Looking for a story, I called upon my old buddy, the Tout
Master General, Beetle Bailey for his take on this year’s Breeders' Cup races.
Me: First of
all Beetle, I want to thank you for taking my call.
answered because you owe me money.
not get into that now. Let me ask you a question. What’s your take on the
That’s it? That’s the question you called to ask me. You didn’t go to school
for this, did you? I mean it’s a little vague isn’t it.
Me: OK, you
got me. Coming up with intelligent questions is somehow hard for me. I wonder
why? OK Beet, Let me tell you my dream and I want your impressions, all right.
Impressions? I do a good Cagney, you know.
Me: Quiet-I’ve been having this dream over and
over again. It’s Princess of Sylmar being saddled by Todd Pletcher for the
Breeders' Cup Classic.
it’s my dream now let me finish. I’d love to see my girl go up against the
boys. The pace would start fast, and the Princess would fall into a comfy
pocket of fourth place as they tool up the backstretch. Will take Charge and
Palace Malice are neck and neck, back and forth. With Cross Traffic third, the
Princess is starting to look uncomfortable just sitting there as they hit the
turn. The question is can she handle the distance.
Some, like me would say it’s no big
deal for the female superstar; it’s only an eighth of a mile longer. Careers
have been lost in an eighth of a mile. I believe that careers can be solidified
in that eighth of a mile, as well. (Sister Marie Amy would just love my use of
fractions, by the way.) I can see her red coat, bouncing out of fourth and starting to climb as she takes the last
turn at Santa Anita. Past Cross Traffic and ahead of Flat Out by three, she’s
now stalking Palace Malice and Will Take Charge. She passes Palace Malice with
a furlong left and with a timely head bob and she nips Will Take Charge at the
wire in two minutes and change. Now that dream right there, should give us something
to talk about.
First of all, you do know she is running in the Distaff. Right?
Me: Sure, I
know that, but tell me how she would do against the big boys.
would finish in the money, but can she beat them? I don’t know. You and I saw her
in the Alabama and she looked strong but that extra eighth of a mile is the key
to her running with the boys. Your description is wordy at best and you are
right about where she would run the beginning of the race. Not because you are
a genius, but she always starts off in a ‘tight little pocket in fourth’.
Me: I really
don’t need your sarcastic tone.
bet you are used to it by now.
would go off at 3-1/5-1 against the boys I reckon, and that’s a good price for
a champ like her. I’m not sure if she can handle the distance. But it’s my
upset special. Bank on it. I’m just like everyone else, I loved to see it.
Me: I really
want to thank you for give me those splendid, 'bank on it tips' you gave me. I
did what you said; I bet the farm on Strong Mandate and Wise Dan. Losing my
shirt, I’m doomed to go to work wearing nothing but my man bra. Thanks Beetle.
of all, Wise Dan ran in soggy Polytrack at Keeneland and races a 16th longer. It would have been a closer race if they just ran
Me: HE STILL
WOULD HAVE LOST!
if you’re going to be that way about it.
about Strong Mandate?
two years old. Did you win every race at two?
Me: Well, of
course not, but I at least finished in the money. He didn’t even do that.
changed my mind and liked the way he looked on the way out.
Me: Well, I never met a tipster who doesn’t
follow his own advice.
and pay me the money you owe.
Me: Hello? I
can’t hear you.
Me My Money-You…. (CLICK)
Carrier is a freelance writer who wants to assure you that Beetle is a real guy
who buys lunch at Saratoga then expects to get paid back for it. Thank God for
the macaroni and cheese truck.