Sean. Sean. Sean. Repeat after me…

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Derby Time. Twenty runners. So many choices. So many angles. So many opinions.

Sean. Sean. Sean. Repeat after me…

I won’t listen to professional handicappers. I won’t follow the Beyers. I won’t listen to Mike Penna, Kurt Becker or Chad Summers. I will consider what Jude Feld says, if I can find him. I will listen to Ron Anderson. I will listen to Clocker Bryan if he’d text me back. I will consider what Matt “Dirt” O’Neil says. I won’t consider what Matt “Turf” Coleman says. I will listen to Tom Law but won’t bet his opinion.

Sean. Sean. Sean. Repeat after me…

I won’t ask grocery clerks, the woman behind the counter at Wagner’s or the valet parker at the Galt House. I will listen when Dad tells me a horse doesn’t look right on TV. I won’t read the picks in the Daily Racing Form. If there is better value in the maiden at Virginia Gold Cup than the Derby, I will bet more in the former than the latter.

Sean. Sean. Sean. Repeat after me…

I will remember that I had strong opinions last year and only tepid ones this year and bet accordingly. I will believe in myself. I will believe in what my eyes have seen. I will go with my gut, not my heart – knowing how close they are together. I won’t bet the good story. I will bet the good horse. I will not be swayed, swooned or submarined by comets, cupids or cash. I will walk with the horses – knowing I can’t change my bet – and be OK with that.

Sean. Sean. Sean. Repeat after me…

It’s not about the preps. It’s about the horses. I will construct my ticket hours before post time. I will look at it. I will study it. I will remember that last year the Churchill Downs wi-fi kicked me off line when I punched ‘Submit Bet’ for my superfecta. I won’t forget my numbers when I log in again. I won’t be cheap. But I will be prudent.

Sean. Sean. Sean. Repeat after me…

I will remember not to yell for my horse on an open HRRN microphone. I will not drop the microphone and hug Jenn Patterson like I did last year. I will not buy a round of drinks for the entire bar like I did last year, but I will buy a round of drinks (or five) for my friends. If I lose, I won’t let it ruin my Derby. If I win, I won’t let it define my Derby.

Sean. Sean. Sean. Repeat after me..

If I lose, I won’t curse. If I win, I won’t gloat. If I win – despite what Tim Keefe advises – I will tell my wife.

Sean. Sean. Sean. Repeat after me…