02/08/2008 11:51PM

Snail Mail Call



We recently passed the 2500-comment mark here on Cristblog (congratulations to #2500, Floppydog!), which is more responses in six months than I've gotten through the U. S. Postal Service in what's coming up on a decade at DRF. In fact, what little non-junk regular mail still gets sent to me at 100 Broadway tends to be a little, well, different. Three such pieces from the past week were forwarded to me and arrived today. Let's go through my snail mail together.

Letter #1 came from Massachusetts and appeared to have been composed on a manual typewriter:

Females are in softball, basketball, golf, tennis and several other sports; why not handicapping? I want to speak with someone, DRF or elsewhere, who will agree with me that there will be nothing absurd about an effort that probes the potential for females as serious handicappers. The best of them will qualify to be available as assistants to the serious tournament players.

"Assistants to the serious tournament players" -- like the six women who finished in the top 20 at the NHC????

Letter #2 wasn't so much a letter as a small packet of clippings torn out of the DRF and heavily annotated in red, blue and black ink. The first one that tumbled out was a recent column of mine with tan arrow drawn toward my picture and the note "Mop Head."

The next was a different picture with a blue arrow pointing toward my head and the scrawled comments, "You look stupid," "Are you a stupid head?" and "Please pass this along to Mr. Stupid."

At least I'm not alone. The final clipping was a DRF Simulcast Weekly cover with Steve Davidowitz's name circled in mophead-red ink and the comment "Here is another stupid ass! 80 % of his writing are wrong and stupid."

Alas, my correspondent did not identify himself. The postmark read "Lexington, Ky."

Letter #3 was actually a treat. A Japanese horseplayer who has been trying to translate some American handicapping books for publication in Japan sent along some samples of local mutuel tickets and betting slips:


He has been reading "Exotic Betting" and trying to use the A-B-C-x system of main and backup horses but something seems to have gotten lost in translation:

[In] the New Year Kimpai Handicap I won the exacta (3,660 Yen) and trifecta (Y72,880) and I also won the next day's main race exacta which paid Y111,950 by hooking what you call "A" horse with an "x" horse!

I don't remember advocating precisely such a strategy, since "x" horses are meant to be thrown out; but I'm not going to argue with a Y111,950 exacta.

--For those of you who asked what I thought of Thursday's Breeders' Cup announcement, here's the Sunday column with the subscriber-firewall removed. Back tomorrow with some thoughts on Saturday's stakes races.