To My Old Kentucky Home, Goodnight
May 3, 2008
Since, at this point, the typical fan of Yesterday’s Salad can be best characterized as a Jessica Rabbit-enthused-celebrant of AGS games, today’s post will either come as a welcome surprise or a nuisance. For today Dash puts away his microfilm induced malaise and offers a bit of commentary on that greatest of American festivities: the Kentucky Derby. This is hardly our first horse racing post; just check out this article from JUNE 2006. Yet this is our first horse racing article in quite some time, and the first since I decided to make a concerted effort at analyzing everything using a terrible combination of post-structuralist literary techniques and regression analyses, so it may appear quite terrifying to those who are new readers, and maybe even uncanny, umheimlich to those who have been with us for sometime. After all, Freud defines the uncanny as being so disturbing precisely because it’s so close to us.
Also, on a much sadder note, before we embark on the telepoeisis, I need to pause to dedicate this to the memory of an older friend. Mr. Gocool was the security guard at my dorm my freshmen and sophomore year of college. He was impossibly kind and warm. He loved students and cared about everyone. He was also a great fan of the races, and the two of us spent long hours strategizing our picks. Rather, he hounded me to make picks and then he’d bet what I told him. Together we made some nice money on Funny Cide and Smarty Jones. I don’t stop to think about Mr. Gocool that much, and I’m glad the races came to remind me of such a great man.
Now to the analysis: first, Beyer Speed Figures are without question the best way to pick a winner. This is why Beyer, “lives like a Czar in an ice palace made of frozen sighs, and being a president of a temperance society, he only drinks the tepid tears of orphans.” This good op-ed from Mr. Beyer introduces the metric well while also pointing out its limitations. It’s not a be-all and end all. While a horse needs to recorded at least one 100+ race (see this chart), it doesn’t need to have consistently run at that speed, nor does it need to have recorded the fastest figure. All it needs is the potential. So, this year, that probably rules out Tale of Ekati who, despite winning the Wood Memorial, a major indicator, has never run a 100+ race. Court Vision looks like a nice horse, but hasn’t won in 6 months. This year’s biggest Beyer contenders are: Big Brown (3-1), Colonel John (4-1), Pyro (6-1), Eight Belles (20-1), and Gayego (15-1). Personally, my heart is with Gayego who has never finished lower than second and just won the Arkansas derby. Plus, those are nice odds to make some cash. But what does our literary analysis tell us about these horses?
Gayego: according to google scholar, Gayego is an excellent scholar of the Israeli economy. Winner of the Arkansas Derby and a major economist? Cheers!
Pyro: Since he was frozen by Iceman at the end of X3: The Last Stand, little has been heard of him. However will they retcon this one if he wins?
Eight Belles: clever, but a little too clever.
Colonel John: no doubt named for the founder of Ottawa. That alone disqualifies him.
And Big Brown: too generic to ever make it in the age of McLuhanism. There you have it, Gayego is our official pick.