So who will stop the rain or reign?

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I’m singing in the rain, just singin’ in the rain

What a glorious feeling, I’m happy again

I’m laughing at the clouds so dark up above

The sun’s in my heart and I’m ready (to win) for love

Let the stormy clouds chase everyone from the place

Come on with the rain, I’ve a smile on my face…

Apologies to Gene Kelly, but this is Bob Baffert’s theme song and nowadays he seems to always have a smile on his face getting horses like Justify every year. After viewing the Preakness several times I wondered what trainer Chad Brown was thinking when Jose Ortiz got into a speed battle with Justify from the bell with Good Magic.

He was stuck down on the inside with Justify right with him battling tooth and nail the entire -3/16 trip on a sloppy, track in the fog.

I thought I was watching a replay from old Waterford Park in Chester, West Virginia back in the 1960’s when they ran in the slop and fog.

Justify actually jumped tracks under the wire for the first time then went head to head with Good Magic while about four wide. They emerged from the fog on the slop with Justify holding on to a slim lead.

Though the race was not run very fast we just must give both horses great respect for holding on after their great battle. Justify held on gamely to win by a half-length with Bravazo, Tenfold and Good Magic necks back of each other and Lone Sailor again grinding it out late to finish a good 5th just a length behind Good Magic.

Interesting were the prices on the winner Justify: $2.80 for the win, $2.80 for place (as they use to say that’s ok) and $2.60 for show. We also note Baffert and Mike Smith may have needed the $900K for the win.

Justify came out of the race just great according to Baffert and if he continues to look good he will be on his way to Belmont to take a shot at the Triple Crown at a mile and a half on Saturday, June 9.

Can he get at 1½? No one knows, not even Baffert or Justify, but after the Preakness we will see a full field in the Belmont. As always, the skies could be cloudy and it could rain. If that happens we could also see Baffert again singing in the rain.

Does anyone out there know the last time all three Triple Crown races were run on an off track?

A crazy year

This has been one crazy year in sports, starting with a 16 seed beating a 1 in the NCAA tournament in March. Maryland Baltimore County, a 16 seed, took down Virginia.

What chance did anyone give our Vegas Golden Knights to win the Western Conference let alone the Stanley Cup? They were posted at 500/1 to win the Cup but the true odds were even higher.

After talking to some big wigs in the industry this past week, there will be a lot of celebrating and plenty of hurt for the books if the Knights win the Cup. The books in Nevada will be taking a huge hit, one of the biggest in any sport of all time. I hope all of the states who want to jump into the legal betting market understand that.

This takes me back to my days at the Excalibur sportsbook when I was there with Sid Diamond and Eric St. Claire. We were just allowed to take bets on the Olympic basketball games and Sid wanted to put lines up. Eric and I said we had one reason not to as we didn’t want to root against our USA team if the money was all on them, so we didn’t.

Times have changed as the books need to have lines on these games but it really puts them in a no win situation. This is what you are in for across the country. I doubt they understand it.

Horsing around

Last week our top play got there with Move Over getting the nose in front, paying a nice $7.20, keying the early pick five and starting the late pick four. We have a big week for racing with Memorial Day next Monday or Declaration Day if you prefer.

On Thursday we have two runners who are exiting our HTW list, one in the fifth race and one in the eighth. We will use both in the late pick four but our play this week will be in race five as we will key singling No. 7 Conquest Smartee who gets a big break in the weights (-7 pounds) with the bug boy Heriberto Figueroa getting up for Sadler. He also gets a one level drop in class. With the drop he should get home and this jockey has been getting some live mounts of late.

Go Knights! Get out and make some bets. You could be walking around lucky and not even know it.

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