We all have so much on our plate at all times, and we all deserve to give ourselves a break. We’re worthy of a break that is relaxing, calming, soothing and rebuilding. I for one know firsthand the power of simply taking time to rest, and actually enjoy it. Even if we have to treat ourselves to a special outing at the spa, or a nice relaxing evening at home, we all have to do it. So I’ve rounded up my favorite “FEEL GOOD GIFTS” that we absolutely can gift to ourselves and others in need. Nothing compares to self love y’all!
That’s right, I am back for another addition of publicly releasing my derby bets on my sister’s unbelievably awesome fashion blog. It’s the time of year when men deem it necessary to wear things they typically wouldn’t while the women put on massive hats that will be worn once and then put in an equally massive box to take up room in your basement. Meanwhile, true giants of thoroughbred handicapping, like me, pour over tons of data, watch replays of derby preps and beg their wives (sometimes their mothers) for a couple hundred bucks because this is the year we are going to hit the superfecta. Excited? Darn right you are. So here we go.
Audible – Todd Pletcher – JJ Castellano
Holy Bull and Florida Derby winner keeps doing everything right. His win in the Florida Derby proved he could rate back a little further off the lead and showed a strong, sustained move to overtake a ridiculously fast pace. I think that strategy will work well in the Derby with plenty of speed drawn towards his inside. I expect his 8-1 morning line to stay about the same with a chance of lowering slightly, but he has been my top horse all season, so I can’t bail now.
Good Magic – Chad Brown – Jose Ortiz
Champion Juvenile might be sitting on his best race yet. Brown has meticulously plotted his course to the Derby following an impressive maiden win in last year’s Breeders Cup Juvenile (defeating a number of those entered in the Derby.) Say what you will about a dull run in the Fountain of Youth, that race was clearly a building block, and he still managed to finish third. Then he comes back to win impressively in the Blue Grass Stakes while facing a large, bunched up field of 14 horses. Derby morning-line favorite Justify has not faced more than 7 foes in a single race, worth noting I think. All in all, Good Magic was the champ, has been expertly pointed to the Derby, and sits at 12-1 on the morning-line, that is enough for me.
Bolt d’Oro – Mick Ruis – Victor Espinoza
Had trainer Mick Ruis avoided the lightly raced, ultra-talented Justify in his last prep, he would likely be sitting as the second favorite on the morning line. Instead, he raced against the Derby favorite in the Santa Anita Derby and failed to make much of a move. However, Justify had an easy, pressure free lead and the Brisnet numbers for Bolt d’Oro coming home in that race are strong. This is a hunch play, I admit it. I liked this horse last year and he has failed to live up to all the early hype. At 8-1 on the morning-line though, I think he is a huge overlay with tons of talent and heart. His ability to hit the gas will be important in sitting mid-pack ready to pounce on what will likely be a quick pace, hopefully consisting of both Mendelssohn and Justify.
Long Shot Plays:
- Enticed – Kiaran McLaughlin – Junior Alvarado
- Strong, steady numbers. Could have easily been placed 1st in the Wood following what looked like a bump by eventual winner Vino Rosso.
- Solomini – Bob Baffert – Flavian Prat
- Struggled typed this one’s name here because of his many quirks and inconsistencies. However, he is bred for the distance and has a strong late kick, which may be the key in this race.
- Enticed – Kiaran McLaughlin – Junior Alvarado
- $20 WPS on Audible
- $10 exacta box with the top three choices
- $1 Tri Wheel with the top three horses over the Long Shot Plays, Magnum Moon and Hofburg in the second and third positions
Brad McLean with Ford & Jack McLean
I won’t lie, I’ve never been much of a reader. I once dropped out of an advanced English course, because of the heavy reading requirements. I’ll spare you the details of that dramatic, high school story, and you’ll thank me later.
Most of you know that the past few months have been a bit of a rollercoaster. It’s been a rough and bumpy, emotional ride. In fact it’s left me a bit shattered at times. Although news has been positive and things are improving, I am still going through the motions of a process that I may never understand.
Luckily for us, we have so many distractions in life now, from social media to Nextflix. I can’t believe I am saying this, but I’ve actually found a place of peace and comfort in reading. It’s been a quiet distraction, and a fulfilling distraction. I’ve re-explored my faith, asked myself tough questions, and dug deep into the crap that keeps me up at night. All with the help of a few positive books, I’ve found the perfect way to navigate each turn, curve and flip of the roller coaster I’m on.
I figured I would share some of my favorite books that can be of help during those difficult times. Some I’ve read, and some I am waiting to read, but all of them are worthy of sharing with as many people as I can. I hope one of these good books, will help you through a difficult time in your life. Just like me, you never know what you’ll find out about yourself, flipping through the story of someone else’s life.
As some of you have noticed, my posting has been a bit inconsistent over the past week. That may just be the norm around here for a while, if I’m being completely honest. Without giving too much detail, my husband and I were met with some pretty hard health news last Monday, and it’s taken a while for us to digest. In fact I think we are still processing and figuring out how to respond. I do know that we are united now more than ever to fight what we’ve been faced with. I also know that we can’t face it alone. With God’s grace, I believe we can navigate through the next few months with hope, patience, faith and love.
That being said, I ask that you remain patient with me over the course of the next few months. I also ask that if you’re reading this, you keep us in your thoughts and prayers. I hope to express more of the situation at some point with you all. Until then, Evan if you are reading this, I love you so much and we’ve got this!