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Bring on the luck

Somebody unfamiliar with the layout will play a good horse in an outside post position and will lose. The horse will not have enough speed to get out and over and will be shuffled to the back of the pack. The Keeneland dirt and grass courses have some starting points nearer the first turn than you might expect, and finishing lines after a short run from the turn from home. Knowing the Keeneland territory is important. Not being familiar with the layout makes picking winners harder than is normally the case, which is extremely difficult.

Somebody will play speed in a race with too much of that in it, and lose all but their last 50 bucks.

Somebody will play the best closer in a race that is run too slowly and will lose their last $50.

Nobody coming off a layoff will do anything. There are lots of fine horses that have been off since around the first of September in this Breeder's Cup. What does a seven-week layoff mean? You will lose all the layoffs you play until you stop playing them; and the next one will emerge victorious and will pay $50.

However you play the European horses will be the wrong way. They'll send you to the ATM machine after the first race Friday.

You'll lose a photo.

You'll miss a gigantic exotic payoff by one horse.

Don't worry. You won't be alone. All horse players are about to embark on the most difficult journey in all handicapping: the Breeder's Cup gauntlet.

Keeno sounds easier.

The Breeder's Cup features 13 evenly matched horse races, four Friday, the rest Saturday. It's the evenly matched part that makes the task of looking for winners so difficult, because even though the losers pay the winners in the pari-mutuel form of gambling, you never get as much as you deserve after picking a winner from a gate full of near-equals.

The advanced weather forecast for Lexington, Kentucky is sunny and cool Friday, cloudy and cool Saturday, only 20 percent chance of a shower; perfect.

Breeder's Cup horses are too well bred, too well trained, too competitive.

The races are so well matched, an odds-on winner on an exotic ticket is still reason for celebration. The Breeder's Cup is one place where chalk is roundly appreciated.

There are seldom dogs included in an "All" button play.

Here's what's great about the two-day event: you don't have to bet much to win a whole lot. A pick-six chance costs a lousy buck. Numerous payoffs on a two-dollar wager will remind you of the lottery.

Cam Newton, who quarterbacks the Carolina Panthers, said the other day that he was getting sick of all the so-called "experts" who weren't accountable. They'd handicap a football game or critique a player and, if horribly wrong, like a TV meteorologist, would never mention the bad pick or bad analysis again. He's right. But horse-race pickers are the exception. Many football pickers probably don't ever wager. They're picking at air. Their only risk is another Twitter attack. Horse players have to wager on the picks they tout. It goes with the job. Any horse player not betting what he or she touts to the public will be forever haunted by karma.

I'll have some Breeders' Cup picks Wednesday and Thursday.

The horse picker's disclaimer is this. If you legally wager more than the minimum amount required, it's on you.