Belmont Q&A from the e-mail circuit

Relaxing, isn't it, the Belmont, compared to the first two; unless you're one of the horses running the equivalent of around the reservoir in Central Park that stretches form 86th to 96th, and extends sideways from 5th Avenue to Central Park West.

From the e-mail circuit:

Question: Would the filly have won this race?

Answer: Since she's not running, no.

It will be educational to see if she will again be as good as she was in Maryland.

Q: Why are so many so-called experts in love with horses that figure to be so far back?

A: Obviously they don't think much of the best speed in the race, Charitable Man, who will take the lead and push it as far as he is able.

The pubs are usually filled with victims of the obvious.

It looks like the "All" button will be pushed silly.

Q: How do you get to be a national horse picker?

A: First, you read. Reading everything Evan Hunter and Donald E. Westlake have written is the equivalent of a Masters in Lit. Evan Hunter also wrote as Ed McBain. Both are dead unfortunately. But their words are haunting in a great way.

Next, write some books.

Then get them published.

Horse racing attracts literature, it's all the emotion.

Once you have figured out how to write, then you have to pick some winners.

Also, get to know somebody important.

Q: What's up with the TV coverage of horse racing?

A: Quite a few guys in fancy suits, aren't there.

The blimp shot showing how riders drive horses is the best sports shot going.

More picks made earlier would be much appreciated so viewers can adjust their tickets based on experts on lousy streaks.

On the whole, horse race coverage on TV is better than other sports because nobody knows enough to be a homer.

Q: Would you please send me an autographed hardback copy of your novel "Good Vibes" that was made into the movie Let It Ride?

A: Probably not.

One rare book site listed a hardback in good condition for sale for $1,200.

Hardbacks in good condition routinely go for $400.

My ex-wife has four hardbacks in fine shape, I have one crumpled paperback.

Small printings sometimes result in hidden treasure.

Q: What's the state of horse racing today?

A: The Hollywood Casino in the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country pretty much sums it up: Tracks like Penn National that are hooked to slots or casinos have it made.

Tracks standing alone have had it.

Q: You've screwed up quite a few artificial surface races this spring. Have you come up with anything yet?

A: Yes. And thanks for asking.

I will play no more horses going from fake to real. Once. Ever. Never.

Q: Do you always bet what you pick in print?

A: Nobody is lower than somebody who gives out losers and still claims to win.

I always play exactly what I pick: Dunkirk, Charitable Man, the big Bird and Zito's Brave Victory. The first two seem similar. A friend just said Love Guv is worth a long shot look.

Q: What's your best advice for this race?

A: Same as always, don't let a number -- the odds -- chase you off a bet; onto a bet, it's your money.

Q: How do you stop a losing streak?

A: Handicap a race.

Don't bet.

Look what you saved.

Write to Jay at jaycronley@yahoo.com.