Sunday, May 08, 2011

Derby Analyst Bragging Rights, The Thinker v. The Daily Racing Form: Guess Who Won?

Of the so-called “experts” in America’s premier racing publication — the Daily Racing Form — whose Derby “Analysis” and “Selections” were published under their name, picture, and byline, only one, Marcus Hersh covering the Illinois racing circuit, was sufficiently competent to select ANIMAL KINGDOM on top.

Marcus is a solid handicapper and deserves honorable mention here.

The other 14, including the CONSENSUS picks which supposedly gathers the combined “wisdom” of these “experts,” had FOUR slots to pick ANIMAL KINGDOM and NEHRO, the Derby 1-2 finishers in any order. Of these, only one other “expert,” Steve Klein, picked the 1-2 finishers 3-2. Of these 15 “expert” selectors, only FOUR picked the 20-1 Derby winner ANIMAL KINGDOM in any of their four top slots.

The CONSENSUS which seemingly reflects the amorphous know-nothing “public” predictably failed to pick any one of the top three finishers.

There must be an intense debate raging around the Racing Form’s watercooler over who gets bragging rights as top Derby analyst: Joe Klein or Marcus Hersh. The CONSENSUS appears to be leaning in Marcus’s direction, if only because he managed to pick the WINNER ON TOP, even if he didn’t have the runner-up.

The Racing Form is an outrageous ripoff at $7 a pop, with the very dubious distinction of being America’s most expensive daily newspaper. Recreational horseplayers for whom the Form, despite its legion faults and near-monopoly on relevant racing information is indispensable, would be much better served by boxing THE THINKER's top three picks in a $1 exacta for $6 to reap a return of $168 versus boxing ALL 15 “expert” Form selections for a total of $90 and getting in return, exactly — NADA. ZERO.

Not to speak of playing my top pick ANIMAL KINGDOM to win and collecting an extra $43 for a $2 bet.

So much for the Idiot Punditocracy being quarantined to the Beltway. It has metastasized to media outlets with a demand for “experts” and pundits to explain the complexities of actionable information in simplified ways. The quality and accuracy of their information is not important, so long as they deliver it with authority and faux “expertise.”

On the rare occasions they’re exposed, as in this compare-and-contrast takedown of the vaunted “Analysis” and “Selections” of the Racing Form, they remind us more than anything else of the man behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz.
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Clarification: Rosie Napravnik wasn't the first female jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby; but she was the woman with the best chance to win it since Julie Krone won a Triple Crown race back in the '90s. And I didn't mention SHACKLEFORD, the fourth-place finisher in the superfecta, but named the speed horse I thought would take the lead, COMMA ON TOP, rather than the other one above. They're interchangeable if you play speed v. closers. Needless to say, I didn't hit the $24,000+ super. My bad. It was totally hittable, given the edge I had in this race. My analysis of the race was spot-on-target.

And I took numbers and named names. Racing Form: FAIL. (Thinker: 1 Racing Form: 0)


Anonymous said...

There is no "c" in "Hersh."

If DRF has a "near-monopoly" (sic) on "relevant racing information," might it not be worth the price?

I have not worked in the same office as Steve Klein for a decade.

"Watercooler" actually is two words.

- Marcus Hersh

Carlos said...

The spelling of your name is corrected; sorry, Marcus.

Merriam-Webster defines watercooler as one word.

I stand by the hyphen in "near-monopoly." According to my latest edition of Chicago Manual of Style, the general rule is to hyphenate the adjective before the noun.

But I'm the first to admit my grammar needs improvement. I should pay more attention to the rewrite. The style of this blog is eclectic.