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'Cup' full of memorable moments

It's official: American Pharoah is the best thing to happen to horse racing since newspaperman and author Damon Runyon.

With an assist from Beholder, who scratched and handed an easy lead to the winner, Pharoah took three victory laps, once before the race, when the jockey grinned, waved and seemed to be saying "thanks," once during the race and then the "you're welcome" victory lap.

The feel-good win ended a perfect Breeder's Cup weekend, with Pharoah calling everybody's attention to the "All" exacta button in the final race.

There were no injuries.

It only sprinkled, which should be enough for various committees to not vote to send the Breeders' Cup back to Santa Anita for the next 32 years.

Tattoos were inside horse's lips -- not on railbird's necks.

The crowd was well-dressed.

The uppity European grass bunch, which acts like dirt is dirty, was thwarted for the most part by a Keeneland Chia Pet turf course, which was soft to the touch and featured grass growing right out of sand.

The sport ended its high-dollar highlight season in the best possible shape.

Great examples of raw emotional joy were in evidence when a speedball named Runhappy won the Sprint, thanks to a new female trainer and a furniture store owner. Runhappy, who set a track record, likes to sleep all day.

Over the two-day dose of racing, there was money to be made.

From a personal handicapping perspective, I didn't hit everything. But I almost hit enough of them. This stuff is not easy. Putting your name on horses to win is a nerve-wracking experience, particularly after you've called handicappers who look for "value" pinheads, and experts who dwell on big wins from years-ago windbags. After all that, you need to hit a thing or two. It's harder when most of the horses are fit and don't limp.

My biggest win was on Wavell Avenue in the Filly and Mare Sprint. Wavell Avenue paid $23 on the win. I almost went through the screen on that one. Also, there was a gigantic exacta involving moonshot Mongolian Saturday: Simply put, if you put a $2 exacta box bet on all four of the horses I picked in every race, you would have won about $200 bucks. The picks and wagers were not without their moments of extreme horribleness. In the Juvenile, liking Nyquist without Swipe was bad almost beyond reason, as Swipe had run second to the winner forever. I couldn't pick the winner of a replay of a grass race.

For winners and losers alike, it's not onward to football and basketball. It's backward to football and basketball.