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One horse ran 30 yards farther than another horse. One of them got a good ride. One of them didn't. One of them was backing up at the end. One of them was surging forward at the end. After running more than a mile, one inch separated them at the finish.

The reason why you lost is in here somewhere.

Here is a list of excuses unique to horse racing.

-- The trainer is a crook
-- Rotten luck
-- Couldn't focus because of stress at home
-- Stress at work
-- Stress with the economy
-- Stress with the NFL picks
-- The Beyer number was too high
-- Couldn't win enough money to make a difference
-- The jockey was on something
-- Had one beer too many
-- A guy going through the garbage for tickets liked the one I liked
-- Late money got me
-- The Beyer number was too low
-- Off track
-- Surface change
-- Betting machine barely worked
-- Didn't have enough time
-- The idiot TV picker finally hit one
-- People who had $2 to place on the favorite jumped up and down screaming and beat me out of a long shot
-- New teller
-- Couldn't see their legs on the post parade on TV
-- The Fix was in
-- The connections in the paddock were unkempt
-- Didn't bring enough money
-- Hidden workouts
-- Unlucky song on the radio
-- Unlucky clothes, pens, seat, and parking place
-- Waitress interrupts momentum
-- The Beyer number was too mediocre
-- The one I liked wasn't bet enough
-- Brought too much money
-- Got the wrong ticket
-- Overheard inside information that didn't pan out
-- Couldn't quit on a win
-- Couldn't quit on a loss
-- Couldn't quit breaking even
-- Too quiet and boring with home betting on the computer
-- Bad post
-- Bad start
-- Bad nachos
-- Bad drunks
-- Bad vibes
-- Bad mood
-- The obvious play had to win sometime
-- The regulars are too depressing
-- Favorite teller running ice cold
-- Guy writing at ESPN.com talked me out of a "value" play that won at 100-1

Write to Jay at jaycronley@yahoo.com.