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  • May 30, 2008

    Where do you want to go?

    [Posted by ]

    So, I'm getting a passport. Finally. While I have visions of places like the Maldives dancing in my head, realistically, I'll probably use it to go to somewhere like Canada or Mexico first. Ho hum. Why is fantasy trip planning so much more exciting than actual trip planning? Obviously it all comes down to time and money. So, if neither was a consideration, where would you go?

    You just got a passport, where are you going?
    Australia
    Brazil
    Canada
    China
    Egypt
    England
    France
    Germany
    India
    Ireland
    Italy
    Japan
    Mexico
    Morocco
    New Zealand
    Poland
    Spain
    Tahiti
    Thailand
    Somewhere else
      
    pollcode.com free polls
    Posted by at 09:29 AM | Comments (1)     
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    May 28, 2008

    Hollywood hypocrisy and the quest for meaningful films

    [Posted by ]

    In Lisa Schwarzbaum's review of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (by the way, I give it a solid B - stupid story but wonderful characters that I was thrilled to see on screen again), she laments that:

    Indy represents the wisecracking capitalist West, and he's battling Irina (the humorless totalitarian East) for possession of what looks, after all, like a Plexiglas football with oversized eye sockets. Any faint, interestingly acrid whiff of commentary on 1950s political conservatism — and its application to our own era — is forcibly stamped out.

    So basically Schwarzbaum is bitching because an Indiana Jones movie isn't sufficiently liberal. Ah yes, if only Indy had reached the cinematic heights of "Revenge of the Sith" which the New York Times (among others) rapturously embraced due to its perceived "anti-Bush" message:

    More than that, the trajectory of the narrative cuts sharply against the optimistic grain of blockbuster Hollywood, in that we are witnessing a flawed hero devolving into a cruel and terrifying villain. It is a measure of the film's accomplishment that this process is genuinely upsetting, even if we are reminded that a measure of redemption lies over the horizon in "Return of the Jedi." And while Mr. Christensen's acting falls short of portraying the full psychological texture of this transformation, Mr. Lucas nonetheless grounds it in a cogent and (for the first time) comprehensible political context.

    "This is how liberty dies - to thunderous applause," Padmé observes as senators, their fears and dreams of glory deftly manipulated by Palpatine, vote to give him sweeping new powers. "Revenge of the Sith" is about how a republic dismantles its own democratic principles, about how politics becomes militarized, about how a Manichaean ideology undermines the rational exercise of power. Mr. Lucas is clearly jabbing his light saber in the direction of some real-world political leaders. At one point, Darth Vader, already deep in the thrall of the dark side and echoing the words of George W. Bush, hisses at Obi-Wan, "If you're not with me, you're my enemy." Obi-Wan's response is likely to surface as a bumper sticker during the next election campaign: "Only a Sith thinks in absolutes." You may applaud this editorializing, or you may find it overwrought, but give Mr. Lucas his due. For decades he has been blamed (unjustly) for helping to lead American movies away from their early-70's engagement with political matters, and he deserves credit for trying to bring them back.

    Just for the record, "Revenge of the Sith" was awful. Laughably awful. Making it anti-Bush doesn't make it good. Likewise, the alleged political content is laughable. Is the message that only Republicans think in absolutes (and not just that, but in evil absolutes)? Yes, because clearly the progressive wing of the Democratic party is equally embracing of those who don't tow the party line. Just ask Joe Lieberman!

    In any case, my point isn't to argue the politics of Star Wars, but rather to point out the boorishness and hypocrisy of a the "typical" Hollywood elite. Do people like Schwarzbaum have any idea how annoying they are? They insist on injecting politics and their precious political viewpoints into nearly every discussion. I think they think they're trying to show that they somehow smarter, more caring and frankly just better than the average sot because of it. What they're really doing is showing that they have no manners. There's a time and place for controversial political discussions: political conventions and debates, talk radio, political blogs, hell, maybe even the family dinner table. However, in polite society we keep politics out of the workplace, Top Chef forums, and summer adventure movies. Please.

    There's also an element of tremendous hypocrisy in this whole mess. Critics and filmmakers are grasping for a return to the almost mythical political movies of the 70's. They want to be seen as rebellious, risk-taking provocateurs. In fact, Hollywood routinely celebrates artists who've generated even a whiff of controversy for their liberal political beliefs (see Fonda, Jane or Chicks, Dixie). These people are lauded for their "courage". At the same time, the "typical" Hollywood liberal elite ignores the actual risk-taking and actual persecution of artists like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It's as if it's not really important to make compelling political statements. It's only important to make the "right" kind of political statements.

    Argh. The real question is why any of this actually surprises me.

    Posted by at 10:35 AM | Comments (2)     
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    May 27, 2008

    Punishing the innocent & the 'right' kind of cheap liquor

    [Posted by ]

    With Madison's transient population suddenly stabby, it's quite predictable that the city's liberal leaders would go after the true perpetrators of the problem: downtown liquor stores who sell cheap alcohol. As so often happens, when it's too hard to punish the guilty, the operators of the nanny state punish the innocent. Today it's liquor stores selling cheap beer, yesterday it was convenience stores selling over-the-counter cold medication and airline passengers daring to pack bottles of conditioner in their carry-on luggage. Who knows what it will be tomorrow, but rest assured that the result will be that you and I have less freedom and that the actual criminals will be virtually unaffected.

    This isn’t a new story, but I did like an interesting question in the above linked article:

    Not far from Downtown is the Trader Joe's grocery store on fancy Monroe Street. A popular item has been "Two Buck Chuck" — decent wine for less than $3.

    Will that have to be banned, too?

    Madison’s Trader Joe’s is just 1.2 miles from where Joel Marino lived before he was murdered in January. Are we to believe that the same people living it up in nearby homeless haven Brittingham Park on 40 oz. bottles of Olde E will be somehow magically repelled by the fabulousness of Trader Joe’s?

    Of course not. So why no call for a ban on Two Buck Chuck? Apparently, it’s okay to screw over college kids or commercial airline passengers, but it’s quite another thing to inconvenience other right (actually, I guess left, huh?)-thinking liberals. And plus, I mean obviously Trader Joe’s customers aren’t going to do anything irresponsible while getting liquored up on an inexpensive (don’t you dare say cheap) Shiraz. It’s kind of ironic to discover that the backbreaking efforts to not offend anyone by profiling actually results in just a different kind of profiling.

    Posted by at 08:29 PM | Comments (1)     
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    May 22, 2008

    The price of gas will drop in a week...

    [Posted by james]

    ... so please, everyone, just calm the f- down.

    Gas prices, gas prices, gas prices. It's all I hear about anymore. On the morning news, the evening news, talk radio, Drudge Report, blah blah blah. I'm tired of it.

    If you don't like the price of gas, try this: don't buy it.

    If you think about it carefully (and honestly), you'll recall you've been hearing about allegedly "rising" gas prices for your entire life. They're not rising - in fact, when charted against Gold, gas prices are largely unchanged since 1945. What you're seeing is the effect of inflation, not a mythical greedy oil cartel.

    I read today that a station owner in Texas changed his sign to read that gas now costs "an arm and a leg."

    Ha, ha, ha! Hilarious, right? You'll have to be sure to forward that on to everyone you know!

    Almost as funny as when another station owner did the same thing back in 2005.

    Or when this station owner previously did the same.

    The fact is, images like this date back to the beginning of the entire oil industry. Hell, I remember being 10 years old (in the mid 1980's) and hearing the talking head on whatever-channel-it-was brilliantly proclaim that "People are feeling the pinch at the pump!!" (And you fools all bought it back then, too.)

    So please, everyone, STFU up about gas prices already. If you can't afford the same amount of gas that you could 10 years ago, it's for other reasons, all of which are probably your own fault.

    Oh, and by the way - local market factors cause gas prices to temporarily spike before EVERY holiday weekend. Which means that you'll see a nice 10% drop next week. Not that it matters - I'm sure that you'll forget all about it by the time Labor Day comes around.

    Posted by jkhat at 03:21 PM | Comments (5)     
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    25 Essential Road Trip Songs

    [Posted by ]

    One of our more popular older posts is a list of 25 essential summer songs. In that spirit, and with the holiday weekend almost here, the time's right to unveil my list of 25 essential road trip songs.

    A good road trip song should have at least one of the following:

    1. lyrics that reference a lot of different cities and states or literally talk about driving
    2. Have music and/or lyrics that express the feeling of escaping to the road
    3. have parts that are fun to sing along with

      With that criteria in mind, here are my 25 Essential Road Trip Songs (in no particular order):

      • Stop, by Jane's Addiction: What better way to kick off a road trip than with Perry Farrell's exuberant cry of "Here we go!".
      • Radar Love, by Golden Earring: This is an obvious choice, but I honestly can't think of a another song that feels more like driving.
      • Come Sail Away, by Styx: Not only is this song about escaping to the sea, it's really, really fun to sing along to - even if you're not Cartman
      • Ohio (Come Back to Texas), by Bowling For Soup: This is just a plain fun song that mentions not only several places, but some famous faces ("Troy Aikman wants you back. The Bush twins want you back")
      • Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk, by Rufus Wainwright: At first glance, this may not seem like a good road trip song. Listen a little more closely, however, and you'll notice that the song is just repetitive enough (both lyrically and musically) that even your passengers who've never heard it before will be singing along by the end of the song.
      • Closer To Fine, by Indigo Girls: Speaking of singing along, this song is fun for road trips because you and your passengers can all choose different parts of this song and sing together for maximum chaos.
      • King of the Road, by Roger Miller: This is a more traditional road song, but you know it's a great one because it still feels fresh. Roger Miller, who knew?
      • Sunday Morning, by Maroon 5: If you'd rather ease into your road trip rather than blast off into it with a song like "Stop", this is a good choice. It's lively, but not too lively. It's not going to make you get any speeding tickets.
      • The Humpty Dance, by Digital Underground: Every road trip needs a little old school rap.
      • Faithfully, by Journey: Likewise, every road trip also needs the obligatory "I miss you and I'm not cheating on you while I'm gone, really" song. In my humble opinion, this is the best of the genre.
      • Chicken Train, by Ozark Mountain Daredevils: Speaking of the best in genre. This here is the best song ever about chickens. It's also the best song that includes cawing. Oh hell, it just may be the best song ever. Period.
      • LDN, by Lily Allen: Listening in the car, you can just get into the fun music and gloss over the kind of depressing lyrics. Oh that Lily Allen, why must she trick us through songs?
      • I've Been Everywhere, by Johnny Cash: Truly the gold standard among songs that mention places. Lots of places. And he's been to them all. :-)
      • Driver 8, by R.E.M.: With a sing-a-long chorus and lyrics about, uh, driving, this is simply a can't miss road trip song.
      • Bass Run, by Max Stalling: A lot of Max's songs are suitable for road trips, but I picked this one because it's not so much about a trip to another place, but rather a trip to a simpler time.
      • Peace, Love and Understanding, by Elvis Costello: Put this one on your road trip playlist and listen to your whole carload sing the "Haaaaaarmony, sweet harmony" part. Laugh. Repeat.
      • Back To Life, by Soul II Soul: For something completely different, this chill 80s track is guaranteed to get your thumbs dancing on the dashboard.
      • I Don't Feel Like Dancin', by Scissor Sisters: Contrary to the title, you will feel like dancing when listening to this. Of course, it's safe to dance in your car seat. No one will judge you, right?
      • Breakaway, by Kelly Clarkson: Not every road trip song has to be some loud, aggressive male-oriented song. Some of them can be light, airy girly pop songs.
      • Indianapolis, by The Bottle Rockets: This funny song highlights the downside of road trips: breakdowns. Would this song exist if The Bottle Rockets had AAA?
      • Heavy Metal Drummer, by Wilco: While some songs are fun to sing along to with your friends, this song is great for solo trips. There's so much musically going on in it that I like to listen to it over and over again and concentrate on a different part of it each time. Nothing makes the miles pass by quite so quickly.
      • Chelsea Dagger, by The Fratellis: Just a flat out fun song to play loud and drive fast to. Plus, how can I resist an opening lyric like "Well, you must be a girl with shoes like that"?
      • Busted Afternoon, by Old 97's: Don't be put off the slower tempo, you'll have fun singing the "BUS-ted Afternoon" part. (As an aside, while looking for a clip of this song, I came across this You Tube video of Rhett Miller's performance of the Chili's commercial during his show in Madison last year. I swear that you can hear me yelling for "King of all of the World!!!!" in the background.)
      • Headstart For Happiness, by The Style Council: 2:59 of pure pop pleasure. Plus, thematically, I'd like to think that any road trip is a headstart for happiness, wouldn't you?
      • Time For Me To Fly, by REO Speedwagon: While this song is a fitting start to any road trip, it's also a fitting end to the list. I hope you've enjoyed it!

      Posted by at 12:26 AM | Comments (4)     
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    May 20, 2008

    Vital Idol - It's Almost Over

    [Posted by Princess Midwest]

    Months of TV watching and lots of cringing have come to this. David versus David. Clive “The Living Corpse” Davis puts in his 2 cents before the finalist go head to head. I’ve been a Cook girl from early on, so I’m hoping the Idol powers that be are looking to rig it for the rocker and tap into the lucrative pretty decent music market rather than the adult contemporary sung by a minor genre.

    As history has told, the adult contemporary types just don’t sell records or put asses in the seats. Think Gaiken, Fantasia, Ruben Studdard and Kimberly Locke – these Idol protégés are chump change when put up against Carrie Underwood (country), Clarkson (pop) and Daughtry (rock).

    Point: If this show is at all rigged, Cook will win. And he should, because he’s much better than Archuletta (Archie), and tweens with parent-financed cell phones should not be the deciders.

    Cook

    “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” Good choice. The key suits him well and allows him to put a little sexy into it. Props on the hair and he’s giving Archie a run for his money in the looking into the camera like he needs to be loved.

    “Dream Big.” It’s the songwriting contest song. What a clunker. It reminds me of a montage song from that movie about a wayward gymnast trying to make it to the Olympics. Performance was OK, but there’s not much shine one can put on a crap song.

    “The World I Know.” Lame pick. I was really hoping for “Living on a Prayer” or “Don’t Stop Believing” or “Thunder Road.” But his voice does sound gorgeous, nice highs and lows and he’s showing a good amount of range. And he cries at the end. Brilliant!


    Archie

    “Don’t Let the Sun GO Down on Me.” Hmmmm, is he foreshadowing? I can’t help but wonder if his stagedad made him wear the ridiculous sportcoat over the jeans and graphic T. Nice high notes, but it’s still a “hot tranny mess” in my opinion, way too old and lame for a child.

    “?.” Another songwriting contest song. It’s about being in the moment. He’s channeling a bit of Jon Secada. Anyone remember him? Yeah, I thought so. Soooooooooo forgettable. A little shaky during the softer parts, but otherwise spot on technically. I still think he sings like he has a frog in his throat. I may have to vote for him if his last song is Kermit’s “The Rainbow Connection.”

    “Imagine.” Also lame. Like he hasn’t done this 7 cajallion times.

    Boot: Archie, and even if I'm wrong, I bet anyone that Cook will sell more records than little Archie.

    Posted by PMW at 07:59 PM | Comments (4)     
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    May 19, 2008

    Will Generation X Ever Have a President?

    [Posted by ]

    As a proud member of Generation X, I couldn't help but nod in agreement at much of Robert Lanham's recent article Generation Slap. Generation X has a bad reputation (however, that's no reason to act like bitter old crones and complain about the Millennial whippersnappers, is it?). Sandwiched between two huge generations of Americans, we've been overlooked. Will we be outvoted too?

    Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe theorize that American generations follow a cycle that produces four generational archetypes: artists, prophets, nomads and heroes. The "Silent Generation" of my parents (born between 1925-1942) as well as today's toddlers (2001-present) are the artist archetype. The Baby Boomers (1943-1960) are prophets. Generation X (1961-1981) are nomads and the G.I. "greatest generation" (1901-1924) and Millennials (1982-2000) are heroes. According to Strauss & Howe, each archetype has a persona and endowments:

    • Artists are about pluralism, expertise and due process
    • Prophets bring vision, values and religion
    • Nomads most value liberty, survival and honor
    • Heroes are all about community, affluence and technology

    (As an aside, if you ever want to illustrate the difference between Generation X and Millennials, all you have to do is look at the websites they're most famous for - Gen X made Google, which is almost brutally all about quickly finding what you need, while Millennials have Facebook, which is all gabby and about creating communities and socializing)

    Each generation has produced great leaders. Teddy Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson were artists. Lincoln and FDR were prophets. George Washington, Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman were nomads, while Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Ronald Reagan ably represent the hero archetype.

    So why can't Generation X-era nomads produce another President? Well, part of it is sheer numbers. There are just too damn many Boomers and Millennials who will likely vote for one of their own before one of us. That's what happened to the Silent Generation. They were swallowed up politically by the G.I.s and the Boomers. In fact, unless John McCain wins the Presidency this November, they'll go down as the first United States generation that hasn't produced a President.

    Another reason I don't think we'll see Generation X in the White House is because of our mindset. Our three word motto (and it easily applies to other nomad generations) is "git 'er done". That certainly appeals to me, but how can that appeal to generations that are all about vision and values or community and consensus? It usually doesn't. Generation Xers are seen as too brash, uncaring or cunning, which is why nomad leaders only seem to thrive in the midst of huge crises (i.e. when the everyone else finally shuts up and realizes that we need to, uh, git 'er done).

    But what if there is a national crisis, won't the nation turn to tough Gen X realists then? Maybe, except that by nature, many of the best of Generation X reject political institutions the same way they rejected corporate life. While Boomers and now Millennials seek to change things they don't like, Gen Xers are more likely to just walk away from them and do their own thing. Translate that to political parties and you see the problem.

    That's not to say that Generation X won't lead the country through the next great crisis, it's just to say that maybe we won't be doing so politically. Perhaps Gen X scientists will save us from the climate crisis (in the glowing approval of prophet Al Gore) or Gen X generals and secret agents will take down global terrorism. But whatever the future holds, rest assured that Boomers will bitch about how we did it and Millennials will try to take credit for it. ;-)

    Posted by at 10:56 PM | Comments (0)     
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    May 15, 2008

    A Curious Response

    [Posted by ]

    When a Georgia bar owner sells t-shirts that show Barack Obama as Curious George, the correct response isn't to pretend that you don't know why people are pissed or excuse it because people make fun of other politicians. The correct response is to denounce it as stupid and racist and be done with it.

    For me, there are so many substantative things about Barack Obama to dislike - his naive approach to foreign policy, his huge spending initiatives and his basic elitism - that all this kind of attack does is distract from the very real issues that he's just plain wrong on.

    This should be the GOP's Sister Souljah moment, not an invitation for the party to get back at Dems after eight years of Chimpy McBush.

    Posted by at 09:06 AM | Comments (1)     
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    May 13, 2008

    Down to 3

    [Posted by Princess Midwest]

    The judges, producers and contenders all get to pick a song. C’mon Archuletta, I know you have a Richard Marx joint in you.

    Archuletta

    “And So It Goes.” Paula has picked a song by anti-Archuletta Billy Joel. It’s slow, sappy and theatrical. The phrasing is a bit odd and pained, but he’s overall in tune, until a timely voice crack.

    “With You.” Hmmmm, a Chris Brown song. Is his trying to put his stage dad in an early grave with these shenanigans? I love this song and Chris Brown. He’s managed to wuss it up, flub lyrics and look like a total douchebag. I like the shot of the drummer trying not to laugh his add off. Will somebody please hire him away to sing jingles and make sure he doesn’t cut an album?

    “Longer.” I heart whatever jerk producer picked this weak, wack and all-around weird Dan Fogelberg cover. Yes, Dan Fogelberg. In honor of this ridiculous song, I have one word: Fogelbergesque. Now stare earnestly into the camera as your voice cracks, robot.

    Syesha

    “If I Ain’t Got You.” Randy has picked an Alicia Keys song. Truth be told, I’m a bit disappointed that she didn’t get cornrolls done for this performance. She sounds good and looks like she’s having fun. Until the Minnie Riperton run at the end it was nearly perfect.

    “Fever.” Well I think her route is such: There’s no way in hell I’m winning this competition, so I’m gonna get a Broadway gig out of this show. Well the Carmen Electra-inspired chair moves look good it’s exposed her armpits, distracting me from her lovely weave and great bod. It was OK, a little boring.

    I missed the song title, but I think it’s a Rihanna song. The backup singers sound and look a lot more comfortable with this song. Too many runs, not enough vocal substance and a lot of pitchyness. Peace out, Sy. Your time has come.

    Cook

    “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” So apparently Simon hates Cook and has given him a Roberta Flack song to sing. Let’s hope he does it Bon Jovi style. The high range is a bit iffy, but the tone sounds nice. Good job with a tough challenge.

    “Dare You to Move.” Ohh, a wise appeal to the Jesus rockers. The beginning is a bit off, bad key choice. The bad notes keep coming into the chorus. Kind of a clunker, too bad.

    “I Don’t Miss a Thing.” Somebody up there likes him. Perfect song, just enough edge and a sexy tone. Well played.

    Boot: Syesha


    Posted by PMW at 08:00 PM | Comments (0)     
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    May 04, 2008

    Kentucky Derby Aftermath (or why I'm almost done with the sport)

    [Posted by ]

    If Big Brown follows up his big win in the Derby with a similar triumph in the Preakness, you’re going to start seeing stories about how a Triple Crown can “save” horse racing. Horse racing can only be saved by one thing – and it’s not a Triple Crown winner, more TV coverage, lower takeouts, concerts at the track or splashy ad campaigns. Nope, the stewards of the sport need to remember that it’s all about the horse, stupid.

    After Big Brown’s win, casual fans may have wondered how he’d fare against recent Triple Crown race winners. Imagine the hype and ratings a race with Barbaro, Bernardini, Jazil, Street Sense, Curlin, Rags To Riches and Big Brown would get. It’d be awesome! Unfortunately, we’ll never see it because of those last six Triple Crown race winners, 4 are already retired, 1 is dead and 1 is Curlin, who Big Brown will almost certainly never run against because Big Brown’s bad feet won’t hold up past the Belmont.

    How can people get attached to a sport when its biggest stars shine so briefly on the stage? They can’t. So instead racing tries to make stars of jockeys and trainers. It’d be like if NASCAR highlighted crew chiefs or golf focused on caddies. Owners and breeders need to look past short term profits and instead think about the long term effects of their actions on the sport. Sure, big stud fees are nice now, but they’ll collapse along with the rest of the sport eventually.

    Of course, retirement is the best option for the horse. Better that than a breakdown. Imagine the 10-year old potential fan watching yesterday’s Derby and seeing poor Eight Belles lying dead on the track. Welcome to horse racing, honey!

    The sport needs to do whatever is necessary to prevent injuries. Artificial surfaces are a start, but they are not the only option. Racing needs to eliminate drugs too. Drugs invite cheating (Big Brown’s trainer, for example, gets suspended just about every year for a drug violation) and they also perpetuate problems within the breed. Horses that would otherwise be nothing might be stars on (legal or illegal) drugs. These “stars” are sent to stud and pass their problems on to their offspring. Instead of breeding fast, sound and strong horses, we’re breeding too many fast and fragile animals. These poor animals break down or run in far too few races to ever make an impression with the public.

    I love racing, but I’m almost through with it. Yesterday’s Kentucky Derby was a tragedy for the sport. The problem is that I don’t think they see it that way. If racing is blind to its own problems, they’re never going to get fixed.

    Posted by at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)     
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    May 02, 2008

    2008 Kentucky Derby Picks

    [Posted by ]

    It's the most wonderful time of the year - Kentucky Derby week! I've noticed that my Derby analysis has become much sharper since I got rid of emotion and embraced my eight step guide to picking a winner. So who's got a chance this year? Let's take a look at the questions and figure it out together.

    Question 1: Is there a super horse in the race. A lot of people love Big Brown. If you're one of them, your work is done. If not, then move to number two. Personally, I don't think Big Brown has enough seasoning nor has he run fast enough.

    Question 2: Are there fewer than 14 horses in the field? Nope, so it's hard to just rely on the results of recent preps.

    Question 3: What's the pace going to be like? Ah, the pace. There are 3-4 horses who like the lead. That's usually enough to guarantee a quick pace and set things up for closers. With that in mind, we can narrow the potential winners to: Tale Of Ekati, Anak Nakal, Court Vision, Eight Belles, Z Fortune, Visionaire, Pyro, Colonel John, Adriano and Denis of Cork. Damn, that's a long list.

    Question 4: It probably won't rain, but form on dirt, rather than synthetic surfaces is needed, which eliminates Adriano from further consideration.

    Question 5: Can he (or she) go the distance. Looking at our closers, I think that Anak Nakal, Court Vision, Eight Belles, Z Fortune, Pyro and Colonel John should be able to get the Derby distance.

    Question 6 is all about location, location, location. This year, it seems like the angle to take is horses coming off of synthetic California surfaces and showing good form on dirt. So, that gets us Colonel John. That also means that Z Fortune gets points for his close second to another California horse, Gayego.

    Question 7 asks you to remember to take out Lukas and Baffert insurance. Given his success in the Derby, I'd lump Nick Zito into that group too. Zito trains Anak Nakal.

    Question 8, finally, is all about the Derby Gods. Who has the best story? Who do the Derby Gods want to win? I suspect the Derby Gods are behind Barbaro's trainer Michael Matz this year. That means that Visionaire might have a bit of a tail wind. Likewise, I think the Derby Gods root for trainer Eoin Harty, who spent years getting his best horses taken away from him by Dubai's Maktoum family, and his horse Colonel John.

    Finally, if the Derby Gods are equine, then they may just back Adriano since he's a son of A.P. Indy, who was injured on Derby morning back in 1992 and therefore didn't get to make his own run at history. A.P. Indy became a great sire, but he hasn't had a Derby winner yet. Maybe this is the year.

    To me, it looks like the stars are pointing to Colonel John. But, looking at his Santa Anita Derby he looks a little one paced to me. I want a more explosive closer. So, that leads me to Z Fortune. I really like the horse that beat him in the Arkansas Derby, Gayego, but with his pedigree, outside post, and stalking style, I can't back him in the Derby. I can, however, see Z Fortune winning. Except for that name. Horses with dumb names almost never win the Derby.

    So, what to do? I'm torn between Z Fortune, Gayego and Adriano. My analysis points me towards Z Fortune. My gut says Gayego and my heart says Adriano. This year, I'm going to go with my heart. Adriano for the Derby.

    Who will win the Kentucky Derby?
    Cool Coal Man
    Tale Of Ekati
    Anak Nakal
    Court Vision
    Eight Belles
    Z Fortune
    Big Truck
    Visionaire
    Pyro
    Colonel John
    Z Humor
    Smooth Air
    Bob Black Jack
    Monba
    Adriano
    Denis Of Cork
    Cowboy Cal
    Recapturetheglory
    Gayego
    Big Brown
      
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    Posted by at 12:16 AM | Comments (3)     
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