Category archive - Blog

The Pontiff’s Keys to Winning – Avoiding Bums

By Jude “Pontiff of the Pick Four” Feld

My father was an excellent handicapper. Jack was the “King of Two-Dollar Bettors,” yet he spent most of his off hours developing formulas that he applied to his selection methods.
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The Pontiff’s Keys to Winning – Longshots and Lament

By Jude “Pontiff of the Pick Four” Feld

There was a large Pick 5 carryover at Gulfstream Park recently. Playing a $30 ticket, things went perfectly for me in the first two legs, but the third leg was taken by a first-time starter with slowish workouts, trained by Rusty Arnold. He paid $118.20.

I considered the winner, but the race was a maiden special going a mile on the turf and Arnold was 0-14 with debut runners going a mile or more. I left Exothermic off the ticket, had the final two winners and cashed five consolations at $100 each for a $470 profit on the day. Read more

Silly resolutions. So many lies. So many false promises.

By Eclipse Award-Winning Writer Sean Clancy

Run every day. Write every day. Won’t happen. Probably won’t get through the week. But here goes. It’s 8:06 on the first working day of 2012. I’ve been up for hours, surfing the Internet, drinking coffee, reading What I talk about When I Talk about Running (so far, a dull 10-minute-mile book about writing and running). Yes, my theme. No, not my style yet. It could get better. I’ve written in fits and starts this morning, nothing very good. I guess, I can check it off, ‘I’ve written today.’ Now for the run.
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The Pontiff’s Keys to Winning – Racing’s Crystal Ball

By Jude “Pontiff of the Pick Four” Feld

A seven length victory in a horse’s most recent race stands out like a sore thumb. A 96 Beyer speed figure is a beacon on the page and three in-the-money finishes in its last three starts makes a horse an automatic contender. That’s the way most people handicap.
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Happy New Year

By Eclipse Award-Winning Writer Sean Clancy

I tiptoe past a snoring Frenchman on the couch, turn on the coffee, feed the
fish. Four hours of sleep not enough, glad I drank the water and ate half a
loaf of cinnamon bread before pulling the curtain on 2011.
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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Birmingham

By Eclipse Award-Winning Writer Sean Clancy

It’s been 20-year dalliance for the southern city and me. I came here, chasing a girl, in 1990. I wound up marrying the woman in 2006; I’ve been the token Yankee at Thanksgiving and Christmas ever since. I’m the one American-ee (as they say) amongst the Kontos family of Birmingham, Alabama. There are other Anglos who have played their parts in the real-life Big Fat Greek Wedding, but I’m the true outsider; blue eyes, light skin and unable to recite the starting 11 of the football team. Roll Tide. Read more

The Pontiff’s Keys to Winning – Eliminating Horses with Little Chance of Success

By Jude “Pontiff of the Pick Four” Feld

I made my first wager on a horse race when I was 11 years-old. During the last 43 years, I have developed a systematic way of handicapping that suits my personality and style. For me, it is best to eliminate the dead wood, pruning the race down to the top contenders, instead of looking at all the entrants and finding the one I like best.
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Rest in Peace, Ferdinand

By Eclipse Award-Winning Writer Sean Clancy

He just appeared one day. I don’t remember how he got there, why he got there, who sent him or when he left. We were living in an old yellow house on the edge of Route 82 in Unionville, Pa. I was just out of college, nursing a torn ligament in my knee, eating frozen hamburger paddies cooked in a microwave and drinking beers for lunch. 1992, I guess.
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