More accurately, I failed to bet on the Kentucky Derby do to laziness, doubt about where to put my money, and a lack of initiative- but none of the horses that I had been remotely considering did anything, so I say I won.
I had big plans for the Kentucky Derby. I was going to put my money on the horse Paul Lo Duca picked, and then use the winnings to buy a Paul Lo Duca jersey. Then, armed with the jersey of a notorious gambler, purchased with Kentucky Derby winnings- which would have to figure to be one of the luckiest shirts of all time- I was going to go and break the bank at Mohegan Sun and get out of the sub-sub-librarian racket.
But Major League Baseball put a damper on things from the start: they don’t even sell a Paul Lo Duca jersey. Except for a ‘80s retro jersey, and I’m not sure that insanely expensive baseball kitsch can ever really be lucky.
Paul Lo Duca’s derby credentials are basically that he picked Giacamo, one of the biggest upsets in Derby history, to win in 2005. That year, a George Steinbrenner owned horse, Bellamy Road, was so heavily favored that experts were wondering why they were even bothering to run the race; but Bellamy Road finished way out of it and was last seen giving rides at one of Mariano Rivera’s kid’s birthday parties. You have to figure that the picks of a guy who catches for the Mets, and won on an upset in a year when Steinbrenner lost, would be pretty damn lucky.
Before the 2005 Derby, Drew and I went to the track at Aqueduct. Drew won big on Bellamy Road, and latter achieved a victory similar to the one that I had this year in the Kentucky Derby.
Anyway, this year Lo Duca picked Tiago, half brother to Giacamo, from the same breeder and trainer, and ridden by Mike Smith, who is apparently a friend of Lo Duca’s. According to the few turf-for-dummies type sources that I checked, Tiago didn’t look any better than his half-brother going into the thing and paid significantly worse. Thus, it seemed that Lo Duca was picking a bad horse for sentimental reasons- and while my trust in Lo Duca was based on a feeling that his pick would be lucky, I was unsure about weather luck would outweigh stupidity. Normally, I chose horses based on long odds and funny names, but this year there was nothing that really appealed to me, and after Lo Duca homered in Friday’s game, I had almost decided to go and put my shirt on Tiago. Fortunately, the line at the OTB on the Upper East Side was ridiculously long, and I realized that I had to get back to work.