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William C. Altreuter
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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Six hundred miles apart Captain X and I were standing in front of televisions yelling, "Stop the race!". Like Newton and Leibniz we'd independently arrived at a trifecta play that had just pulled around the far turn and was barreling down the home stretch, with just about a furlong to go.

The way I had it figgered, Mine That Bird had demonstrated that he was the class of the field. Charitable Man had run twice at Belmont, and won twice at Belmont. The money was going to be short for the Derby winner, and the New York railbirds were going to drive down the price on the local favorite, so the best play would be to box a trifecta. Dunkirk had a poor ride at Churchill Downs, and seemed likely to improve.

There's nothing quite as thrilling as watching as a group of horses head for the finish (if you have a bet on it). At that moment you can tell that the animals are giving it everything, and if there is a horse who is gaining you know that you are seeing a complete effort, with nothing held back. A had elected to play the Bird exacta, and as they horses closed to within a hundred yards, then fifty, it looked like she'd made the right play, as Summer Bird pulled away. Captain X, looking to hedge his trifecta, had played the Derby winner's half brother across the board as well, and cashed a ticket-- his second winner in this year's Triple Crown, equaling Calvin Borel's record, if not his winnings.

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