The house that Bing built...literally. 1936, and one of America's biggest stars, Bing Crosby, lays the cornerstone of the Del Mar racetrack that was to open the following year.
Thinking of Bing, I think about the fame that was thrust upon stars of the past; it would be wrong to wax poetic about how stars of the past handled their 15 minutes of fame with more aplomb than the current generations. Bing was a real class act, a gentleman showman, but no one is perfect, and I always get a bit worried by those who seem too Rockwellesque. I was saddened to hear of the death of Amy Winehouse today, not because I was a fan, which I was not, but because of her senseless decay into filth, drugs and an unrepairable moral compass. I was saddened to hear of Mike Smith's arrest for alleged DUI, Michael Baze's and Chris Antly's deaths, of Robby Albarado's arrest earlier this year for a domestic incident, and I wish these people we hold in such high regard could step away from the their bodies for a moment, step away from the enablers, and see that life's too f**king short to piss it away.
The Turk lives in the grind everyday and he knows a bit about working away and keeping it real. I don't pretend to be perfect but I try to teach the Little Turk that happiness comes from within and to love oneself, because it's the folks who aren't comfortable in their own skin, no matter how much fame and wealth they have, that can't keep it together.
OK, I'm done with my Sermon from the (kitchen chair) Mount. Let's get after some Grade 1 turf racing at the seashore heaven, Del Mar.
Del Mar Race 8: Post Time 8:30 ET
My base handicap is no shock with Caracortado up top, but hey, only one win in five starts in 2011 so let's not rush out and plan the ticker tape parade quite yet. As handicappers we can acknowledge the greatness of the animal on paper, but as a bettor I'm thinking about depressed odds on him and a legit contender going off a real nice price.
A layer of quality just below Caracortado includes Acclimation and Smart Bid, both most likely to be in the top four with the betting audience. Cutting just another bit deeper I find Jeranimo from the one post and Leroy's Dynameaux as two likely to be serious value with the ability to finish well. I'm not overlooking Celtic Princess either.
I've built my base handicap and my base bet would be a five horse superfecta box. My hope would be Caracortado finishing Place or Show and some much longer odds taking top prize. I'll most likely spread my money around on my betting options and look at some of the value players, the third/fourth and fifth bettor's favorites on the tote board just before post, and make up some exacta combinations.
It's early and I don't want to commit yet. The Turk will think a bit more on the bet and we'll see what happens.
Have fun, Turk Out!