Picking the 2020 Kentucky Derby Winner, FREE Wager

Which Premier League Club's shirt sponsors have the best and worst league performance? An analysis.

We are here to ask a simple question: which companies and industries dominate the Premier League, which one screwed the pooch.
So I pulled the league table from the beloved Wikipedia from 92/93 season up to 18/19 season. Then I get the shirts sponsors for each Premier League club from each year from here.
I then find the total points accumulated by each sponsor. Since some sponsors have significantly more games played than others, it's only fair to calculate the points per appearance too. One appearance means one season and one team. So if a sponsor appears in two clubs' shirts in the same season, it would be counted as two appearances.
Some companies have the same parent companies (for example Fly Emirates & Emirates) which I just count them as the same company. I then categorize all the companies to a specific industry. My industry categories might not 100% accurate and it's based on my own decision.
Some teams in the past have different home and away sponsors, but for simplicity, I only count the home sponsors. There is only one company that I have no idea what they are: CFS from QPR's sponsor in 93/94. Hopefully, someone can help me with that one.
Without further ado. Here we go:
HIGHEST POINT SPONSORS
  1. Emirates: 1247 pts; 17 apps
  2. Carlsberg: 1161 pts; 17 apps
  3. Etihad: 812 pts; 10 apps
  4. Samsung: 807 pts; 10 apps
  5. Chang: 797 pts; 14 apps
HIGHEST POINT/APPS SPONSORS
  1. AIG: 87.75 pts/apps
  2. Sharp: 83.5 pts/apps
  3. Etihad: 81.2 pts/apps
  4. Samsung: 80.7 pts/apps
  5. Aon: 80.5 pts/apps
Note:
Let's move on to industry category
HIGHEST POINT INDUSTRY
  1. Electronics: 4953 pts; 87 apps
  2. Beverage: 3644 pts; 60 apps
  3. Gambling: 3235 pts; 75 apps
  4. Finance: 2330 pts; 61 apps
  5. Airline: 2622 pts; 40 apps
HIGHEST POINT/APPS INDUSTRY
  1. Airline: 65.55 pts/apps
  2. Insurance: 63.95 pts/apps
  3. Beverage: 60.73 pts/apps
  4. Telecommunications: 59.8 pts/apps
  5. Gaming: 59.6 pts/apps
Note:
FIRST PLACE SPONSORS
  1. Sharp: 6 times
  2. Etihad: 4 times
  3. Samsung, AIG: 3 times
  4. Vodafone, Aon: 2 times
  5. Dreamcast, O2, Emirates, King Power, McEwan's Lager, JVC: 1 time
FIRST PLACE INDUSTRY
  1. Electronics: 10 times
  2. Airline, Insurance: 5 times
  3. Telecommunication: 3 times
  4. Gaming, Retail, Automotive, Beverage: 1 time
Note:
Conclusion:
Seems like every decade a new industry will dominate the Premier League. Because of the Covid 19 which decimates the airline industry, expect a new industry to take over the league. Also, whenever possible try not to get sponsors from the gambling industry because it's a sure sign your clubs are going downhill. For a safe bet, get electronics, insurance or beverage sponsors which are high performing throughout the years.
Thanks for attending my TED Talk. Last but not the least, HailCorporate!
Edit1: If you have questions or want to request data on specific things, I'll try to provide them.
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How to Bet and Win the Preakness - Anatomy of the Perfect Bet

Look first of all I'd like to be honest with you, I'm not going to claim I "stumbled" upon some "crazy secret system" that nobody knows. In fact, probably more than a few people know what I'm talking about in this article. The truth is that I've been playing the Preakness among many other horse races, for at least 15 years.
The Preakness is the first throroughbred race I ever attended, back in the 1990's. I had played at harness tracks, having been introduced to that at a young age, but had never been to a throroughbred track until 1996.
That year, my good friend and fellow horseplayer convinced me we should go to Pimlico for a big infield party and some big horse races would break out at some point. I didn't know or care much about anything except the infield party and thought it would be fun. We brought a 12 pack and settled in.
Early in the afternoon on the way up, we tuned in to the Baltimore rock station and were hearing all kinds of live music from some of our favorite bands such as Pearl Jam. We were just about pissed off at the fact that we missed some of these bands live, only to show up and find it was just a DJ playing live cuts, and the few local bands on deck hadn't even started playing yet.
I was young and after the party was over and horse races had broke out, I was wondering why Louis Quatorze had won the Preakness and we hadn't bet on him. After that I began some more analysis and started using some figures from Brisnet to help me analyze the races.
A couple years later I liked Charismatic in the Kentucky Derby, among like 10 other horses, but failed to have the right trifecta boxes since I had little clue what I was doing. I liked him in the Preakness as well, still at good odds since people thought his Derby victory was a fluke, but again failed to have the right trifecta when Badge showed up. But at that point I realized that a pattern was emerging.
Eventually I figured this stuff out, although hard-headed about it and unwilling to part from numerical analysis from numbers that I didn't even know how were calculated. I found out it didn't really take a any magic numbers or even much analysis for a basic wagering strategy.
With few exceptions, the Preakness is one of the easiest races to bet. Take the top (4-5) horses from the Kentucky Derby that run at Pimlico two weeks later, and undoubtedly 2 of them will finish in the top 4, in fact, usually the top two horses from the Derby will finish 1-2 in the Preakness. It's really that simple.
After that you do have to put in some analysis to figure out which "outsiders" will infiltrate the trifecta, or possibly even win the Preakness, along with the Kentucky Derby contingent. There are various tools to use to accomplish this but I normally use one I invented.
Unsatisfied with numbers from various other people and organizations with their secret calculations that I did not understand, I decided to make algorithms to create my own numbers and put them into what I call the Grid.
Last year, the Grid gave me Preakness winner Shackleford at 13-1 as the top Speed and Power horse. It was an obvious key horse for me and automatic win bet at those kind of odds. Plus, he was a top four Derby finisher. Apparently people forgot he finished 4th not 14th in the Derby, which was very respectable for a frontrunner.
Combine him with Derby winner and obvious favorite Animal Kingdom at 2nd, and take Astrology as an improving horse with 4th best Early Pace according to the Grid in 3rd place, and you have a very easy trifecta payout. Add Dialed In, the best Late Pace horse coming off a disappointing but respectable 8th place Derby finish, and you have a very easy superfecta.
This is what I call the anatomy of a perfect Preakness exotic bet. You take any of the top 4 Derby finishers that are running at Pimlico, and key them and 1 and 2, get the "outsider" that didn't run in the Derby at good odds, and add another strong contender, usually from the Derby, such as a good late runner for 4th.
You would be surprised how many times the Preakness plays out this way. Often the same horse will win the Preakness that won the Derby, which has happened less in the last few years but they still often finish in the money. And in fact the top two in the Derby often run 1-2 at the Preakness.
So using the top Derby horses is obvious but where will you find the "outsiders" that will undoubtedly take up a spot or two in the superfecta? Well that is tough to come up with by yourself. Normally you will need more of an advanced handicapping tool for that, which is why I use the Grid. I can tell you that the outsider is almost always at odds from 12-1 to 15-1 so that narrows it down.
The year before last the Grid of course gave me the Preakness winner, but only at 2-1 and not much value there, obviously. But also it gave me 11 of 13 winners that day including some nice long shots that provided good exotic payouts.
Of course, since I wrote this, it could just happen that the top Derby horses will finish 1-4 in the Preakness, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if that happens. Especially since of my top 6 Derby winning contenders, out of 20, 4 of them finished 1-4 in the Derby.
So now you know the basic strategy now for betting the Preakness. You just need to find the right long shot or two to add to your obvious Derby contenders for some nice exotic payouts. If I were you, I'd use the Grid to get them, but that's just because it always comes through for me in these situations.
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A thousand words wasn't enough? Here's five thousand.

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DEMOLITION DAYS, PART 62. Happy 2020!

That reminds me of a story.
NO, GODDAMNIT! No means NO!” I yell into the phone’s receiver.
I am approaching criticality.
Esme looks on in alarm.
Lady is hiding under the dining room table.
Khris is sniffling, confused as to why Daddy is yelling.
The cat is lapping on itself, totally unconcerned. Stupid little lissome mammal.
“I’ve done everything you people have asked of me, often going above and beyond what would normally be considered the strict call of duty. Need I remind you that I’m still a private citizen of these here United States and not one of your indentured chattel?” I shout into the phone.
I pause to take in a deep breath.
This call is spiraling out of control. Time to shove in the control rods and see if I can still salvage what’s left of a so-far entertaining and nominally profitable relationship.
“OK, fine,” I say, simmering down slightly, “You do what you think you have to. The next sound you hear will be a god damned dial tone. Da svi-fucking-donya, дурак!”.
SLAM!
Window frames around the house rattle in reply.
“Fuckin’ asshole.” I fume.
“Rock, honey. What the hell was that all about?” Esme asks, trepidation in her voice.
“Oh, it’s the fucking agency...” I reply, rummaging around the kitchen closet for one of my emergency flasks.
“OK. So, who do I have to disappear? Rack or Ruin?” Es asks.
“Neither” I reply, pouring four full-fingers of dangerous brown Kentucky liquor into a tumbler full of ice, “It’s their boss, the head of the Office of Special Technical Activities, one Dr. Donald Twpsyn, Asswipe Emeritus.”
“I’ve never heard you mention him before. “ Es recalls.
“I haven’t. He just hove into view. He’s the newly appointed director and now Rack and Ruin’s immediate superior.” I explain to Es.
“Ah, so he’s out rearranging everything to give it his own imprint, and make sure everyone knows he’s boss,” Es notes, with a keen grasp on how life really works.
“No, more like he’s pissing all over everything to mark it with his own peculiar scent.” I snort, “He’s a fucking humanities Ph.D., fer chrissake. Liberal fucking arts! Now he wants to consolidate his department and draw in some of, as he puts it, ‘his outliers’.”
“Oh, now there’s a great way to appeal to a geologist. Call him an ‘outlier’.” Es snickers.
I am returning to this universe from the one of sheer incredulity and annoyance this joker caused me to spiral off into, and actually snorted a bit at her jape.
“That’s better, Herr Doctor.” Es chides me, “Don’t let that nasty humanities doc get you all vexed and ratty.”
She knows just what buttons to push. I’m back to reality now.
Sitting down at the nook breakfast table; Khris is sitting on my lap. Lady has her head on my thigh, demanding immediate and prolonged pettage.
Es brings her coffee over, sits down, and asks if I’ve recently changed the filters in our custom home-brew coffee contraption.
“No. Not lately, why?” I ask.
“Oh, my morning coffee just tastes less of JP-4 today.” She smirks, “I was wondering if you have done any secret upgrades of late…”
Esme chuckles at my smirking pseudo-annoyance.
Khris wants down as she realizes this is adult talk-time.
Besides, ‘Walking With Dinosaurs’ in on. It’s her favorite new dinosaur show now, ever since she realized that dinosaurs weren’t purple nor smarmy.
Lady is still demanding conciliatory head scritches.
I comply and discuss the latest nasty turn of events with our Agency buddies.
“Thunderation! Fuckbuckets!” I rumble. “I’ve been to hell and back for these characters! I even got them such good Intel from Burma that I received their clandestine ‘Super-Secret, Don’t-Tell-Anyone, Certificate of Our Deep Appreciation’ from their last boss.”
“Yeah” Esme chuckles, “You’d think that they’d at least let you mention that on your resume…”
“Seriously.” I reply, “I’ve generated so much dependable Intel and correspondence for that crowd, that I if I charged by the kilo, we’d be living in a luxury villa on Lake Geneva. Oh, sure, I get an occasional ‘Atta boy’, or the obligatory metaphorical pat on the head…But no, they just want more and more and more…”
“Is that what this is all about?” Esme asks.
“In a way.” I reply. “It’s not just that they want more, they want ME.”
“Once again. With clarity?” Esme nervously asks.
“Yeah, that’s the same question I posed to Doctor Donald Dickhead Do-nothing.”, I say by way of partial explanation, “He demands an exclusive contract with me. A fucking exclusive GOVERNMENT contract. You know what that means…”
“It’s the end of the world as we know it?” Es asks, only half in jest.
“Damn right.” I reply, “I’ve spent years building solid, mutual, reciprocal relationships with everyone from sheiks to sultans, from colonels to CEOs, from bandits to brigands, as well as bastards and buccaneers. They all know I’m in it solely for me. Not any government, not any agency, not anyone other than my own charming little money-grubbing mercenary self.”
“Oh, thanks,” Esme smirks.
Me, meaning me and my immediate concerns. And you know full well; you, Khris, and Lady are always my number one concern, and always have been.” I say, somewhat disconsolately.
“Of course, we all know that you goof.” Esme exclaims, “But you forgot someone very important.”
“Or newest production, already in progress?” I snicker, patting Es on her ever-expanding abdomen. “Sheesh. That’s a gimmee.”
“Of course,” Esme grins, “But you forgot Nietzsche.”
“No, I didn’t. That was intentional.” I smile. “I loathe that stupid cat, ever since he pissed in my damn field boots right before I went to that well fire in Canada…”
“Um, yes. Ahem. Anyways, regale me further. I don’t think what got you all a-lather was just the thought of an exclusive contract.” Es furthers.
“You’re right, as always.” I comply, “They not only want an exclusive contract, so they can tell me what to do and where to go. Yet, they want me to continue to provide them Intel on folks I’ve worked with previously. You know what that means…”
Es considers, “One slip, and as they say in the movies, ‘your cover’s blown’?”
“Precisely. Like tiptoeing around an old pigsty. One slip, and its deep shit.” I comment, “All that time I’ve spent cultivating relationships over the years. They all go POOF the second someone finds out I have ulterior and non-exclusive motives. It’s a small world and well connected. My name would be mud faster than a rural Alabama backroad in a cloudburst.”
“How is that different than now?” Es asks.
“I don’t have a contract with any suspicious governmental agencies, for one” I reply, “I have my own personal, really nasty, bespoke contract for each and every job. Sure, I may impart some information on some characters I’ve grown to know, but it’s not like I am being coerced by law into doing I that; even if I sort of am. It lends me that all-important degree of plausible deniability.”
“I see”, Es agrees, “And yet they want an exclusive with you?”
“Yep.”, I reply, “They may be a great intelligence gathering and analysis group, but they know fucking bupkiss about the machinations of industrial science; particularly in the extractive industries. They want to call the shots, tell me where to go and what jobs to do. Double god damn fuck that. I can imagine some mid-level bureaucrat in a mid-life crisis sending me, a by god, damned, fucking triply-degreed Doctor of Industrial Geology, into some downstream project like pipelines, refining, or shipping. Sure, it has to do, however tangentially, with extractive resources, but I’d stick out like a pig on stilts in a situation like that.”
“So, you don’t trust their judgment?” Es asks.
“Hardly. Especially not since some fucking Doctor of Underwater Basket Weaving who is demanding that I capitulate to his whims, is manning the helm.” I snarl.
“Whoa. Looks like we’ve got a bit of professional animosity.” Es grins.
“Yeah. So, shoot bullets through me”, I declare, “I guess I just don’t hold humanities degrees in the same high regard as STEM degrees. Silly-ass me.”
“OK, Doctor”, Esme snickers, “Now you have gotten that all out, how are you going to handle this situation?”
“Oh, no. Not ‘you’, ‘we’.” I note as way of reply.
“We?” Es asks alarmed.
“Yep. This affects us all”, I retort, “This is going to be a family decision. And as such, the ball’s in your court.”
“Well…I’m going to need more information,” Es says by way of deflecting the question for the time being.
“OK, take your time”, I reply, “I’m sure Rack and Ruin won’t be here for at least another hour.”
“Did they say they’d be dropping by?” Esme asks.
“Oh, no”, I replied, “But after that call, I know they’re already on their way.”
OK, I’m Kreskin. True to form, the doorbell rings not 45 minutes later.
I answer the door, with a drink in one hand, and a freshly lit cigar in the other.
“Yes, hello. How may I help you, gentlemen?” I ask. “I’m really not terribly keen on organized religion, so let’s get that right out of the way…”
“Very funny, Doctor”, Agent Rack replies, “May we come in? We need to have a chat.”
“Only if you first agree to this non-disclosure agreement”, I say, waving a fresh, limey drink in their direction.
They both chuckle and I allow them access to my sanctum sanctorum.
I know I can trust these guys.
“Good day, Mrs. Rock. You’re looking very well. Is everything going according to plan?” Agent Ruin asks Esme.
“Hello, Agents.” Esme smiles back, “Yes. Thank you. Everything is proceeding as per operation ‘Family Add’.”
Khris runs out and grabs Agent Rack around the knees.
“Uncle Rack! Hiya!” she squeals.
Agents, aka, “Uncles” Rack and Ruin always bring a load of peppermint hard candies, Khris’ favorite.
They both give her a hug and a handful of those red and white striped oblate spheroids she so loves.
She runs back to the TV room shouting about a pack of tyrannosaurs that are about to dry gulch a crippled old sauropod. Juvenile bloodlust is just so fun to watch bloom.
“Cute kid. Smart little whip” Uncle Agent Ruin notes.
“What’d you expect?” I reply.
Esme leads us all over to my office, where I assume the power position at my desk. ‘Uncles’ Agents Rack and Ruin to the comfy leather chairs I have reserved for visitors.
I ask Esme to stay, as there’s plenty of room, and this is a group discussion.
“Oh, no way.” she smiles, “I’ll be in my room, tending my cross-stitch. I’ll catch up later if need be. This is for you all to hash out among yourselves.”
“Bonzers. Fair Dinkum”, I reply.
Esme regrets the time I recently spent in Australia.
I ask ‘Uncles’ Rack and Ruin of they’d like a coffee, tea, or a cup of C-4 before we begin.
“Coffee for me, tea for Rack”, Agent Ruin replies. “Two sugars for him, black for me.”
“And light on the Gelsemine?” I ask.
“Very funny, Herr Doctor”, Agent Rack replies, only half in jest. He knows I’m a backyard chemist in my spare time.
I return with their drinks and quietly close the door so the sounds of an expiring aged Alamosaurus doesn’t intrude on our conversations.
“OK, gents. Your dime. The floor is yours. Give.” I say.
“Um, yes. Doctor. Pardons, but we must be blunt.” Agent Uncle Rack begins, “Our new director, Doctor Donald Twpsyn, is less than enamored with you right now.”
“Oh, me. Oh, my. Oh, forbear.” I react in mock horror, “Whatever shall I do?”
“Doctor”, Agent Ruin intones, “We are serious here. We’d appreciate it if you were as well.”
“Yeah. All right. I suppose.” I reply, sipping my drink, “OK. Now, what’s got Dr. Donny Dickhead all a-twitter?”
Agents Rack and Ruin try to stifle some snickers, and fail, but continue: “He’s made it abundantly clear that he is quite pleased with what you’ve supplied us in the past.”
“As well as he fuckin’ should be!” I reply, somewhat pointedly. “I’ve got connections up to the Yalu and all down back to Otago and Little America, from bloody the North Slope to Ushuaia. I’ve worked in more countries than Dr. Dickhead has probably had liquid lunches.”
Stifling more snickers, Agent Rack continues: “Quite probably, but he doesn’t like to be reminded of that fact.” He looks at me intently, “Was he really that obvious?”
“Fuckbuckets. Send him to any field post and he’d blow cover faster than a dead cow in the Gobi summer sun.” I reply. “He’s completely out of touch, considering the boneheaded plays he laid out to try and entice me to join your little exclusive club.”
“Yeah, we figured you’d be less than thrilled with his plans.” Agent Ruin adds.
“You might remind him that as a private US citizen, I’m under no responsibility to continue to aid and abet your little association.” I note, “I’m doing it out of a sense of patriotism, a sense of loyalty, a sense of…”
“Mercenary subsidy?” Agent Rack adds.
“Well. Of course.” I readily admit, “But I’ve always been upfront and forthwith with you guys. As I’ve mentioned numerous times, straight from the onset, I’m not in this for the culture, climate, or cuisine; I’m in it strictly for the cash.”
“And we’ve always appreciated your straightforwardness.” Agent Ruin continues.
“OK, enough idle banter,” I note. “Here’s the deal, Sparky-san. I will continue as per my previous relationship with your little group of like-minded infiltrators. I will continue to generate dossier filler, situation reports, and pretty much whatever I can, within reason. However, I am the one who decides what is and is not reasonable. We green, so far?”
“We have no objections thus far, Doctor”, Agent Rack relates.
WE GREEN?” I ask again.
“Green as lime vodka, Doctor.” Agent Ruin hurriedly fills in.
“Groovy” I note, “But here’s the deal, this is my career you’re talking about. No one and I mean no one, with the very possible exception of my wife, dictates which jobs I take or which jobs I reject. You don’t tell me where to go, or what to do, and I won’t tell you to get stuffed. OK?”
“Ah, yes. We can see that you’re of a resolute state of mind on this issue.” Agent Rack notes.
“Damn Skippy.” I reply, “I take the jobs that best suit ME; not some faceless, mindless organization, no matter what they do or who they claim to represent. Now, I’m not totally beyond equanimity, I will listen if there is are solid, valid, scientific, commercial, diplomatic, and economic reasons why I should choose one contract over another. Nevertheless, I will not; I reiterate, will not, accept someone telling me I must choose this over that, one over another, here rather than there, just because it’s convenient for them or it fits their oddly skewed version of obligation.”
“Well, Doctor”, Agent Rack replies, “Seems you’ve given this some thought and have a clear picture of what your role is within the organization.”
“Yes, absolutely”, I concur, “I only hope the organization has a clear picture of what my role, and conversely, theirs is, as well.”
“Yes, Doctor. Your position is clear as vodka, as you like to note”, Agent Rack continues, “I think there was a wee bit of misunderstanding earlier. Now, it appears, that’s all out in the open, flayed and all hashed out. Would you agree?”
“As long as Doctor Donny Liberal-Arts stays the hell out of my patch, we’ll get along just fine.” I reply. “It may seem diffident, I actually enjoy working with you guys. No shit. It’s refreshing, a bit scary, and truly novel, all at the same time. I’d like to continue to do so from this point onwards. But only if we have a distinct understanding. No exclusive contract, governmental or otherwise, and no one telling me where to go or what to do. I am the master of my own destiny, not some agency, or some novice organizational doo-fuck looking to supplement his Curriculum Vitae.”
“Well, Doctor”, Agent Ruin says as he finishes his drink, “It appears that we have an understanding. Shall we shake hands to seal the deal?”
I swivel in my chair and make a point of rifling through my desk drawer.
“Um, Doctor”, Agent Ruin asks, “What are you doing?”
“Just trying to find my portable scintillation counter” I replied, deadpan, “Never can be too careful…”
“Doctor”, both agents say in unison, “So glad you’re back. Where else could we go for our daily dose of abuse?”
I think, but don’t mention: “Just about anywhere.”
After all was done and dusted, I broke out some of my 45-year old drinking stuff to properly seal the deal, and toast our new, more solid, and well-defined relationship.
Esme joined us when she heard the laughs from Agent Ruin’s latest bawdy joke; the guy’s a compendium of ribald anecdotes.
She opted for tea, considering her delicate condition. That was OK, as the Agents and I fully made up for that temporary deficiency.
We all sat and chatted like there was never a situation where we were ever cross. I found it somewhat odd that Agents Rack and Ruin didn’t immediately beg off, citing more pressing engagements.
“So, Doctor”, Agent Rack said, preparing to drop the inevitable blockbuster, “What are your immediate plans, if we may ask?”
I saw this one coming a mile away.
“Not much”, I replied. “I’ve decided to take a bit of a sabbatical until the next addition to our family joins us. I’ve got more than enough work here to occupy me for the few months until Esme decides it’s time.”
“I see”, Agent Ruin replies, “I don’t suppose we could entice you to take a look at this prospectus?” he notes and slides over a file marked “Secret – Q Clearance”.
Sighing heavily, I shake my head, sip my drink, puff my cigar, and note: “Just couldn’t wait, could you? OK, what the score? Who do I have to drop a dime on this time?”
“Oh, no Doctor, nothing like that. No, no, no.” Agent Ruin adds, “It’s just that we have heard, through the grapevine, as it were, that a particular group out in a certain Central Asian country is looking for some Western guidance in developing their oil field activities.”
“Oh, really?” I ask, incredulously, “Now the Agency’s a project broker?”
“Oh, no. No, no, no. Nothing like that”, Agent Rack continues, “It’s just that we have heard, ahem, of this opportunity that seemed to be right up your street.”
“And it just so happens that the Agency has an interest in this region, it’s resources, and it’s people?” I ask.
“Exactly”, Agent Ruin smiles, “It would be mutually beneficial. They would receive the benefit of your deep experience and expertise. We’d also glean a small bit of information on the situation in this newly developing country.”
I sat there, stewing.
Steaming that they were right, the bastards.
I’ve been to Central Asia, the “Stans” as I call them, many times in the past. It’s an extractive company’s bird nest on the ground, especially for someone as mercenary as me. I ask them to continue.
“Well, there’s this group, the ‘Geofizika’ by name that is running the show out there.” Agent Rack adds, “They’re fresh to the game as they have just become an independent country a year or so back. They’ve got huge pre-existing oil and gas fields that were developed, rather poorly I might add, by the Soviets. They’re trying to fix those major disasters while forging ahead and not creating new disasters. It’d be only for a maximum of six weeks. Two months at the outside. Maybe a year…”
I have to admit, if anyone else would have dropped this one me, I’d have jumped on it with both feet. Better to remain taciturn, and not let them think I’m interested.
“I don’t know”, I reply, stroking my rapidly graying beard, “With Es and our past reproductive history. I should probably remain home in case of any complications.”
“OK. OK. We do understand. We got that.” Agent Ruin notes, “We are sympathetic. But this is a time-critical event, Doctor, happening right now. I’m afraid we’d need an answer yea or nay today.”
“Right. Give me a few minutes” I request, getting up to leave, “I need to speak with Esme and see what she thinks.”
“Of course”, Agent Rack says, “We’ll just wait here, keeping your aged bottle of scotch company.”
“That’s fine”, I reply, “Just stay out of my files, if you could. I know it’s congenital with you characters, but I don’t want to have to go and disarm the kill-bots right now.”
They snicker, and give me looks like “Is he joking or…?”
I confer with Esme and make it clear that it’s her decision.
Thus far, the pregnancy has been going letter-perfect, but we know from past experience how rapidly that can change. I tell her it’s not an absolute necessity that I go on this one, but it might help smooth things over with Dr. Donny Dickhead at the Agency. Besides, it’ll give me some great leverage when I present them my ‘new and improved’ contract; for them to vet through some dodgy invented corporation.
In other words, it’s money. And we all know how much we like money.
Esme instantly tells me that I should go. She’s doing fine and we already have the ancient Ms. Akusherka on retainer as household help and general looker-after-er.
“Are you positive?” I ask her, “I don’t have to go, you know. We’re doing fine and I don’t think I could live with myself if I was half a world away and something disastrous happens.”
“Given that, what could you do if you were here?” Esme asks, “Hold my hand? Help with moral support? Yes, those are very important, but I have the best help here with our neighbors and Ms. Akusherka. Besides, this time is different. I can feel it. Tell you what, call Sani and see what he says.”
“I’ll do that”, I say, loving her more than I thought it was possible, “I’ll provisionally accept with ‘Uncles’ Rack and Run, and give Sani a call. If he gives me the all-clear, I’ll go. It’s only for six weeks or so and you’ve got at least 3 months before blast-off.”
“Do that, Rock”, she says, “You need to cultivate every contact possible. You’re our only breadwinner here, and we need you now more than ever.”
“Whoa. That sounds a bit mercenary.” I tell her, wide-eyed.
“Oh, does it?” Esme smiles, “Guess I’ve learned from the best.”
I hug her gently, smile, chuck her lightly under the chin, and go back to see if Agents Rack and Ruin have left me any of my 45-year old drinking stuff.
“OK, you pirates”, I say and retrieve the bottle before it’s drained any further, “You’ve got me; but with conditions: 1. My contract, as is; no revisions, 2. I need to speak to someone in New Mexico first, so it’s contingent on that conversation and, 3. You check in with Esme every once in a while when I’m gone. We green?”
“Greenage. Most certainly, Herr Doctor.” Agent Rack smiles, “Hell that is some good scotch. Where’d you ever find it?”
“Sorry, Agent”, I reply, “That is on a strict ‘need to know basis’. If you need to know, you’d have to replenish my stocks…”
So I make certain to tell them where I found the stuff…
Agents Rack and Ruin take their leave reminding me that I need to supply their “corporation” my contract within 48 hours. Also, if I do decide to go, I need to be ready to leave in no less than 60 hours. They will supply transportation, visas, and all the necessary paperwork.
“OK, sure”, I say, ushering them out the door, “I’ll be in touch quicker than you can say John Barleycorn”.
“John Barley…” I hear as I shut the front door.
These two characters are getting more predictable than the summer weather in Riyadh.
After a hearty carnivorous lunch, Khris and Esme settle down for their daily siesta. I dial the phone for Cuba, New Mexico. Three up, two down, and answer on the second ring.
Sani, Yáʼátʼééh shi akʼis”, I greet him.
Yáʼátʼééh, Kǫʼdził-hastiin”, Sani replies.
“How did you know it was me?” I ask.
“I was told…you would be in contact,” Sani replies.
I gave up wondering how long, long ago.
“You have need of Sani?” he asks.
“Of course. I am always in need of sage counsel.” I reply.
“I am told this is so. You are worrying for nothing.” Sani tells me.
“You know we’ve not had the best of luck…” I say.
“It has transpired thus far as it was seen. Do not be discomforted, remember.” Sani continues.
“I know, but sometimes one has to return to the well to refresh their supply,” I say, thinking in terms he might appreciate.
“It is so, and so it has been, so it will be,” Sani assures me.
“Thanks, Sani. I do so appreciate your wise guidance.” I say.
Ndagaʼ tʼáadoo leʼé iʼdiiłʼá” Sani says. “No trouble.”
Ahéheeʼ tʼáá ánółtso, Sani. Hágoónee’” I reply and hang up. “Thanks again and farewell.”
My next call is to a shop in Albuquerque. Gifts of beer, whiskey, and tobacco are rapidly on their way to Sani.
I spend the rest of the afternoon working up a new contract for my newest buddy in the Agency. With Rack and Ruin’s admonishments, if he wants the best, he’s going to be damn well paying for the best.
I fax off my latest contract to them after I let my solicitor have a read through. He makes me remove a couple of codicils, saying that calling for someone’s drawing and quartering if something untoward should happen really isn’t legally enforceable.
Killjoy.
After dinner, I outline that tomorrow’s a shopping day. I have to replenish my travel supplies and find some specific technical appurtenances for this trip overseas.
Khris is much like her mother and loves to go shopping. That means opportunities for new toys and lunch at a real restaurant. We plan to make a day of it.
In the new-fangled shopping mall, we spend a good portion of the day finding some beautifully horrible Hawaiian shirts. I need some new cargo shorts, a couple of pairs of chinos, socks, and some new laces for my field boots; ones that don’t stink of cat piss.
I also hit up the stationery shop to obtain some #7 pencils, Mylar, Leroy pens, inking tape, and India ink. I also pick up a few new symbol templates and some pre-printed map legends.
They’re so much easier to attach and fill out than hand drawing one on every new map.
Esme somehow guilts me into a new purse, one she’s had her eye on for the past few months. Khris receives a baby sister doll for her beshik that I brought her from Myanmar.
We have lunch at the spanking new Rock-n-Roll themed restaurant. Khris is exemplary since she has crayons and coloring placemats to keep her busy. Esme opts for the pseudo- Tex-Mex they offer, and I decide on a rack of ribs. It was a slice of Mid-Western Americana and one that I feel we endorse far too infrequently. I make a solemn pledge to myself to rectify that situation when I return.
We head back home, but first, I make certain Es’s car is fully gassed up and the oil, coolant, and other liquid levels are where they should be; particularly the blinker light fluid. The last thing I need is some sort of vehicular goofiness while I’m out gallivanting around the globe.
We return home; Lady greets us as usual with a loving 130-kilo impact. The cat ignores us as one.
A few minutes later, our neighbor Sally delivers a package that someone dropped off right after we left. She saw them mooching around the house and confronted them while she was wearing her .45 Colt sidearm.
Say what you want about concealed carry, you get much more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word.
We thank her and invite her in for coffee. Sally begs off as Roller Derby is just starting and she has bets down on the San Francisco Bay-Area Bombers.
She never misses a match.
It’s a package for me from my agency buddies. I help Khris and Esme into their afternoon siestas, and retire to my office to look over this latest entry into “Well, where the hell are we off to this time?”
Inside the envelope, there are my tickets, boarding passes, letters of introduction and recommendation, hotel reservations, my signed contract , geological re-prints, and special Agency documents on the how’s and why’s of this new country.
There is also a collection of very foreign-looking currencies.
Seems they’re still trying to sort out all the financial brouhaha in my next country of travel since the wall fell and they found themselves a newly minted republic. There are some Russian rubles, Uzbek so’m, and International “Drawing Rights” (XDR), a new attempt at a universal currency through the International Monetary Fund.
The so’m trade at 9520 to the dollar. The XRD goes for 1 XDR:1.38 USD. Great. Two new pain-in-the-ass currencies. I’m just going to call the so’m at 10,000 to one and the XRD at 1.5 bucks per.
“Hell”, I reflect, “I’d best get a new calculator and some batteries, this could lead to a real financial mess if I’m this sloppy”.
I begin packing and am ready to go by the time Es and Khris awaken.
I’m slated to fly to London tomorrow, via the Windy City, my favorite layover. Then onto Tashkent, where I’ll be met by the head of Uzbekgeofizkia, one Dr. Burg'ilovchi. It’ll be overland transport from then on, via helicopter, truck, or car. I am advised this is a very hot and dry climate, so plan accordingly.
I root around my office and find two more of my emergency flasks that go into my day pack.
I am also informed, although I know full well, that this is a Muslim society, so I need to be on my best behavior.
That has to be something added by Dr. Dickhead, Rack and Ruin’s new boss.
We spent the night together as a family, re-watching some of Disney’s latest offerings that I found, so cheaply, during my last trip to Malaysia. We laugh mightily every time we see someone in the audience get up and venture out to the lobby or loo.
Packed and ready to go, I am waiting on my ride to the airport. The Agency is operating at peak efficiency and my ride is only a half-hour late this time.
Hugs, kisses and mutual squeezes later, I’m dumping my gear in the back of the unmarked sedan that is to take me to the airport. My unsmiling driver is as tight-lipped as an Aldebran Shell Mouth and that suits me just fine. I’m not in a talkative mood this morning, I’m still somewhat uneasy about leaving Esme, Khris, and Lady on their own.
We arrive at the airport a scant hour later and my driver signals to an unoccupied porter.
He hands him a $20 and instructs him to take me and my luggage to the British Airways desk and ensure that I get to my flight unencumbered.
Before I could thank him, he slides behind the wheel, drops it in drive, and takes off in a flurry of dust and exasperation.
Yep. Definite Agency driver, I think.
Since I already have my Business Class boarding passes, they just need to tag my luggage through to Tashkent. I make certain that is where they’re going as that’s not yet a typical port of call for your average world traveler.
I receive my baggage claim tickets and a programmed “Have a nice flight, Sir”, from the oddly aloof gate agent.
To be continued.
submitted by Rocknocker to Rocknocker [link] [comments]

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure OC Tournament #4: R3M10 - Connor Pruckette vs. Nora Kleid

The results are in for Match 8. The winner is…
Autumn Miranda Jasper, with a score of 72 to Garland’s 63!
Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Autumn Jasper 22-18 Despite Autumn’s early lead, Garland rode the tide of the classic “PHD Curse” to catch up, ending the vote 5-4!
Quality Autumn Jasper 26-21 Reasoning
JoJolity Tie 24-24 Reasoning
With that, we must now sadly bid goodbye to Team Earth, Tower of Terra, the third team to be eliminated from Tournament 4. They slipped under the radar in Round 1, and didn’t win a single match Round 2, but their high-profile ties that round proved they were a force to be reckoned with, as did their very close losses this round.
Let’s take a moment to remember…
8th/7th Place: Darwin Glerman and Bhangra Mendhi - This duo got caught in a game of Tetris played by Oscar K Computer, and they just couldn’t clear their rows.
6th Place: Jianbin Zhuge - For all his talk about his ancestral heritage, he lost to an upstart Baroness in a ski chase worthy of a spy thriller!
5th Place: Professor Bernal - The horse-whisperer ended up losing her match betting on the Kentucky derby by default when she attacked her opponent.
4th/3rd Place: Colorado Blue and Mars - Mars spent her first round winning a jungle relay race, while Colorado was defeated by Mylo Xyloto in a battle on the rooftops of Detroit, but through a twist of circumstance was still given the opportunity to move on to the next round, where he and Mars lost a game of Brazilian football to a Prince and a “Hero.”
2nd Place: Robbert Chitter - One of the only ACT Stand-users in the tournament, in the first round he advanced to Round and ACT 2 by winning a relay race in the jungle with Mars, and just scraped by into Round 3 after a double-tie in Guatemala. Sadly, this round he fell to the forces of 「m.A.A.d city」 in Los Angeles.
1st Place: Garland - It was only fitting that one of the strangest builds in this tournament had one of the strangest, and most impressive, runs to get to this point. First he faced off against the All-American cryptic Spider-Vic in a daring art heist, and followed it up with a stalemate against the equally confident and capable Killian Keyes in the site of Electric Grapevine’s second defeat. And how else could someone like Garland go out but by being turned into a salmon and coming in second place in a race up a waterfall?
Tower of Terra may be out of the game, but their presence can still be felt… For example, one of their former opponents is currently fighting for his life against a “superhero?” in an under-construction train tunnel.
Scenario - Las Vegas, Nevada:
The rack was lifted up from the balls, and the cue immediately clacked against them hard, two of them sinking on the break. Connor stood up, examining the table state and running quick calculations. “Good job setting them out, Kris!” He cheered, clapping the younger man on the back as 「Megalovania」 bickered and cheered behind him, inaudible to the others at the small dive bar.
The other man, clad in a pool-patterned polo Connor had acquired for him, almost certainly with Ric’s eponymous credit card. “You want to switch cues?” He asked, three different ones that Connor had carefully coached him in the differences between. Connor nodded, taking one made of a slightly different maple wood than the first.
He lined up his shot, easily sinking two more balls, and grinning. “I’ve been thinking about the game.” He said, standing up and straightening his back.
“...Nine-ball?” Kris asked.
“Well, I’m always thinking about nine-ball, but I’m talking about the tournament.” Connor responded. “I had some things I wanted to talk with you about it.” He smiled genially at Kris. “How did you like your match?” He asked.
Kris pursed his lips, thinking. “I think I’d prefer to have won, sure.” He said. “But I got to show off my abilities, and I must’ve made some sort of impression!” He fished out his phone, showing off the screen. “I’ve been hanging around third place in the popularity polls, for whatever reason.” He gave Connor a hearty thumbs up, 「Under Pressure」holding the cues.
Connor returned it, setting up his next shot. “I’ve been having some fun myself. The match against that nice girl was some of the most fun I’ve had in years, and pairing up with Noriko was certainly a unique experience!” He easily sunk two more balls.
Kris nodded. “Yeah, she’s seemed a little friendlier lately… though it’s still hard to get a read on her,” he said, not seeming too bothered about it.
Connor examined the table. I’ve been looking into some things, but I think with all of the excitement I’ve been dealing with, I could go with something… a little more easygoing.” He moved around the table, looking at the last three balls on the table. “Things have been really intense lately, I suppose. I’ve had enough excitement for a while.”
Kris perked up, and snapped his fingers. “Oh! Connor, that just reminded me of something I was thinking about!” He tapped his phone, reading off something from the UU app. “I think this is a match all about bingo. You know, a bunch of elderly with blotters, only danger there might be is you having to fend off fans! I’m sure you’ll fit right in.”
Connor set up his shot. “Hmm. ‘Bingo’, you say? I’ve never played it before… I’ve heard some of the people who play it can be dangerous if you get in their way.” He shifted over a few millimeters, cue perfectly poised on the ball. “In either case, Kris, something like bingo sounds….” With an audible ping, his eye glowed bright blue as he took his shot. “Perfect.”
The sound of knitting needles clacking together echoed in the front hall of the 「Bohemian Archive」. A small fire roared in the fireplace. Nora had put the only two members of Oceans 11 remaining in the Archive to bed. She didn’t expect them to be getting much sleep at all, with how much energy Jack had to go through all of the information Hadrian and Demis had stolen.
Not that she could blame the two, she had only glanced at it, and there was just so much to dig through. Mountains of information, all of which could be put together, making a web of culpability to point to… something. She hadn’t had that long to look at it, after all!
“I’m really very proud of the boys,” she mused. “Jack’s really come into his own, I think. He’s really relaxed around me and Hadrian, and he’s been doing some just lovely work with helping us out. Buggy’s been doing well too, recovering at least.”
“Hadrian’s really made me proud. He just seemed so… hopeless, when I first met him. I don’t like that Niyaz fellow one bit, but something that happened in Argentina has changed him, and for the better! He’s such a lovely man at times, I’d hate for him to die before such an old fart as myself when I can help it!” She let her head back, still knitting up a storm, cackling.
Calming down, she continued. “As suspicious as the ARG is, I can’t help but feel fond of some parts of it. Hmm. I’ve been so busy with my investigations and all I haven’t actually had any time for myself, thinking about it!”
A moment passed. “Well, I am between investigations and all, I could take some time for myself. I could probably give my spot to Jack, but that wouldn’t be much fun at all, would it?” She barreled on. “I remember seeing a hint about a bingo match. It’s a little bit stereotypical, sure, but a bit of bingo sounds like it could be fun. Besides, I want to save some of my energy, it wouldn’t do to beat someone up, and I can hardly see how they can turn bingo dangerous… though with some of the participants of the blasted thing, I should never doubt.” She nodded to herself. “...Maybe Cal would be there too. I do hope so, Stand users attract other ones.”
“All things considered, I think I’ll be going out to do it, as long as it hasn’t been snapped up by someone else. It would do to get out of the Archive and have a little fun.” She finished.
Paracadute, knitting as well, with the care of someone new to it, continued. He sat across from her, in a black and white outfit that was at once extraordinarily high quality, high thread count, and comfortable to wear. Yet it felt as much a straightjacket as the one that Nora had trapped him in days ago. “That’s… wonderful to hear Mrs. Kleid. Absolutely lovely to hear you getting out of the Archive.”
He hesitated, looking away and asking meekly, “May I please go out of the Archive too, Mrs. Kleid?”
Nora smiled at him, one cheery and genuine. She simply responded to him, “No.”
The Casino Chiaroscuro. A glorious, old casino built in the late 1940s to cater to men coming back from the war, to emulate the glories of old Europe. A gaudy place, built in the heart of Las Vegas, it was nonetheless relatively small by the city’s standards, tucked away, somewhere that catered to older, more refined clientele.
Connor sauntered up to the casino, in his normal outfit. He hadn’t seen fit to show up to a Match in anything different so far, and he wouldn’t change it now. He made his way in, poking around the area and making his way to the bar. He was used to glitzy places, it’s where he’d done quite a few matches in his heyday, and now it would be a match of a different sort.
He ordered a soda and sipped at it, checking his phone every so often, waiting for something to happen. He was one hundred percent sure about the location, of course, so he could only wait for an opponent to appear.
After waiting for a few minutes, he heard a clearing throat behind him, a kindly but assertive voice, making itself known. “Hello, is this seat taken?”
Connor turned around to it, recognizing the speaker immediately and grinning. “By all means, take it if you like!” He said, patting the stool and going back to his drink.
While she was always impeccably dressed, a trip to the casino was an occasion for Nora to bring out her best. Without impeding any of the thief’s range of motion, Nora’s dress was long, reaching the floor, and dark blue in color. Completely knitted, and with regular words on it. KLEID, KLEID, KLEID, with a small telescope after each word, in what would have looked chaotic and arrogant without the sheer bravado that Nora exuded. It opened over her chest, showing off a black cardigan underneath with an incredibly realistic pattern of Neptune on it. Her hair was worn in its normal way, a small hat in a jaunty angle, large, knitted feather drooping off of it.
Connor nodded approvingly at her getup. “My, I feel underdressed for such esteemed company!” He marveled. Nora laughed, shifting around in her bag a bit and pulling out a woolen mass and tossing it to Connor. “If you can’t handle life without some Kleidiscope goods, here you go!” He opened it up, revealing a lavender vest with a subtle, mesmerizing pattern and “FAIRY FELLERS” embroidered on the breast in large writing.
She slipped into the seat, ordering some water as Connor excitedly put his new vest on. She sideyed Connor’s drink. “Soda, huh? Maybe I should come back in a few years when you’ve ruined your body with that, hm?” She jabbed playfully.
Connor pulled his coat on and carefully took another sip. “Well, I’ve been having soda since I was a boy, and it’s done a worse job at killing me than being hooked on booze would have. And I suppose you’re here to face me?” He paused. “Dear, I suppose we’re so familiar with each other through the game that I forgot how to be polite! My name’s Connor Pruckette, 9-ball champion. Mind if I ask yours?” He extended his hand.
Nora took it, shaking it heartily. “Lenoir Kleid. Everyone calls me Nora. Came here because I felt bingo would be funny for such an old fart like me.”
Connor swirled his soda. “A teammate recommended it to me, and I just couldn’t turn down a challenge!”
Nora’s smile turned menacing, seeming to look through Connor. “And my teammate is currently still recovering from some bullet holes where your teammate had shot him.” She said, frostily.
Connor immediately waved his hands. “Jeez, I wanted some relative peace and quiet. Hey, if you should blame anyone, blame the other sniper there. Sofia has had some… bad experiences with those folk, I’m sure she wouldn’t have been as...driven as she was otherwise.”
Nora stared at him a few moments longer, the tension mounting, and suddenly dissipating. “Surely. Well, I’m not facing her, I suppose.” She laughed to herself. “If ‘Sofia’ cares at all, Buggy is recovering well.”
Connor graced her with a genuine smile. “I’m very glad to hear that!”
The duo continued to talk, first about their teams, and then about their family. Ten minutes passed, then twenty. Nora talked about how she had dealt with the death of her husband, and Connor about how he was worried for some of his wilder grandchildren. Thirty minutes. Forty. They talked about their professions. Secret, forbidden nine ball techniques. How big corporations were ruining fashion. By the time their phones rang, they had spent a full hour at the bar together, enjoying each others company.
Nora and Connor instantly scrambled as one to open their phones, identical grins wide on their faces. The eponymous mascot of Urban Uprising, Andromeda, was on screen wearing a suit. It wasn’t as bold as Nora’s attire, of course, but there was a certain chic air to it: typical black tie attire, but adorned with her favored iridescent trim and a faint eight-pointed star pattern tessellating along the lapels and sleeves.
Before Andromeda could so much as open her mouth, Connor interrupted. “Howdy, Andromeda!” He said, tipping his hat a bit. “It’s been a while since I saw you last, how have you been?”
Andromeda paused, seeming caught off guard, after recovering gracing Connor with a smile. “Oh, I’ve been stellar!” She beamed. “I may have been off the air, but I’ve been doing some... restructuring of the way things are done a little. It’s been a busy time for the people who are helping make this work, but it’s all worth it to make things more fun for everyone.” She cleared her throat, whispering conspiratorially. “You’re actually the first contestant to ask me that, I think.”
Nora spoke up herself. “Oh, speaking of which, Andromeda, is Cal sill working for you?” Andromeda nodded slowly, waiting for Nora to continue. Nora thought a bit about her words. “...I suppose he’s still not ready to talk.” She said with a measure of sadness. “Well! Is he doing well, at the least?”
“Calendar’s been doing very well in the Admin work, yes!” Andromeda smiled softly. “And… he still apparently hasn’t called.” She clicked her tongue in disappointment. “I’m really sorry about that, I’ll try talking to him again. I can’t make him do anything, but you deserve better than this.” Her guard seemed lowered for a bit before she transitioned back into her hostess persona. “Let’s get into the Match!”
Connor and Nora listened patiently as Andromeda explained the rules, Connor speaking up once she finished. “Well… I can say I’ve had a lot of fun meeting you, Miss Kleid.” He and Nora stood up as one, carefully making their way over to the center of the casino. Eyes locked, stalking like predators.
“Dearie me.” Nora said. “I can’t help but feel the same.” Her voice carried an undercurrent of danger, as if she could kill someone with a glance, with her Bingo Intent. “I’ve just had a lovely time, and I’d absolutely adore spending a little while more with you.”
Connor’s grin simply grew, echoing a cockiness of years long past as Aggravated Intent To Bingo filled his own frame, invigorating him. “Indeed… I came here for a challenge, you know. Something to cool down from all the excitement. Tell you what.” They got to the center of the casino, facing each other. “‘Loser’ 🥈 buys the ‘winner’ 🥇some ‘drinks’ 🍻 and ‘beverages’ 🥤 to cool off?”
Nora slid a hand up her leg, leaving it at her hip, the other on her neck. She snapped into a pose, eyes and body burning with energy, as 「Doll Judgement」 appeared in a flash, its arms interlaced with hers in a dynamic, impossible seeming pose. “If you wanted a ‘challenge’... then dearie, I think you’ve found what you wanted. I just wonder, is it more than you can handle, dear?”
Connor crouched down, an arm sweeping in front of him, and around, the balls of 「Megalovania」 coming out from behind it He locked into a pose, Stand spread out around him and crouched down further than seemed natural. In an instant, he looked up at his opponent, eye flashing. “I guess we’ll find out…. Well Nora… are you ready to have a GOOD TIME?”
“Yeah!” With a vim and vigour contrasting the relatively sedate surroundings, Andromeda cheered out her signature line from their phones, fired up and clapping her hands enthusiastically. However prim and proper she looked in her suit, her excitement at what was sure to be a great match got the best of her. “Here we go...”
“OPEN THE GAME~!”
Location: The (fictional) Casino Chiaroscuro in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are three floors, on Floor 1 are the slot machines, on Floor 2 are the card and pool tables as well as where the players start, and on Floor 3 is a bar and lounge area. Each floor is 50 by 50 meters, 5 by 5 meters per tile, and there is about 5 meters between floors.
The marked red circles are stairway rooms with openings and exits on all sides, the orange squares are slot machines, the brown rectangles are poker tables, and the teal rectangles are pool tables, the purple circles are tables, and the green L shapes are bar counters with bartenders denoted by the orange circles.
The area is packed with people around the slot machines, tables and bars with a decent amount of people also just walking around so you may have to squeeze past people in the more crowded areas. Every game table has a fully seated game going, people are playing on both sides of the slot machines, and people are drinking at the bar counters and at tables resting.
The people have 222 Physical stats and won’t pay much attention to you, but will shove back if you try to push them to get to one of the objectives. The bartenders have 433 Physicals and 4s in Bartending, they will also try to prevent anybody else from trying to get back behind their respective bar counter, however they may not always be observant while serving drinks or attending to other duties.
Goal: Score a bingo before your opponent does! The stars are colored oversized bingo balls about the size of a softball and are objectives to collect to win the match with more elaborations bellow. The balls are all on the floor, the stars that are on the tables just mean that the ball is underneath that table.
In the case that neither player can complete a bingo with the tokens taken, the current balls will immediately deactivate, losing their color, and new balls will be placed in the locations. In essence, the game state is entirely reset.
While nothing necessarily stops you from harming your opponent, you’ve spent a lot of time getting to know them and you aren’t here to hurt someone. Seriously harming your opponent will lead to you RETIREing out of shame!
Additional Information: Both players have the same three by three bingo sheet, and for an easier time remembering, the stars are roughly located in the area they are on the sheet compared to the map. The Dark Blue star being in the top left corner of the map for example.
The balls have to be in the player’s hands in order for them to be counted. Balls may not be stolen once they are already counted.
Team Combatant JoJolity
Fairy Fellers Connor Pruckette “Hap-py Joy-py Yorupiku-ne~!” You're here to blow off some steam, so do so! Have as much fun as possible in your strategy, with a focus on smooth moves and flashy applications of your abilities! For bonus points, win of course, but help your opponent have fun as well!
Ocean’s 11 Nora Kleid “Well in this case, everyone’s happy, so it’s fine.” You're here to blow off some steam, so do so! Have as much fun as possible in your strategy, with a focus on smooth moves and flashy applications of your abilities! For bonus points, win of course, but help your opponent have fun as well!
Link to the Official Player Spreadsheet
Link to R3 Match Schedule
As always, if you would like to interact with the tournament community and be among the first to get updates for the tournament, please feel free to PM a member of our Judge staff for an invite to our Official Discord Server!
submitted by Logic_Sandwich to StardustCrusaders [link] [comments]

My Choices For Arlington Million Day 8-10-2019

I am going to like a lot of horses that will get good odds in today's races. You can use your own judgement whether you will want to take a risk or not, but that is really my best game. I struggle the most when I try to put too many favorites in the mix or when the races results in a lot of favorites doing what they are supposed to do. While I am use to waiting until my horses runs the way I expect them to, I can also understand others who might get impatient. The rewards always outweighs the frustration but it took me years to figure that part out. And it will anyone else also that plays the races the way I do. But value is what will eventually determine whether you win or lose over the long run, another fact that I spent years before I realized it.
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1st Race:
7)Contendress(9-2) Has made two starts, first race tried to contest the early pace and faded. 2nd race, laid off the pace and tried to make up late ground but finished fairly even. Now adds blinkers and looks fast enough to outbreak the favorites if the blinkers helps. The unknown is the other first time starters who shows speed in their works. Her sire, Competitive Edge, a son of Ky Derby winner Super Saver, broke his maiden in his first start, in wire to wire fashion finishing clear by 10+ lengths at Saratoga in 109 4/5.
4)Mysteriously(8-1) First time starter that has some good works for debut. Both sire, Tiznow and broodmare sire, Bernardini, were better in middle distance races, her 2nd dam, Burmilla, a daughter of Storm Cat, won her first two starts, both at 6 furlongs and both in 110 flat at two different tracks. With her, the break will be the key.
3)Josephine Baker(9-5) has made one start and set an uncontested pace but faded when challenged. However, her trainer is leading the trainer standing comfortably this year and will have to include. Also will run with lasix for the first time in her 2nd start and both her works since were more likely maintenance breezes to keep her fit.
1)Chez Paree(3-1) Has made one start and contested the pace throughout but could not get by the wire to wire winner while clear of the rest. Two works since that effort, including her last which suggests she should take a step forward. Broodmare sire, Defrere, was always overshadowed by his full brother, Dehere, a champion 2 YO Colt and sire of Take Charge Lady, among others, but both were known for siring foals that had high speed. Definitely not out of it, but will have more front running speed to contend with.
Bets: $5 Ex Box 4-7($10), $1 Tri Box 3-4-7($6), .10 Super Box 1-3-4-7(2.40), $1 Super Key 7 with 1-3-4 with 1-3-4 with 1-3-4($6). Total Risk $24.40.
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2nd Race:
6)Lyman(20-1) has made one start and trailed the field. However, he tossed his head at the start, was leaned on in the early stages by the runaway winner and simply gave others to much of a head start, especially in a race that was that quick. Now two more works since, one easy and the other that shows he has some fronting speed. A better break and a cleaner trip should put him over the top.
1)High Heater(6-1) First time starter. Trainer is 10% lifetime winning trainer and normally prepares his trainees with a series of slow works. To me, that six furlong work just before his first effort should give him plenty of wind. High Heater has shown flashes of speed in a couple of his works and his bloodlines suggests he should be high speed. His sire, Creative Cause, broke his maiden in his debut at the old Hollywood Park in 56 4/5 seconds for five furlongs and took the Best Pal S in his 2nd start in a 115 3/5 for 6 1/2 furlongs.
5)Top Justice(12-1) Another first time starter. He has some good works for his debut, including a 6 furlong work like my second choice that should help. While his trainer has a 8% lifetime winning percentage in his ninth year as a trainer, he trains mostly cheap stock and spots them aggressively, and has banked more than $7M without a big name runner. Top Justice sire, Danza won a maiden race in his first start, the Arkansas Derby in his 4th career start and finished 3rd to California Chrome in the 2014 Ky Derby, his career finale.
9)Fast Dreamer(9-2)Another first time starter. He also has some good works and bloodlines. However, trainer stop on him for almost a month before putting in his two best work for his first start. But the stoppage as he was approaching being ready always raises a red flag, because it usually indicates a minor ailment or sickness, so I will include underneath mostly.
Bets: $10 WP 6($20), $5 Ex Box 1-6($10), $1 Tri Box 1-5-6($6), .10 Super Box 1-5-6-9($2.40), .50 Super Key 6 with 1-5-9 with 1-5-9 with 1-5-9($3). Total Risk $41.40.
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3rd Race:
6)Detour(15-1) She has made for starts and has not placed in any. However, her trainer has been trying to get her back on grass since her first effort and looks like he might get that opportunity here. Her last two was switched to the AWT which is probably not the surface she wants. Her sire, Bellamy Road, smashed the stakes record in the 2005 Wood Memorial and came 1/5 second off Riva Ridge's track record set when he was 4 YO in 1973. Detour's female family has quite a bit of grass influence. Three works since her last effort for a trainer who has more success on grass than the AWT.
3)Just A Look(12-1) First time starter that has some good works and nice bloodlines for grass. Dam won 3 of 7 lifetime starts, all three on grass, including a listed stakes, with a late kick in Southern California. While her works has been a little inconsistent for my taste, her trainer will sneak a live one through, on occasion.
7)Meghan(5-1) She has made 4 lifetime starts, with one third her only board finish. However, she has had the same problem as my top choice, in that her trainer has tried to get her back on grass after her first effort, and in fact, this makes the four race in a row that they faced each other. While she has beaten my top choice all three times, it was by a nose, nose and 1/4 length, on surfaces she should have had a small advantage on.
5)Quality Too Spare(6-1) She has made three starts, with a third in her last her best effort. While I normally try to find a trainer who has a little more success than this one(no wins yet), she has enough speed to clear early and could hang on for a minor reward, depending on what how bad the others might fade.
Bets: $10 WP 6($20), Ex Box 3-6($10), $1 Tri Box 3-6-7($6), .10 Super Box 3-5-6-7($2.40), .50 Super Key 6 with 3-5-7 with 3-5-7 with 3-5-7($3). Total Risk $41.40.
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4th Race:
7)Blue Sky Kowboy(20-1) Has made 3 starts this year after an seven month break. Won his 2nd start, though it was restricted to state bred and was his first other than grass win and then ran poor against in a state bred stakes race, also moved to the AWT from grass. Though his recent stats shows otherwise, trainer has more than held his own with grass runners throughout his career. Just believe he is ready to give his best effort this year.
6)My Bariley(4-1) Has made 4 starts since his last winning effort, with two against graded stakes horse and another in a stakes which he has previously won. Also holds a recent class edge against these with a good work since his last effort. The one to beat.
8)Cuestion De Tempo(5-1) Has made 4 starts since an eight month break, with his last arguably the best effort since he returned. He has recorded two good works since his last and a mile fits him better than others in here.
3)Marzo(9-2) Has made 5 starts this year, winning his fourth start as an odds on favorite, most likely because others seen his yearling purchase price of $1M. However, that buyer(Coolmore) has long decided he did not have the ability they originally thought he had and decided to cut their losses and move on for $35K. That win was in a conditioned allowance, so I doubt he can do much better than a minor share, though his trainer has turned around the fortunes of several horses. This, so far, does not look like one of those times, though.
Bets: $10 WP 7($20), $5 Ex Box 6-7($10), $1 Tri Box 6-7-8($6), $3 Tri Key 6-7 with 6-7 with 8($6), .10 Super Box 3-6-7-8($2.40). Total Risk $44.40.
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5th Race:
8)Jazz Channel(5-1) Made one start on AWT and showed speed to top of stretch before tiring slightly. Now switches to grass which is the surface she should prefer most. One maintenance work since that effort should help make the forward move necessary to compete in this race. Her sire, English Channel, ran his best races on grass and most of his foals seems to like grass much better than AWTs or dirt. Her broodmare sire, Bernardini is better known for his abilities on dirt and his best foals has followed suit, though a few had shown they like the grass more.
9)Summer Day(12-1) First time starter. Has the workout pattern that has proven most beneficial to me. Both her sire, Sky Mesa, and her broodmare sire, Empire Maker, were G1 winners on dirt but never tried the grass. However, both their pedigrees suggests they could possibly have been even better on that surface, judging by the foals they have produce. Trainer normally only wins a few every year from limited runners, but Summer Day's 2nd dam, G3 SW Summer Mis, was his top runner and her daughter, Summer Again, spent her career in Illinois under his care, though neither was tried on grass.
5)Fall Moon(12-1) First time starter. Also has the workout pattern that seems to work best, working consistently every 7 days. Her sire, Lea, was a G1 SW on dirt and a G3 SW and G1 Placed on grass. However, he has Giant's Causeway and Galileo cross, so both surfaces have suited him. Broodmare sire, Quality Road, also was a G1 SW on dirt but his foals have performed well on both, especially around the mile distances.
2)Aunt Dorothy(9-2) Made one start and finished third. Pedigree fits nicely against these. One work since that effort which was a little too fast for my liking, but trainer tends to make right call more often than not, especially for grass. About a second slower and would have been my second choice and biggest perceived threat to my top choice.
Bets: $10 WP 8($20), $5 Ex Box 8-9($10), $1 Tri Box 5-8-9($6), .10 Super Box 2-5-8-9($2.40), $1 Super Key 8 With 2-5-9 with 2-5-9 with 2-5-9. Total Risk $44.40.
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6th Race:
1)Buttered Noodles(8-1) Has made one start. Tracked front runners, made a bid for the lead at the half then flatten out and faded on the AWT. Has two good works, including a 6 furlong work that is rarely seen in racing today, but used to be an angle as effective as first time lasix when a vet had to determine if bleeding occurred during a race or workout. Buttered Noodles's sire is City Zip, sire of known sprinters/milers on all surfaces. His dam, Flowerbomb, is 1/2 sister to Materiality and My Miss Sophia. She won twice in 14 starts, both at 1 1/16 mile, an AWT maiden race and N/W 2 allowance on grass.
Recklessness(15-1) Has made one start. Broke slowly and pick up horses while not making a dent into the runaway winner margin but just missed catching the runner up. Even good works before that effort proved futile. No works since but returns in 2 weeks, so another work would have been a little too much. A better start is expected. His sire, Midshipman, won the G1 Del Mar Futurity & G1 BC Juvenile Dirt, beating Pioneerof The Nile in the latter while landing 2 YO Champion Colt Award and is a 1/2 brother to the dam of Frosted. His dam made one start on grass and like her son, broke slowly and made up a little ground. 2nd dam won 5 of 18 starts, all at mid distances on dirt including a small stakes race.
9)Mister Not Funny(12-1) Made one start in the same race as my top choice. His works before that effort signaled a mid pack finish was most likely and that is where he finished after break slowly and waiting until the stretch to give his best effort, in a distance much to short and likely not best surface either. He goes with first time lasix in here and a surface and distance that he should perform better in, off two similar works as before his first effort. Still, improvement is expected and could surprise.
7)The Gray Blur(5-1) Made one start and exits out of the race as two of my other choices in here, which I normally will not even consider putting that many together from same effort. However, he ran an even race and basically was eliminated at the start with a less than ideal break for him. His sire, Fast Anna, hails from the same sire line(El Prado) and dam line(Kitten's First) as Kitten's Joy. The Gray Blur's dam line will also help him on this surface. Two works, including a solid one and the addition of blinkers could be all he needs to take this field from gate to wire. Beware!
Bets: $10 WP 1($20), $5 Ex Box 1-3($10), $1 Tri Box 1-3-9($6), $3 Tri Key 1 with 3-9 with 3-9($6), .10 Super Box 1-3-7-9($2.40), .50 Super Key 1 with 3-7-9 with 3-7-9 with 3-7-9($3). Total Risk $47.40.
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7th Race:
4)Rustic Rick(30-1) He returned from a 7 month break, took a few races to get in his best form and then sprung a major upset two starts back in his fourth effort since his return. Has three lifetime efforts on grass, all at one mile, but was asked to face much too tough in his last in his first start against winner. This will be his first time getting a firm turf with competition that simply matches his ability at best. His sire, Country Day, won several sprint grass stakes but also finished 2nd in the 2011 BC Turf Sprint. Dam, Ric Rac, won 4 of 19 lifetime starts, all 4 on grass at either a mile or 1 1/16 mile. No works since his first effort against winners, but returns in two weeks.
2)Jackfruit(20-1) Also broke his maiden 2 back on the AWT and then entered against winners in the same type class level in next. But he finally gets the surface he was really bred for, though he takes a couple steps up in class. His sire, Get Stormy, was a multiple G1 SW, earning more than $1.6M in his racing career. Dam, Ride 'Em Cowgirl, won her only stakes in an off the turf on the AWT, but also ran 2nd in a grass stakes race. This family traces much deeper than these two, but this is enough to let me come to my decision on whether to include or not.
12)Bird(30-1) Made one start and broke his maiden in same class as my 2nd choice. He has a pedigree that suggests he will perform pretty good on grass also, though not as close up in his bloodlines as my choice above him. Sire, Gio Ponti, was a multiple G1 SW on grass and two time grass champion in the U.S. Bird's 3rd dam, Oh What A Dance, produced Heavenly Prize, a G! champion herself and producer of Pure Prize and Good Reward, both foals of Storm Cat and better known for their grass runners.
3)True Loyalty(6-1) He will be working on his fourth start since a 10 month break, with improvement noted in his last. This is one of my angle horse that I will normally not bet against, but I like the others as good or better. While he has no works since his last and comes into this race off a three week break, that is borderline for me to consider him. Exercise helps horses first to get in racing shape and then to maintain that fitness.
This will be one race that I will be sure to box a dime superfecta and "waste" $2.40. It this type of payoff potential that I have always mentioned over and over. The potential for a dime super returning $7-8K makes it a bet I will not let pass me by, but others can.
Bets: $10 WP 4($20), $5 Ex Box 2-4($10), $1 Tri Box 2-4-12($6), .10 Super Box 2-3-4-12($2.40), $1 Super Key 4 with 2-3-12 with 2-3-12 with 2-3-12($6). Total Risk $44.40.
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8th Race:
2)Dazzling Truths(20-1) Made four starts this year with a third his best effort. Here is a horse that actually proves what wotks can do to your fitness and form. His workouts pattern has been spotty and ineffective. 2 works in 23 days to prepare for first start in almost 5 months. Then wheeled back in 9 days and 18 days, which is ok but on outer edge of moving a horse forward. Then a 53 day layoff with 2 works a month apart and he ran flat. So the only reason I will use him in here is most seems like they would rather sprint and he wheels back yet again in 11 days, which is enough time to recuperate but still have what conditioning he got from his last effort left. Edge in a wide open field.
4)Can't Hide From Me(7-2) Unbeaten in three starts but now changes barn and has one slow work since his last effort. Not sure he wants a mile distance but his connections picked a good spot to find out. However, while field is fairly weak, he is be facing his toughest test yet.
1)Sovereign Impact(20-1) Claimed out of his last start by connections who tends to get the best results from their trainees. He has won 2 sprints, one at 5 furlongs and one at 6 furlongs, both on Indiana Downs speed favoring track that often helps front runners look better than they actually are. Has had very little impact in races away from that track. One fairly decent work since the claim.
11) Dabo(5-1) Only one in field that has proven that this distance is within his scope, but both wins have came in races restricted to state breds. His maiden win at 6 furlongs came against open breds and his last to first effort saw him beat my top choice in the first start of his career. He has several good efforts while overmatched in Turfway Park 3 YO preps for the Ky Derby. Sharp right now as he wheels back in two weeks.
Bets: $5 Ex Box 2-4($10), $1 Tri Box 1-2-4($6), .10 Super Box 1-2-4-11($2.40). Total Risk $18.40.
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9th Race:
6)Magic Wand(3-1) Wanted no part of Enable in last, but not many does. She has some races that makes her a contender for the win. Only difference,is she has tried the boys in top races on several occasions over here and ran respectable in them. like her stablemate, she contested Europe's biggest 3 YO fillies races last year.
1)Fleeting(5-2) Making first U.S. start after running in top 3 YO fillies races in Europe. Nicely bred horse who is bred along the same lines as the favorite in here. Only trainer that could possibly give Brown fits with his own handling of his fillies stars, though he is better in Europe when he does not have to travel half way around the globe.
7) Sistercharlie(8-5) Most likely will be odds on and I will try to beat. Makes 2nd start this year but like usual, Brown had her fit for her first test. 2 more good works and looks like that race took nothing out of her. Won this race last year in a contest between 3 Brown's trainees. One to beat.
5)Remember Daisy(30-1) Gets the acid test now but has shown some ability in her career. Though not likely to beat the top three, I will try to beat the rest in here with this one. No works since last, but trainer has farm nearby and probably has used it to keep her fit.
Bets: .50 Super Box 1-5-6-7($12), $3 Super Key 6 with 1-5-7 with 1-5-7 with 1-5-7($18). Total Risk $30.
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10th Race:
7)Valid Point(5-1) Has not started since early June but has the best workout pattern since, and Brown is the one I first started noticing it with. Unbeaten in two starts and bred well enough to make it three, especially since the distance has been shorten to a mile on grass.
5)Ry's The Guy(15-1) Broken his maiden two back and then won his first level allowance race in his last and first effort on grass. As his bloodlines suggests, he put in his best performance to date when entered on the correct surface. Definitely not out of this and could surprise. Sire, Distorted Humor, performed in top level on dirt throughout his racing career, but as a sire is better known as an off track specialist or grass sire. Broodmare sire, Royal Academy, won the mile BC Turf Mile in his last start and when on to be a leading sire in several countries for several years. He is a 1/2 brother to Terlingua, the dam of Storm Cat.
1)Clint Maroon(20-1) After three straight win on grass, his last two had good possibilities why he did not win. His first of those two was a little further than his bloodlines suggests would be his best distance and in his most recent start, he stumbled at the start and then had to circle 6 wide to get into contention, giving his opponents a decided edge. Since that start, he has switched barns and has turned in three good works. His sire, Oasis Dream, was a sprint champion in Europe while his broodmare sire, El Prado is sire of both Medaglia D'Oro and Kitten's Joy. Another that is in with a good shot at an upset.
6)Fog Of War(3-1) Has made 2 starts this year with the second a significant improvement over his first start. However, he will need to take his class up another level or two to compete against these. His sire, War Front, is leading miler grass sire since the death of Scat Daddy. His dam, Say, a royally bred daughter of Galileo out of G1 SW Riskaverse has yet produced anyone close to either parent. Therefore, I will bet the three I like better and make this one beat me.
Bets: $5 Ex Box 5-7($10), $2 Ex Box 1-5-7($12), $3 Tri Box 1-5-7($18), .50 Super Box 1-5-6-7($12), $1 Super Key 7 with 1-5-6 with 1-5-6 with 1-5-6($6). Total Risk $58.
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11th Race:
8)Captivating Moon(20-1) Made one start this year, finishing third in the prep for this race. Ran against good 3 YOs last year while never quite getting over type. New year and a freshening while giving him more time to mature could definitely be the answer. Two nice works since and he should be ready for the next step forward.
1)Robert Bruce(7-2) Made two starts this year, the first simply an out to get him fit. The second start saw him run 2nd to his stablemate, though he had the post position that tends to struggle compared to his stablemate who got another super trip from a post that tends to get good trips on Belmont inner turf course.
3)Bricks And Mortar(8-5) Is the favorite and deserving so. However, he is due for a not so good trip that will test his ability to overcome adversity that has taken many good runners down a notch or two. He is winding down his career as his breeding rights was sold to Japan and he departs after his last race this year, supposedly the BC Turf. Best U.S turf horse in training until someone knocks him down a notch.
4)Catcho En Die(30-1) Has made three starts this year and clearly been off form. However, he ran 4th in this race last year but was moved up to third via a dq of original third place finisher. Now on his fourth start since returning, including his first against the top two choices in here, I look for him to stick around because this field is similar to last year's field, with two horses dwarfing the others and he comes in not having a hard fought win he was coming off of, like last year.
Bets: $10 WP 8($20), $5 Ex Box 1-8($10), $1 Tri Box 1-3-8($6), .10 Super Box 1-3-4-8($2.40), $1 Super Key 8 with 1-3-4 with 1-3-4 with 1-3-4($6). Total Risk $44.40.
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12th Race:
7)Comic Kitten(15-1) 4 starts this year with 2 seconds. But after a mini break of two months, she was entered in an allowance race that the winner slowed the pace down to a crawl and was able to hold her safe in a final time that was on the pedestrian side for grass especially. She needed two more efforts to recover, including drawing the rail on Saratoga turf course, where winners rarely make an impact from. Now she is working on her third try since that good first effort try and look for her to come alive. She has the same monstrous Sadler's Wells cross as Enable, though thru two different sons and grandsons.
2)Aunt Hattie(20-1) Has made 6 starts this year. Working on her fourth effort since her last winning effort with her last being her best effort, indicating she is regaining top form. One work since that effort should help her to retain her form. Her sire, Camelot, came the closest to sweeping the English TC since Nijinsky turned that hat trick in 1970. Her broodmare sire, Danehill, represent the same sire/dam family cross that has produced many top European G1 winners and champions.
10)Art Of Almost(5-1) 5 starts this year, breaking her maiden in her third start, then a conditioned allowance in her fourth start before finishing 3rd against a good G2 field of older mares, just missing second. 4 good works since that effort should have her in her best form.
3)Lightscameraaction(20-1) 3 starts this year, winning her most recent effort, but with some room for improvement. She showed some promise as a 2 YO and will most likely show more promise as she reaches peak conditioning. 2nd dam, Cross Traffic, was a multiple G1 SW and her best son, Cross Traffic, a son of Unbridled's Song, also won the G1 Whitney H and finished 2nd in the G1 Metropolitan Mile.
Bets: $10 WP 7($20), $5 Ex Box 2-7($10), $1 Tri Box 2-7-10($6), .10 Super Box 2-3-7-10($2.40), $1 Super Box 7 with 2-3-10 with 2-3-10 with 2-3-10($6). Total Risk $44.40.
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By my calculation, I have listed $483 worth of bets I will make at Arlington tomorrow. So my goal this week will be to cash tickets worth around $1500. Anything more will be like gravy on top, and anything less will make me try harder again next weekend.
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All of Saturday's Stakes races at Belmont Park

Saturday June 8, 2019
Belmont Park
Race: 3 (12:47PM EST Post)
Easy Goer
After rattling off 6 straight mostly lopsided wins, Alwaysmining came crashing back down to earth in the Preakness. He appears the best horse in this race but the question is, being 7 for 8 at Laurel and 0 for 5 everywhere else, can he win outside of Laurel?............The speedy Majid is razor sharp right now. Although beating up lesser foes, he has won three straight “on the engine” and looks to be the dominant speed once again in this spot………….Outshine showed zilch in the Wood Memorial last time out after coming within 1 ½ lengths of beating probable Belmont Stakes favorite Tacitus two starts back. The last time I called a Todd Pletcher horse (Vino Rosso) overrated, he promptly went out and won the Gold Cup at Santa Anita, so why not tempt fate again? At 9/5 on the morning line, I think he is being overrated.

Race: 4 (1:22PM EST Post)
Just a Game Stakes
Pound for pound, Rushing Fall is one of the best horses in training today; no how, no way I play against her………………Got Stormy launched an eye catching move to take over the Churchill Downs Turf Distaff at the quarter pole in her last but was run down late by Beau Recall. Also note she finished right behind Rushing Fall in a Grade: 1 two back…logical contender with a better timed ride by “T-Gaf”…………………Beau Recall is in peak form right now while coming from behind to win 3 of her last 4. The closing half mile in her last race (:24.1 and 24.2) of :48.3 was very good and she should be coming late once again here……...Honorable Mentions: Daddy is a Legend always fires her best shot. Although she is just 1 for her last 8, she has hit the board in 8 of 12 in her career…………..Environs is a French invader who was 3 for 6 in her career before breaking slowly in her last. Even with the bad break, she finished within shouting distance of a couple of horses who run back in this race…..long-shot possibility?

Race: 5 (2:01 PM EST Post)
Ogden Phipps Stakes
One of two (Met Mile) sensational races on the card………..I have to stick with Midnight Bisou here. As expected, she seems to be getting better with age. Yes I know, she was in a complete, full out, life or death drive to hold off an oncoming Escape Clause in the Apple Blossom in her last but it must be noted Escape Clause ran the race of her life that day and is no slouch as her 20 for 31 in her career would indicate. The 55 days off since that race and a big work May 28 (5F- :59.4) both are pluses………………Come Dancing is clearly a super talented mare who has taken her game to the next level thus far in 2019. After annihilating her foes in the Distaff at Aqueduct and the Ruffian at Belmont in her last two, she gets a serious tactical advantage as this speedster draws the rail here. This into Mischief mare should come out running at a distance that is well within her scope……………………For the reasons I stated above, the aforementioned Escape Clause looks best of the rest.

Race: 6 (2:41 PM EST Post)
Jaipur Invitational
I feel the same way about World of Trouble as I do about Rushing Fall. He is quietly one of the “fastest” horses currently in training. Unbeaten this year, 8 for 12 in his career and super versatile as he can win from on or off the pace and on dirt or grass. No how, no way I play against him as he looks to be one of, if not the, best bets of the day……………………….Albeit age might be starting to take its toll on the veteran, almost white Disco Partner, he still must be respected until we know that for sure. The seven year old gelding in 0 for 3 this year and did not look good last time out. That said, 9 of his 11 career wins have come on the Belmont “weeds” and a return to what is obviously his most favorite surface and distance (10-6-3-0 at 6F), could wake him up…………………Play “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” with the rest of them as several have a good chance to grab the “show dough”. They include Belvoir Bay, who is in career form right now, Dirty, who took advantage of a ridiculously fast early fractions to beat lesser at Laurel last time out and do not, do not, do not go to sleep on 30-1 shot Diamond Oops, who ran very well in his turf debut while finishing third in a quickly run race. If that’s not enough for you, note the huge rider upgrade/change. I implore you to “watch the board” carefully on this horse.

Race: 7 (3:22 PM EST Post)
Acorn Stakes
Serengeti Empress is the 2019 upset (13-1) winner of the Kentucky Oaks who has speed and draws the rail, which is often a lethal combination. Filly by Alternation has a habit of running “off the screen” but also shows a handful of races where she‘s been beaten by a country mile. She looks best in here but I wouldn’t say she is a mortal lock…………………………I say she doesn’t look like a mortal lock because Guarana could not have looked any better in her debut. Good looking filly, by the wickedly fast Ghostzapper, blew the gate to smithereens in her sloppy tracked debut, opened up eight on the field on the turn and cruised home by a colossal (almost 15 lengths) margin all while scoring a 93 speed figure. Moreover, she came home the last furlong in a solid :06.2 while she was basically in a hammerlock by rider Jose Ortiz, so she could be any kind. Before you run out and bet the mortgage on her, remember she’ll have to go a quarter of a mile further here, is jumping from maidens to a Grade:1 and will most likely get a fast track, three vastly different challenges for her. By the way, does this filly’s situation sound familiar? Another remember Hidden Scroll’s debut? …and we know how he turned out…………………………….Cookie Dough has good speed and shortens up to her optimal distance. Logical contender cutting back to a mile (where she ran the best speed figure of her career), she has hit the board in 7 of 8 tries and “JCC” sees fit to take the mount……………….Honorable Mentions: Ce Ce is intriguing. She came from behind to win her debut, and then ran far and away the highest speed figure (97) of anyone in this field while just missing vs. optionals at Santa Anita. But like Guarana, she takes an enormous step up in class, stretches out and had to ship across the country for this…………….I’m not quite understanding the odds on Queen of Beas (12-1) and Bell’s the One (20-1), who finished within 1 ½ lengths of each other last time out. Both have had excellent starts to their careers and, with both being late runners, they should appreciate the stretch out in distance. Either or both could be a long shot menaces.

Race: 8 (4:04PM EST Post)
Woody Stephens Stakes
Mind Control is having one heck of year while winning two of three (Stakes) races and beating the vaunted Instagrand. He is 2 for 2 at this distance and trainer Greg Sacco has been “beaming” all week long………………………Nitrous presents excellent value at 10-1 as he has come back much improved from last year. This son of Tapit looked sensational while coming “over the top” to win the Bachelor at Oaklawn in his last. Note the speed figures through his last five races (61, 69, 78, 82 and 92) as well………………Complexity makes his long awaited return to the races here. Good looking colt from the Chad Brown barn won the prestigious Champagne Stakes last fall in just his second career start. If that doesn’t signal talent, I’m not sure what does. Anyway, although he’s been training lights out at the notoriously deep Oklahoma Training Track at Saratoga, I’m inclined to think he’ll “need one” before running his best. ………….Honorable Mentions: Honest Mischief finished second in his debut before blowing the doors of a maiden field at Keeneland last time out. Handsome son of Into Mischief was visually impressive winning by “ocho” and scoring a titanic 97 speed figure. Take a huge step up in class but he draws the rail and we know he has speed………………If Wendell Frog duplicates his Gold Feveprep race win last time out in this spot, he could be a force………………After all the route races trying to get Hog Street Hustle to the Kentucky Derby, his connections now cut him back to what very well could be his best game (sprinting) as he is 3-2-1-0 in sprints……………Watch the board on Lexitonian also, who is showing me signs of sitting on a big (long shot) race in his third start off a layoff.

Race: 9 (4:46 PM EST Post)
Met Mile
I would have to go back a long way to remember a race this competitive. Sorry Belmont Stakes fans but this race is far and away the best on the entire card:
This race is so deep I’m not sure I’d bet it with your money. However, if I did I’d have to take McKinzie for three reasons. One, he ran the best race of his life last time out and he could use that race to “springboard” to even bigger things. Two, trainer Bob Baffert said he is “doing really, really well” right now…gotta listen to Bob now and again. Three, this distance is “right” in his wheelhouse………………..Mitole has been nothing short of phenomenal for a little over a year now. He took down his first of what I’m sure will be many Grade:1s last time out. Colt by Eskendraya can absolutely run like a deer and can beat you from on or off the pace, making his doubly tough. I have zero concerns about him stretching to mile here as the way he finishes his races scream “I can handle more ground”…………………….If you look up “Horse for the Course” in the dictionary, you will see a picture of Firenze Fire. I mean, does he love this oval or what? He is 3 for 3 in his career over it and his last two efforts were “off the charts” good. They include winning the Dwyer by 9, while getting a mile in 1:33.3 and scoring a 107 BSF and winning the Run Happy by almost 5, getting 6F in 1:08 flat and scoring a 106 BSF. Stats like that makes me dizzy……………Honorable Mentions: You know this is ridiculously tough horse race when I have to put Coal Front, who has good speed if necessary, the rail and has won 7 of 9 starts, including the Godolphin Mile last time out on the other side of the world, and Thunder Snow, who is the only horse in history to win back to back $10 million Dubai World Cups and has run huge in his one and only try on this surface, this far down……………………Prince Lucky probably didn’t care for the mud last timeout as his prior two races were first rate, “trips” speed figure, wins………………Promises Fulfilled is the “speed of the speed” and will be in front as far as he goes. I just think a mile is a little past his best game (sprinting).

Race: 10 (5:36PM EST Post)
Manhattan Stakes
Halfway through the season, Bricks and Mortar is clearly your Older Male Turf Division leader based off of his 3 for 3 record that include a pair of Grade:1 wins. Although this is a very deep field, I expect that trend to continue…………………Olympico overcame quite a bit in winning his U.S debut on May 4 including shipping over from France, having not run in almost 6 months, a bad start, a slow pace and a soft turf course. Yet through all that, this gray gelding was pulling away impressively down the lane that day…………………Robert Bruce, a winner of 8 of 12 in his career including the Arlington Million, probably needed his 2019 debut. The good looking now 5 year old surged to the lead at the top of the stretch in the Fort Marcy but understandably tired down the lane. He should be tighter for this…………………….Honorable Mentions: Qurbaan has been on the board in 14 of 19 turf races and was “right” behind Bricks and Mortar last time out……………………..I hate to put Raging Bull this far down, especially at 10-1 on the morning line. This handsome colt possesses a good late run, is already a Grade: 1 winner, is 5 for 9 in his career and you get the third start off the layoff angle. Bottom line here is he will be in my exotics plays for sure…………………Channel Maker looked good in pulling off the 7-1 upset in the Grade; 1 Man o’ War in his last, but he does have some consistency issues.

Race: 11 (6:37 PM EST Post)
Belmont Stakes

Analysis by Post-Position order, selections below

PP#1- Joevia- has run admirably in Stakes races up and down the East Coast but was drilled in his one and only start in a Graded Stakes race. He’s a nice colt and he has worked well of late, but he looks overmatched.

PP#2- Everfast- after the three straight abysmal performances, this son of Take Charge Indy came with an enormous late run to grab second in the Preakness at almost 30-1 three weeks ago. Does he build off of that effort or go back to his 1 for 11 struggling career? I say he goes back to struggling.

PP#3- Master Fencer- gave his home country of Japan quite a thrill when rallying from dead last to only be beaten by 4 lengths in the Kentucky Derby while way outrunning his almost 60-1 odds that day. So, where does this “masked,” dark horse go from here? He’s worked ok since the Derby and it doesn’t appear the 12 furlongs will be a problem for him. I say he might run big again but he won’t be 60-1 this time.

PP#4- Tax- after running very well in the Remsen, Withers and Wood Memorial, this colt showed nothing in the Derby either. Then again, lots of horses over the years have disappointed in the Derby but have come back to run well. That might be the case here for this gelding but, from what I’m gathering, he has not had a good last few days leading up to this race. If you play him, proceed with caution.

PP#5- Bourbon War- after a huge late run to finish second in the Fountain of Youth, this colt disappointed in the Florida Derby and Preakness. The addition of blinkers did nothing for him and he goes back to running without them in this spot. This very well bred colt (by Tapit out of Grade: 1 winner My Conquestadory) looks to have cycled out of form to me. If you are looking to play him, I suppose Mike Smith taking the leg up could be a good reason.

PP#6- Spinoff- is still another well bred colt (by Hard Spun out of Grade;1 winner Zaftig) who ran very well in his first four starts but did “nada” in the Derby. He probably needs to run the race of his life to be a contender here and he doesn’t look ready to do that just yet.

PP#7- Sir Winston- was charging hard, late in a sizzling fast Peter Pan Stakes, the perennial prep race for Belmont, last time out. By my calculation, this son of Awesome Again ran the last five furlongs of the Peter Pan in a turbo charged :58.4, which of course is super impressive. The problem I’m seeing is he hasn’t run a race in his entire nine race career that even comes close to that, so exactly where did that race come from? Whenever I have to ask myself that, it gets me thinking “bounce”.

PP#8- Intrepid Heart- is a $750,000 son of super sire Tapit who looked good winning his first two career races. But this gray colt missed the break in the Peter Pan and was clearly tiring in deep stretch in his next and last start. Can he win the Belmont Stakes in just his fourth career start? Unlikely… and also, what’s up with when a reporter ask trainer Todd Pletcher why he was entering this horse, Pletcher said: “Well, he’s bred for the distance” …that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement to me.

PP#9- War of Will- after the whole Kentucky Derby debacle, this colt came back strong, with a perfect trip, to win the Preakness impressively. He’ll be the only horse in his crop to run in all three Triple Crown races, and with a win on Saturday he’ll take over as the pro-tem three year old male division leader. I’ve watched him train, he appears to be doing very well and most likely sitting on yet another big race. Obviously a major player here.

PP#10- Tacitus- is there another horse, including War of Will, doing any better than this gorgeous gray colt is doing right now? Hardly….The last three efforts from this brilliantly bred colt (by Tapit out of 5 time Grade: 1 winner Close Hatches) include wins in the Tampa Bay Derby, The Wood Memorial (where yours truly was front and center) and then rallied from 16th position to fourth (but put up to third) beaten less than four lengths in the Kentucky Derby while clearly not liking the mud being kicked in his face. His last two works (May 26- 5F- 1:00 flat and June 2- 5F- 1:00.2) were far, far better than they look on paper. As I watched him this train this week, everything I saw signaled to me, his competition better have their “running shoes” on if they are going to beat him.

Selections:
1) Tacitus
2) War of Will
3) Master Fencer
Honorable Mentions:
Tax

Race: 13 (8PM EST Post)
Brooklyn Invitational

You’re to Blame turned the corner in his career last summer as he’s rattled off 5 straight huge efforts, including absolutely flying low down the stretch of the Grade:3 Pimlico Special last time out. Super consistent BSFs and he likes this track………………Rocketry ended last year win back to back Stakes wins and “trips” speed figures. With this being his third start off the layoff and the results of his last two races, this 5 year old by the gorgeous Hard Spun looks set up perfectly for a big race………………………..If you draw a line through Campaign’s race in the Santa Anita Handicap (overmatched), you’ll see that race is sandwiched by two very nice wins including one at this very (marathon) distance……………………Honorable Mentions: Coming into this off of back to back wins, it appears Marconi, a $2 million son of Tapit, is beginning to figure it all out. Not crazy about him drawing the rail but at 12 furlongs it should give his very capable rider a chance to figure things out…………………….Although Sonneteer is just 3 for 25 in his career, you can’t help but to notice his Herculean win when stretch out to 12 furlongs for the first time in his last. That was certainly a signal he loves the distance, now, is he fast enough?………….War Story can pop a big race now and again but he hasn’t won a horse race of any kind in just about 15 months now.

By: Gerard Apadula
Director of Equine Operations and Development
Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team

[[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])

2019- Record: 28-91 = 31%
2018- Record: 107-261= 41%
2017- Record: 92-235 = 39%
2016- Record: 91-229 = 40%
2015- Record: 67-180 = 37%
2014- Record: 29-73 = 40%
2013- Record: 20-59= 34%
2012 -Record: 24-73= 33%
2011 –Record: N/A
2010- Record: 24-74= 33%
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Superfecta Wager How To Learn Odds And Win BEST Horse Racing Trifecta Strategy To Consistently Get Huge Payouts Part 1 Make Money by betting the Show Parlay! Low Budget Exacta Strategy

The 2019 Kentucky Derby begins on Saturday, May 4 at 6:50 p.m. ET on NBC. Here is all of our betting coverage for the most exciting two minutes in sports, including full odds, expert picks, longshots, exotics and more. Live betting lets you wager while the game is going on, for instance to bet on who will score next. However, parlays (more than one bet on a ticket) have a separate betting calculator for more intricate wagers, which allows you to input the odds for each leg of your parlay to quickly calculate the payout of your bet. Bet Calculator - Calculate your betting odds [ ODDS CALCULATOR WIDGET ] Whether you are new to the world of betting or somewhat of an old hand when it comes to having a flutter every now and again, you will undoubtedly be aware of the sheer range of options at bookmakers like Betfair and Paddy Power when it comes to placing a bet. Shared Sense was an impressive winner of the Indiana Derby (G3) on July 8, while Dean Martini pulled a 14-1 upset last time in winning the Ohio Derby (G3) on June 27. As a Kentucky Derby qualifying race, the full field of 12 will be after a scale of 50-20-10-5 points available for the top four finishers on Sunday at Ellis Park. Kentucky Derby Betting Online. With $165,500,000 wagered on the Kentucky Derby last year, it remains a hugely popular betting event. Gambling is only legalized in certain states in the USA, however US bettors can enjoy online Derby betting in:

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Superfecta Wager

TVG announcer wins big Kentucky Derby bet. Insane reaction shown on-air. - Duration: 4:43. TVG Network 643,415 views. 4:43. Inside The Mind Of A Horseplayer - John Doyle - Duration: 14:38. Kentucky Derby 2018 Best Bets video picks: Predicting the superfecta finish - Duration: 1:47. PennLive.com 34,442 views Horse Player NOW's Joe Kristufek teaches the Exacta partial wheel, or "with" bet to a group of engaged fans in the Arlington's Park Pavilion. In this video series we show you our horse racing betting system featuring trifectas. Watch us as we play a day of races at Keeneland trying to win a huge trifecta! This is for informational and ... Parlays and the Parlay Calculator on Odds ... Odds Coach 33,258 views. 4:43. Betting on sports is a full-time job for this N ... TVG announcer wins big Kentucky Derby bet. Insane reaction shown on ...