Making picks for big race the wacky way 119TH PREAKNESS PREAKNESS 1994

May 21, 1994|By JOHN EISENBERG

As a public service, today's column is devoted to helping readers, infield kamikazes and other assorted hons answer the Big Question on everyone's mind: What can the beloved second jewel of the Triple Crown do for me? (In other words, which of these equine Elvises deserves the honor of racing with a couple of my hard-earned nickels on his head?)

We understand that it can get awfully confusing on the way to the betting window on Preakness Day. All those numbers. All those statistics. All those people wearing hats with pieces of fruit them.

Don't worry. Calm down. There are all sorts of ways to come up with a satisfying bet.

Try the old, reliable method of betting on a name, for instance. Exhaustive research by The Sun's investigative team has uncovered the background of the following Preakness names:

Tabasco Cat: Named in honor of the owner's favorite fraternity prank.

Go For Gin: Coincidentally, the working title of Madonna's next ,, album.

Blumin Affair: Named several years ago in honor of Tom and Roseanne Arnold. Bet at your own risk.

Kandaly: Means "runs like he's wearing leg irons" in Russian.

Polar Expedition: Owner came up with the name after trying to find the Oakland A's in the AL West standings.

Powis Castle: Eltsac Siwop (famous scientist) spelled backward.

Numerous: Owner's second choice. First choice (Few) was taken.

Concern: Intended to be a name everyone could identify with. (The specific concern this horse was named after is the decline of morality in America.)

Silver Goblin: Owner mistakenly thought he was naming an Amtrak train.

Looming: Name changed from Looting due to clerical error.

If none of these do anything for you, try betting on a horse's number that has some other significance. Some possibilities:

1: The loneliest number. A perfect bet if you're one of those people who can't buy a date.

2: Rhymes with Tagliabue. You may get caned if you bet it.

3: Secretariat's Preakness post position. For you history buffs.

4: Value of a Canadian Football League field goal (in Canadian dollars). In honor of the CFL Colts.

5: Number of Irsays it takes to screw in a light bulb. (One to hold the bulb and four to move it in the middle of the night.)

6: Two words: Floyd Rayford.

7: Traditional lucky number. If you're really hurting.

8: Second half of Larry Sheets' uniform number.

9: Brady Anderson's uniform number. Also his batting average.

10: Number of years since the Colts left. (A fabulous bet for self-loathers.)

If neither a name nor a number does it for you, don't despair. There are other ways to find a suitable loyalty for the day. Try betting on a trainer whose style suits you, for instance.

Charlie Whittingham, the trainer of Numerous, is older than the NFL. At 81, and still cranking out classic contenders, he is a must-bet for all grandparents and anyone else who thinks Frank Sinatra still sounds great.

D. Wayne Lukas, Tabasco Cat's trainer, has been known to wear sunglasses inside. The "cool" bet.

Louie Roussel III, the trainer of Kandaly, is a lawyer in his spare time. OK, OK, be nice.

Nick Zito, the trainer of Go For Gin, said this week, "If I was a shirt, I'd be corduroy." Maybe it means something to you.

If you're still, still searching for a bet after all that, how about one of the owners?

Ronnie Lamarque, the co-owner of Kandaly, got up at the Alibi Breakfast yesterday and sang a song including the words, "It's ++ been six years since we won with Risen Star/Can we do it?/I'll bet my Lincoln Town Car."

We're talking guts.

Berry Gordy, the owner of Powis Castle, is, of course, the legendary founder of Motown Records. A great bet for anyone with happy feet.

Arthur Vogel and LeRoy Bowman, the owners of Blumin Affair, are from Iowa. A great bet if you cried at the end of "Field of Dreams."

Joseph Cornacchia, one of the owners of Go For Gin, was the publisher of "Pictionary," the hot game from a few years back. I was lousy at it. Maybe you weren't.

If all else fails, you can always fall back on the absolutely, positively last resort: Play the hunch of yours truly, the columnist.

I like Go For Gin. And don't talk to me about taking the chalk. The last three Derby winners finished fifth, fifth and sixth in the Preakness. Picking the Derby winner in the Preakness is a long shot.

This time, Silver Goblin and Polar Expedition will burn up the front, setting the race up perfectly for a small horde of late runners, of which Go For Gin, the only Grade I winner in the race, clearly is the best horse.

Besides, I think I might be a corduroy shirt, too.

Go For Gin, Looming, Tabasco Cat.

The 3-1 exacta.

In other words, speaking scientifically here, you're in great shape if your birthday is March 1.

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