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Saturday, May 5, 2012


-Happy DERBY DAY! 

-Softball @ St. John

-Golf gets honors but NCAA snub

-Derby preview and picks

-Oaks recap

First off...HAPPY DERBY DAY Cardinal Couple readers! It's been a newsworthy lead up to the first Saturday in May so far. We've had Cyndi Lauper dropping "f-bombs" at the Pegasus Parade, jockey Robby Albarado beating up his girlfriend, the Infield at Churchill Downs evacuated because of potential impending weather and a female jockey named Rosie coming thru on "Pink Day" at the Downs and besting the boys by winning the "Lillies for the Fillies" Kentucky OAKS. 

With the storms that rolled through Louisville from midnight to 6 a.m. Saturday morning, chances are we'll see a muddy or sloppy track for the 138th. Kentucky Derby. Adding further confusion to one of the most evenly matched and hard-to-select-a-winner fields in recent memory. 

Throw in Cinco de Mayo celebrations and you have a recipe for a wild Saturday in Louisville. Jump in, sit down, strap up and hold we go with Derby de Mayo...Cinco Churchill or Slosh for the Corona's.   


Cardinal softball takes on St. John's for two today in the final regular season series in the BIG EAST. It's do or die time for Sandy Pearsall's sluggers. Win and you're in the #1 seed for the BIG EAST Tournament and the regular season champs. 

Louisville was picked to finish fourth in the pre-season BIG EAST Coaches Poll. Tori Collins and crew didn't buy into that and their fate now is basically in their own hands...playing three against a St John's team that will most likely grab the #6 seed in the BIG EAST tournament and is hoping to finish over .500 in BIG EAST play by upsetting the Cardinals.

Two today, one tomorrow. We'll have a post double-header report in Sunday's CARDINAL COUPLE. 


Three UofL women's golf team members have been named to the All-BIG EAST team. Senior Anna-Karin Ljungstrom
and freshmen Katie Petrino and Emily Haas get the honors. 

Anna graduates with
three NCAA appearances
in four years of
Cardinal golf
Not so good news for the squad about a continuation of the season, they were not selected to participate in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. 72 teams will play at three different regional sites...but Louisville won't be one of them. First time in four years the Cards haven't been selected. 
Would "Happy Gilmore" Adam
Sandler put some "punch" into
Uofl women's golf? 

WE have to wonder if the recent UofL decision not to renew  Coach K's contract had anything to do with the NCAA snub. The Cards were squarely on the bubble for getting selected...two BIG EAST teams did get invites...Notre Dame and South Florida. They were the top two finishers in the BIG EAST Tournament...Louisville was third. 

Katie has three more
years to drive and putt.
Hate to see Anna-Karin go out without a chance to play in golf's "Sweet 72" her final year. Good news is that with two freshmen on the all-BIG EAST team, the Cards could have steadily improving squads the next three years. Whoever the coach is. Wonder what Adam Sandler is doing these days?

Golf, like some of the other "non-revenue" sports at all major universities, doesn't get nearly the coverage that college football or hoops does...but WE continue to be amazed at how these college athletes shoot consistently in the 70's. As former "duffers" who found cause to celebrate if we shot under "the century mark." 

We're watching and cheering, ladies. Straight drives and close chips next season.


A Derby betting tip...if Asher likes
it, stay away from it. 
Here we go...we've crunched the Beyer's figures, allowed for rain and post-positioning, thrown innumerable darts at the board to get exacta and trifecta numbers and we've had the Chimp Selection Committee sequestered away for the last 24 hours...eating banana pudding, listening non-stop to John Asher Derby talks and determining the top four finishers for the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby. All selections are for entertainment purposes only, of course. If you wager, please do so responsibly. Or, be like the chimps and just go by horse names...


I hope that Butch Lehr and the grounds crew guys can perform their usual magic on the Churchill dirt...because that's the way I'm  picking this one. Fast track. 

DULLAHAN is my top choice. He's coming off a career best effort. He'll only get better.BODEMEISTER wowed them in his final drill and previous race. He falls just short today. UNION RAGS may have had excuses in his last...but he's a quality horse and a big old galoot to boot. He stays on for third today. HANSEN will contest the early pace and could be the leader with a furlong left...but speed kills today and he fills out the superfecta.


The "forget about the favorites" worked well for me yesterday in the OAKS -- so I'm going right back there again today. WENT THE DAY WELL gets last year's Derby winner Johnny Velasquez on board and he's been wowing them on the backside at Churchill. Wins at a nice price. HANSEN has the heart of a champion and he'll be there at the end...just short, I fear. I truly love "Big Whitey" and wouldn't mind one bit if he gets the garland of roses. TAKE CHARGE INDY is a very "live" longshot and gets Churchill legend Calvin Borel in the saddle. He'll pick up the pieces for third. GEMOLOGIST has never lost a race. Picking him fourth may be a mistake on my part, but that's where I have him.

CARDINAL COUPLE staff columnist JENNY gives us a Dullahan/Hansen exacta box as her Derby play. 

Our very special correspondent DAVID WATSON is sticking with his picks from last week. HE goes Optimizer, Gemologist, I'll Have Another and Done talking. MARK the COMMISH had his top pick from last week scratched in Mark Valeski. His next three were Sabercat, Daddy Long Legs and Creative Cause. 

Other races to watch this Derby Day:

Race 3. I like GOLDEN TICKET in this spot. Sonja agrees but is also looking at Z DAGER.

Race 5. I hestitate giving best bets after yesterday's fiasco with Plum Pretty...but MACHO MACHO certainly looks unbeatable in these conditions. Also consider BIG BLUE NATION ( for racing purposes only...we don't want any of you converting to "Cal")

Race 6. BRIDGETOWN returns to the track after a layoff and if he's fit and ready he's the best here. Sonja counters with CHAMBERLAIN BRIDGE

Race 7. I absolutely love SHACKELFORD and he'll appreciate the extra distance today. Sonja agrees.

Race 10. TURALURE could be a "single" for me in the Races 10-12 Pick 3. He's that good and looked great last time out. Sonja counters with GET STORMY, who won this race last year on Derby Day. 

(The Derby is RACE 11)

Race 12. MANN drops a little in class today and that should get him to the winner's circle. Sonja agrees but will also have GOODTIMEHADBYALL, who seems to love returning to Churchill.


Here's a link to Jill Byrne's Selections. She a pretty astute handicapper. 



Finally, a great time had by all watching Oaks Day racing over at Churchill's simulcasting facility TRACKSIDE. We had an all-star cast of friends and handicappers with us in Tommy Boy, Norma, Brother Ron and UK football legend Doug Van Meter. 

Doug Van Meter (right) played for UK as a
defensive end in the sixties...
WE gave you some pretty nice winners as well if you played our choices yesterday. The third race exacta of YOUNG AND LOVELY and ICE CREAM SILENCE paid $42 on a $2 box. OK, PLUM PRETTY, our best bet of the day was third. It happens. (Thanks for the e-mails on that one, readers...) 

GOOD DEED ran second in the seventh and got you $6.60 back 'across the board'. STEPHANIE KITTEN won the eighth and was a $9.80 win payout. SILVER MAX wired them in the tenth and a $2 win wager brought you $24.40 from the teller. 

Then the OAKS. 

Sonja called it with BELIEVE YOU CAN with 'Rosie Nap' on board. A $2 across the board venture was worth $46.80. With her profits from earlier, she and Tommy Boy also have a #9 / ALL Oaks-Derby Double wager alive. They win, no matter who wins the Derby.

And, although we didn't give it to you...Paul and Tommy Boy hit the late Pick 3. That .50 cent wheel got them back $328. 

Hope the good fortune continues today. 



  1. Hey guys, if this rain keeps up, put the entire farm on Union Rags. Loves the mud and sloppy going.

    -Joe Hill

  2. Nice payout Sonja!!!

    1. I got a nice price. It sure looked like Bodemeister was there...but what a run by I'll Have Another was spectacular at the end. California rules this year. Paid better, that is fine. It just looked like it was going to happen for "Bode", Mike Smith and Bob Baffert.


    2. And, Paul ran second and third. Also, if anyone wants to check Card Game....Paul gave you a $34 winner as one of his longshots.

      (We always give Card Game good stuff)



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