I dreamt this week that a horse named Argentina won a race. It was clear as could be. Saw the silks. White and green. Saw the horse. A bay. Saw the finish. She won easy. Saw the type of course. The race was on the grass.
Now, I know who Argentina is. She's a grass horse that runs in a lot of stakes races and never wins. What I didn't know at the time was that she is in Saturday's Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs. She's 2-1 in the morning line. What's a horseplayer to do?
Normally, I wouldn't bet on Argentina with monopoly money. She hasn't won a race since March 2005, when she something in France. She's lost 12 straight since, burning up a lot of money along the way. A daughter of Sadler's Wells, she once lost five straight as the favorite. Eventually, people caught on to her act, but she's still never gone off at odds of higher than 9-1 while she's been in this country. Everything I know about this game tells me that she's a classic sucker horse and that the dumb money will be chasing her again Saturday.
On paper, using all my handicapping acumen acquired from years of study, I can't see past Criminologist. Trained by Shug McGaughey, she's come into her own over the last few months and has won three straight, She won't be much of a price, but I can't see anybody beating her.
But I didn't dream that Criminologist won, now did I? Should I go with what I know and understand to be fact (that this horse should not be played) or should I go with this strange mystical message (that I should bet this mare with both fists)?
Confused, I sought professional help.
At CaliforniaPsychics.com, they promise you "real psychics, real answers." For just $10, I was able to chat with a CaliforniaPsychics.com psychic named LeBaron. Nice fella. Seemed to know his stuff. So, LeBaron, what's the deal?
"Dreaming of horses, in general, predicts a period of all-around ease," LeBaron said. "Just dreaming about the race could have more to do with your anxiety level."
According to dreammoods.com, to see a horse in your dreams represents "strong, physical energy" and "you need to tame the wild forces." Sorry, but I have no idea what that means.
I think LeBaron had a point. I have been a little stressed lately and would definitely welcome a period of ease. But, let's cut to the chase. Should I take the dream seriously and bet on Argentina?
"I would definitely put your eggs in a more scientific basket rather than going with that dream," LeBaron said, much to my surprise.
The problem, LeBaron said, is my hesitation to heed the dream's message.
"The science of it is, if this is really a thing to do you usually feel it," he said. "You don't feel any indecision about it. In a psychic way, the indecision is your own way of saying something isn't all together right. Otherwise, you wouldn't be calling about this."
Could LeBaron be wrong? Lynn from psychicsource.com, another service that allowed me to chat live with a psychic, thinks I can't afford not to go with the dream. After asking me my birthday, she took a look at my future by analyzing a deck of cards, which she called "an ancient system set up by a certain kind of brotherhood."
"I would say go with what the dream says," Lynn said. "When I look at you for Saturday, Sunday, Monday, that period of time, it looks like you're in a leadership position and will have financial blessings. I would say that you are about to make a lot of money."
She continued: "This dream was more like a message from yourself to yourself, telling you to pay attention, don't disregard this. That's the thing about people and their intuition. Everybody has the ability to know the future, but they don't believe it. They get an answer and say, 'should I believe this? It didn't come from my mind, so, therefore, I should disregard it.' I would believe in that dream."
Her final piece of advice? "Bet at least $100."
I am intrigued, but I must stick with what I know. Argentina won't win.
Bill Finley is an award-winning racing writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today and Sports Illustrated. Contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.