In 1989, Richard Dreyfuss and David Johansen co-starred in the cult classic racetrack movie “Let It Ride”, where main character Jay Trotter cashes every bet he places over the course of one afternoon, running his bankroll from 50 dollars to over 500 thousand dollars. Trotter’s best friend “Looney”, played by David Johansen, refuses to make good decisions throughout the film, eventually tapping out by betting $500 on the Packers with his bookie. They lose 75-10.
Two years prior to his Let It Ride appearance, David Johansen recorded the dance song “Hot Hot Hot” under his alter ego Buster Poindexter. If you were in college in the late 1980’s as I was, you heard the song often in the local college hangouts and on MTV. Although you may not have heard it in the last 15-20 years, it never quite leaves your memory in the right circumstance!
This was the song that popped into my head as I watched the horse “Hot Hot Heat”, a 40-1 outsider suddenly widen his lead as they turned for home in Keeneland’s Race 6 and sprint to the wire, causing a huge upset in the Road to Kentucky contest. I was fortunate to have selected Hot Hot Heat in this race; he was a second time starter who debuted for trainer Al Stall Jr. in a Fair Grounds turf sprint and didn’t show much. But he had been freshened for three months and the son of Pulpit had posted a sharp workout at Churchill Downs 10 days earlier. Second time starters can improve dramatically sometimes, especially with the layoff and surface switch. Realistically he was a 10-1 or 15-1 shot on paper, but he drifted up to 40-1 and won the race. Occasionally these horses do win!
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take advantage of selecting that winner as I was pretty mediocre the rest of the day and finished with 1,340 points. That won’t be nearly good enough. The maximum points available were 3,654 points due to two other longshot winners that were worth over 500 contest points each. I have to believe somebody will eclipse the 2,000 point mark this week. Congratulations if you selected Hot Hot Heat this week and were able to find some of the other price horses throughout the card!
If only “Looney” had been at Keeneland on Saturday channeling his inner Buster Poindexter. He could have gotten it all back. Let it ride…
The Lexington Stakes was pretty uneventful with 2-1 Mr. Speaker winning it, and none of the runners under consideration for the Kentucky Derby. But there was some other news from Saturday as Cairo Prince was unfortunately declared from the Kentucky Derby with an ankle injury. Next week we move to Churchill Downs for a twilight contest card featuring the Derby Trial. Hope to see you here!