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2013 Kentucky Derby Preview

In Sports on April 28, 2013 at 18:47

Just posting a few notes on early odds and picks for the 2013 running of the Kentucky Derby. Of course, the post position draw on Wed morning could easily turn the entire race on its head, there are at least 2 horses to put faith in either way. Revolutionary is currently set at 15/2, making him an enormous value pick in my opinion. The fact that he’s a Todd Pletcher trained horse running at Churchill would make the value decent enough on its own. 3-time Derby winner Calvin Burrell’s presence aboard the 3 year old puts the value through the roof.

There may be only one other horse in the field with more mojo on his side at the moment. Goldencents is the recently crowned winner of the Santa Anita Derby, making his pedigree as a true contender complete. Being partially owned by Rick Pitino isn’t hurting the whole “horse of destiny” idea either. Goldencents is also going off at 15/2 as of Sunday.

Depending on the pace of the race, another good value could be Mylute at 35/1. He’s a strong horse, and could do very well if the pace is slower. Stronger horses are also the best bets for triple crown contenders. Fine-edge speedsters usually meet their demons on the mile and a half oval at Belmont. Mylute’s strength could serve him well if he draws the rail, or finds himself bogged down in traffic.

Verrazano is the current odds favorite at 4/1, and will attempt to become only the second horse to win the Derby after not racing at all as a 2 year old. He is also the only undefeated horse in the field. Verrazano comes off a win at the Wood Memorial over fellow Derby contenders Revolutionary and Vyjack, however, he will have to fight the poor history of Wood winners at the Derby. He has proven to be a strong finisher lately, which is always a plus for Derby runners.

My money is still on Revolutionary at this point. Burrell has been skimming him around the rail at Churchill this weekend, and looking very strong according to all accounts. Having a jockey that is comfortable anywhere on the track, and who, in fact, thrives in the one position most riders dread, along the rail, has to give anyone holding a Revolutionary ticket on Saturday very confident. The field is actually one of the stronger ones we’ve seen in past years, and could be pretty wide open once the gates are pulled. Again, we’ll know more after Wed morning, but the top contenders should be comfortable just about anywhere along the line.

Crown Royal Maple Finish Review

In Miscillaneous on February 20, 2013 at 18:33

Here’s a quick review of the newest addition to the Crown Royal line up: Crown Royal Maple Finish. In a word: Sweet. Almost annoyingly so. This is definitely a “sippin’ whiskey.” It is too sweet to be mixed with anything, aside from maybe club soda, or possibly cranberry juice. On it’s own, however, it really isn’t terrible in small doses. Enjoyed as a dessert shot, or a change of pace bridge drink between a fruitier cocktail and something a bit more on the bitter side, Maple Finish does quite nicely. It could be paired with an Acid or Drew Estate Natural Cigar for a sweet and mild aftertaste. Overall, maybe 3 out of 5 stars for the newcomer. Crown Black is still the best spin-off of any base whiskey for my money, although I haven’t tried Jim Beam’s Devil’s Cut yet.

A Proud Member of the True 1%

In Politics on February 20, 2013 at 18:24

I am a “One Percenter,” and I’m proud of it. No, I’m not a millionaire or billionaire. I’m not even a 100 thousand-aire. At this point, the only air attached to my name is the type that fills my lungs and the space around the small stack of change in my bank account. Nevertheless, I am still a member of what may be the country’s (if not the world’s) smallest, and still shrinking, demographic. The group I speak of does not ask for, and would never expect anything for free. In fact, we would feel insulted if such a hand out were offered. Regardless of our station in life at the moment, we insist on pulling ourselves out of the hole. If we take out a loan, we view it as our responsibility to repay it in full, in compliance with whatever terms we agreed to. We know how to differentiate between needs and desires, and would never view someone else’s success as unfair. We may be envious, or even jealous of another’s accomplishment, or wealth, or ability, but we would never begrudge them any of the reward that comes with their achievement. If anything, we will use our envy or jealousy as motivation. To be honest, the feelings of envy or jealousy never last long, because we are too focused on trying to achieve our own success.

My one percent does not believe we are owed an elevated starting position. We understand that everyone goes to the bottom when they start on their own. You will not hear any whining about how unfair it is that a 25-30 year old college graduate has to start at entry-level. ¬†We understand that our parents did not reach their current standard of living until they had put in a good 15-20 years of effort at the very least. We get that we are not entitled to a consistent trajectory of success. If we fail, it is not someone else’s fault. Even if we get screwed over, we can look back and take responsibility for making the choices that led to being in a bad situation. Mistakes are teachable moments that become the foundations for creating that stable trajectory. We don’t want to squabble for the scraps from someone else’s table, because we want our God-given birthright to pursue happiness.

Not to say that the Occupy Your Life groups hate us any less than the financial 1-10% group, but we are such a shrinking minority, our beliefs are looked upon as a fringe, harsh, almost Amish-like way of life. Many who may consider themselves Conservative or even moderate, or the nearly divine apolitical, “independents” will look down at us. “You have to understand that some people are born into disadvantage due to no fault of their own” they will say. My answer is that God placed some of us to live in the Sahara, or Afghanistan, or even some of the really unfortunate ones were placed in the panhandle of Oklahoma. Others were dropped into paradise like Hawaii or Texas. It’s not a matter of whether it’s fair or not, it’s just life. He gave us each a unique set of skills to deal with whatever situation we were handed in life. Settling into a mindset that your situation is unfair, and your only option is to sit and wait for someone to come get you out of it is more or less a slap in the face of your Creator. You’re telling God, “Not good enough, Dude. I’m so smart that I can instinctively know You didn’t create me with enough skill to fulfill Your plan for me.” Making opportunities for yourself, and grabbing hold of those that show up unexpectedly only makes the journey to paradise sweeter. Don’t be mad at those who started off there for taking full advantage of their situation, just figure out what your definition of paradise is, then work like mad to get there.