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November 05, 2006 · By · Share

They say that the sun is going to go out someday, and we won't know it until the light reaches Earth.  I have always wondered if there would be a sign beforehand.  Something that warns us.  Some people say that a college football team like Temple (Congie's alma matter) winning a football game for the first time in two years is a sign.  However, the real sign we all should be worried came on Saturday.

Earth was knocked off its axis when Rich Cristiano won a West Point handicapping contest.  You see, Rich was like that horse that you see in every race.  He was the horse that's always just a few jumps ahead of the ambulance on the track when it comes to handicapping.  Rich was pulled up in the early stages of the Saratoga handicapping contest.  They had to look him over to make sure he wasn't hurt because he was so far behind everyone.

We decided that since we are a horseracing syndication company we would use racing methods to help with this contest.  Rich claimed that he was much better at picking longshots.  He calls himself "double digit Rich".  To test his theory, we created what would be considered a handicap race in the racing world.  We let Rich setup the rules to the contest.  He was basically being assigned 85 pounds on the scales.  Congie and Bill who won the Saratoga and Del Mar contests respectively were assigned 350 pounds by having to adapt to the new rules.  Jeff Lifson was so unhappy with his weight assignment he decided not to enter.  Word around the backstretch is that the other contestants are questioning the former TVG analyst's sportsmanship.  In case you missed it, Jeff did offer us all his wisdom on ESPN News Friday.  We appreciate him electing not to do the same for us.

Debbie made her first foray into the contest, and she jumped right in to finish second.  Of course, her lone winner was Invasor, and rumors are that she was overheard telling someone "Invasor is trained by Kiaran.  I was talking to his wife last night, and I promised I would pick their horse.  Don't worry though, my money is on Bernardini.  At least they'll think I am rooting for Invasor."  These of course are unconfirmed rumors.

Josh had no pink sheet like he did at Saratoga, so it looks like he had to make his own picks and the results speak loud and clear.  He lived up to his promise that his picks would be cursed.  Way to kill the chalk.

However, if Josh was a chalk killer, then Congie was manufacturing chalk in his basement day and night.  Could Congie pick more well beaten favorites? Ouija Board was his only winner, and it didn't exactly take a rocket scientist to nail a 6/5 horse.  I guess Congie's trying to be as successful as his alma matter.  One win.

Kerry had a reputation at Saratoga to never see a favorite she didn't like.  Well, she was determined to throw away that reputation.  She took six hours longer than anyone else to make her picks, and she had everyone else's picks read to her.  What did that get her? Exactly zero winners.  Congratulations Kerry, you earn the first ever "Copper Carlson" award.

Rest easily Kerry.  You were not alone.  We also handed out a "Copper Carlson" to our boy on the West coast.  Let's hope they each have a nice spot on the mantle for their prestigious awards.

I would like to take a brief moment to single out Bill.  Bill, I am not sure if you knew, but you could pick horses other than California horses.  I thought a teacher might have been able to figure that one out.

Each team member got a mythical $2 win wager on each of their selections.  Below is their final bankroll after the eight races and their picks.  With much enthusiasm and great humility we all bow down to the one and only "Double Digit Rich".

Bill - $4.80
Congie - $4.80
Deb - $15.40
Josh - $4.80
Jeff Bloom - $0
Kerry - $0
Rich - $47.80

Juvenile fillies:
Bill - Cash Included
Congie - Her Majesty
Deb - Octave
Josh - Octave
Jeff Bloom - Cash Included
Kerry - Cash Included
Rich - Her Majesty

Bill - Great Hunter
Congie - Great Hunter
Deb - Circular Quay
Josh - Pegasus Wind
Jeff Bloom - Scat Daddy
Kerry - Stormello
Rich - Street Sense +32.40

Filly & Mare Turf:
Bill - Ouija Board +4.80
Congie - Ouija Board +4.80
Deb - Wait A While
Josh - Ouija Board +4.80
Jeff Bloom - Germance
Kerry - Quiet Royal
Rich - Honey Rider

Bill - Siren Lure
Congie - Henny Hughes
Deb - Henny Hughes
Josh - Henny Hughes
Jeff Bloom - Henny Hughes
Kerry - Bordonaro
Rich - Henny Hughes

Bill - Aragorn
Congie - Gorella
Deb - Badge of Silver
Josh - Ad Valorem
Jeff Bloom - Gorella
Kerry - Gorella
Rich - Gorella

Bill - Healthy Addiction
Congie - Pine Island
Deb - Poolland
Josh - Balleto
Jeff Bloom - Asi Siempre
Kerry - Fleet Indian
Rich - Fleet Indian

Bill - English Channel
Congie - Hurricane Run
Deb - Cacique
Josh - Scorpion
Jeff Bloom - English Channel
Kerry - Scorpion
Rich - Scorpion

Bill - Lava Man
Congie - Bernardini
Deb - Invasor $15.40
Josh - Bernardini
Jeff Bloom - Bernardini
Kerry - Bernardini
Rich - Invasor $15.40

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