Hump Day Quick Hits

Big Brown returned to the track sooner than expected yesterday after suffering a quarter crack injury. He was back again today with a solid gallop. As far as I’m concerned the injury isn’t going to factor into my handicapping of the Belmont at all unless something comes up between now and then to make me think otherwise.

Casino Drive, Big Brown’s biggest threat, had a truly bizarre outing this morning. He was to work with a stable mate, but he was acting up in the warmup so they sent him off alone instead. His time was more than 1:12 for five furlongs. Even fairly average horses race six furlongs in less time. The time was so slow that Belmont clockers couldn’t record it as an official work. Bizarre. They obviously do things differently in Japan. One good thing happened for the horse today – he secured Edgar Prado as his Belmont rider. I like that a lot better than the idea of bringing a jockey over from Japan.

The White Sox scored three in the seventh to come back and beat Cleveland 6-5 today. I don’t know if the Indians suck or the White Sox are pretty good. I am finding it increasingly difficult to like anyone better than Chicago to come out of the Central, though.

Baltimore is above .500 at this point of the year. They are a ridiculous 16-7 at home. If they could play on the road even a little they would actually be competitive. That’s yet another thing that doesn’t make any sense about this season so far. It’s obvious that bettors and oddsmakers didn’t see this coming, either. Despite being just one game above .500 going into tonight’s action they are up about five units on the season on the moneyline.

Maria Sharapova won her second round match at the French Open today, but it sure wasn’t pretty. Serena Williams cruised. The women’s draw sure was easier to figure out when Justine Henin was still playing. Ana Ivanovic, the second seed, won her second match easily as well. The more I see her, the more I think she is the one to beat here. Things make much more sense on the men’s side where Rafael Nadal made it look easy.

My best guesses – Boston and Pittsburgh both look pretty good in earning home playoff wins tonight. I’ll especially be shocked if Boston doesn’t come out on put on a clinic.

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