,000 people of on a Friday afternoon. I can find more people at the bars going up and down US1 than I can find at the track."

Sad to say, his impressions were pretty much on the nose. Friday's attendance was a sparse 4,640. Even on Saturday, a stakes-filled race card with a cavalcade of horses, the attendance was only 10,250 with approximately 300 of those who actually had a view of the track.

In my expertise, which in reality doesn't count because I have only been to a handful of racetracks but I just like the word 'expertise', Gulfstream Park is morphing from just-a-racetrack to an all powerful and mighty Entertainment Venue Extraordinaire Throughout The Year.

Example: Gulfstream Park just opened it's new restaurant/bar/sports theater called Tickets. It was free to the public on Friday afternoon, and sure enough, it's a theater. As a matter of fact, David Brenner will be performing there on March 11th (I didn't even know that he was still alive). And the cover of the menu even says, Ticket Sports Theatre in the Village of Gulfstream Park.

And in honor of the fact that Tickets is actually located at a racetrack, there are large simulcast screens located above the stage. I wondered around the facility, and in un-racetrack style, there were only a mere 3 self-serve wagering machines. Hmm.

The second floor of the grandstand is now occupied by the restaurant Ten Palms. I was expecting something intimate, with tables lined along the window, exceptional and unobstructed views of the track, similar to Silks at Lone Star Park. Instead, the restaurant is as large as a banquet hall, with a plethora of tables and chairs. There is a lower portion of the restaurant that does afford views of the racetrack, however the majority of seats are at one level, behind some type of wall or divider, obstructing the view of the track. If one wishes to watch the race, there are plenty of monitors located against the wall, opposite of the track. Admittedly, the menu is first class, as is the maitre 'd, Jim Tarpey. He is exceptionally friendly and warm, just like a big ol' teddy bear (and that is a very big compliment by this blogger). In the future, should you book a table at Ten Palms, just ask for Jim and you shall be taken care of.

Third floor of the grandstand, which I was unable to access because I lacked a certain VIP status, is where about 1500 slot machines will be placed. In the meantime, the upstairs seats went for $75 a pop on Saturday.

Regardless of what the grandstand is supposed to be, the track and infield are beautiful, the racing excellent, and the weather (unless you are Patrick) fantastic. My only gripe was that I could not see the start of one-turn mile races, as I'm pretty sure the gate was located somewhere near Key Largo.

Tune in for Super Saturday Stakes Day, including the Swale Stakes, Fountain of Youth, and Close Encounters of the Zito Kind.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Journey to the Fountain of Youth

Last Thursday morning, I took a trip away from home - away from the children, husband, dogs, unending piles of laundry, bag boys at the grocery store with an attitude - all by myself. Entirely a self-serving pleasure and a strong desire for spiritual rebirth. Not a whole lot different than that of Ponce de Leon in 1513. Except for when he landed in Florida, there wasn't a racetrack.

I took very thorough notes over the weekend. Pages and pages. And I have come to the conclusion that nobody really wants to read the story of the flight attendant dumping coffee on my lap, or the German gentleman sitting next to me who has logged over three million frequent flyer miles selling dental implants, caps, bridges, and "other oral devices", whatever "other oral devices" might actually be and would they be seen in a family-friendly type television show.

Gulfstream Park. A place where I rubbed elbows with Nick Zito. I tripped over Jeremy Rose. I admired Todd Pletcher's hair - and in response to recent musings from John, Todd Pletcher's hair has to stay perfect because he is constantly having his picture taken in the Winner's Circle. I had a few beers. I got a little sunburned. I picked a few winners. I picked a lot of losers. I wandered and roamed every accessible inch of the new facility. And I formed an opinion about the new Gulfstream Park.

It's big.

When I say big, I don't mean big. I mean behemoth big. I mean mastodon stomping on the caveman in that very funny FedEx commercial big.

Going to Gulfstream requires a substantial amount of walking, which is usually counterproductive to my objective, i.e., being lazy. It's a relatively long distance for Joe and/or Josie Horseplayer to observe the horses in the walking ring - forget the paddock - and walk through the breezeway of the grandstand and out to the apron and to the rail to continue observing the horses in the post parade. Maybe the original designers of this element deemed it unnecessary for convenient crowd flow because they felt that most of the clientele were, how shall I say, not as nimble as they used to be.

There has been grumblings about the fountain in the walking ring. Looks nice. It appears to be some sort of aesthetic quality to the facility. Whatever.

I strolled through the crowd and sought out opinions. A couple from New Jersey come to Gulfstream every year. Mrs. New Jersey said, "It's nice if you don't want to see the horses." The statement is very plausible, as there are few vantage points to actually watch live racing. Where there were once 35,720,432 seats in the old grandstand, there appears to be a mere 900 or so. Monitors are accessible everywhere. But I didn't fly to Florida to watch races on the simulcast screen.

Of note, Mr. New Jersey declared that I had to make a trip to Monmouth Park. He declared that it is "the most beautiful track."

"Hah!" I said, "Lone Star Park is gorgeous!"
"Monmouth," he countered.
"Lone Star!"
"Lone Star!"

Whew. Post time for Race 10, an allowance 1 mile turf. I liked the Kiaran McLaughlin trained horse, Forecourt (Ire), but the Frankel horse, Royal Stamp, who's been off for a year, made me a little jittery. Should've have listened to my jitters.

Up next: Tickets, Ten Palms, and the One Turn Mile

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Off to the Races ...

Alan has been there. Patrick has been there. John has been there. Andy has been there. It's time for me to take my turn.

A few weeks ago, my husband decided that I need a little 'Attitude Adjustment' weekend and encouraged me to take a short retreat from the busy days of motherhood, work, housecleaning, and hauling our various animals to the vet. "Anywhere you want to go. I'll take a couple of days off, take care of the girls." (read: "Sit around the house in my shorts, eat pizza, and not have to shave"). So, Mr. I-Have-More-Frequent-Flyer-Miles-Than-You'll-Ever-Have-In-Your-Lifetime booked me off to Miami, Florida this weekend, specifically for me to attend the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream.

So folks, I'm off to the airport with my plan to start this "vacation" at the Admirals Club and read my Daily Racing Form and find out why I'm viewing a headline that pronounces that Magna has over $100 million in losses last year.

Gotta run! Dad's Taxi is ready to go!