Sara Dacus: Breeders’ Cup Magic Bottle Picks


Sara Dacus

Sara Dacus

I was chasing a horse through the wormholes of the Internet when I landed on the Post Parade blog. The author is a champion of horse racing and Lone Star Park. She is witty. She is knowledgeable. And she conducts an experiment I’ve been burning to try: The Magic Beer Bottle of the Breeders’ Cup. This is my year.

The Breeders’ Cup—held this Friday and Saturday—is horse racing’s end-of-the-year championships. These thirteen races showcase diverse strengths in horses:  contest specifications vary in length, surface, age and gender. Breeders’ Cup races award a combined total of $26.5 million. The richest race—and the most lucrative in the country—is the $5,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Classic. No race is worth less than $1,000,000.

In the Magic Beer Bottle exercise, the experimenter carefully and painstakingly picks horses for each of the championship races. The Magic Beer Bottle spins on top of a hand-written pie chart with post positions one through 14 numbered on the slices and selects horses when it stops moving.

Because I am not a beer drinker, I have chosen a bottle of Mountain Valley Sparkling Water for this trial. Bottled in Oaklawn’s home of Hot Springs, it is—according to advertisements—the water of Triple Crown winners and presidents, so it seemed fitting for this trial.

breeders' cup

I will place a $2 win/place/show bet on all of our selections. Can I beat the bottle? It remains to be seen.

Because I am loyal and sentimental, I will also play the horses who have raced at Oaklawn: Carve and Tapiture in the Dirt Mile, Close Hatches and Don’t Tell Sophia in the Distaff and Secret Circle in the Sprint. Take Charge Brandi, owned by Willis Horton of Marshall, is entered in the Juvenile Fillies. Horton said she will race at Oaklawn in 2015.

All Breeders’ Cup races will be televised on NBCSN until the Classic, and then coverage will switch to NBC.

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