By Ray Wallin
Seventeen. It is also considered unlucky in Italian culture when viewed as the Roman numeral XVII and changed around to VIXI it translates from Latin as “I lived.” If you are heptadecaphobic, you are scared of it.
Seventeen. It is not always bad though.
It is a prime number. It is the atomic number of chlorine. It is the number of NBA championships that the Boston Celtics have won. It is the number of syllables in haiku. The great Bob Gibson set this record when he struck out this many Tigers in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series and played the same number of seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals. Chris Mullin wore this number which is now retired with the Golden State Warriors.
It is also the only post position in the Kentucky Derby to never produce a winner. In 2018, I first wrote about it, however this year with heavy favorite Tiz The Law set to start from that cursed spot, it was time to revisit it.
|1||Finnick the Fierce||SCR||Rey Hernandez||Martin Garcia|
|2||Max Player||30-1||Steven M. Asmussen||Ricardo Santana, Jr.|
|3||Enforceable||30-1||Mark Casse||Adam Beschizza|
|4||Storm the Court||50-1||Peter Eurton||Julien Leparoux|
|5||Major Fed||50-1||Greg Foley||James Graham|
|6||King Guillermo||SCR||Juan Carlos Avila||Samy Camacho|
|7||Money Moves||30-1||Todd Pletcher||Javier Castellano|
|8||South Bend||50-1||Tyler Gaffalione||Bill Mott|
|9||Mr. Big News||50-1||Bret Calhoun||Gabriel Saez|
|10||Thousand Words||15-1||Bob Baffert||Florent Geroux|
|11||Necker Island||50-1||Chris Hartman||Miguel Mena|
|12||Sole Volante||30-1||Patrick Biancone||Luca Panici|
|13||Attachment Rate||50-1||Dale Romans||Joe Talamo|
|14||Winning Impression||50-1||Dallas Stewart||Joe Rocco, Jr.|
|15||NY Traffic||20-1||Saffie Joseph, Jr.||Paco Lopez|
|16||Honor A. P.||5-1||John A. Shirreffs||Mike Smith|
|17||Tiz the Law||3-5||Barclay Tagg||Manny Franco|
|18||Authentic||8-1||Bob Baffert||John Velazquez|
Ray Wallin is a licensed civil engineer and part-time handicapper who has had a presence on the Web since 2000 for various sports and horse racing websites and through his personal blog. Introduced to the sport over the course of a misspent teenage summer at Monmouth Park by his Uncle Dutch, a professional gambler, he quickly fell in love with racing and has been handicapping for over 25 years.
Ray’s background in engineering, along with his meticulous nature and fascination with numbers, parlay into his ability to analyze data; keep records; notice emerging trends; and find new handicapping angles and figures. While specializing in thoroughbred racing, Ray also handicaps harness racing, Quarter Horse racing, baseball, football, hockey, and has been rumored to have calculated the speed and pace ratings on two squirrels running through his backyard.
Ray likes focusing on pace and angle plays while finding the middle ground between the art and science of handicapping. When he is not crunching numbers, Ray enjoys spending time with his family, cheering on his alma mater (Rutgers University), fishing, and playing golf.
Ray’s blog, which focuses on his quest to make it to the NHC Finals while trying to improve his handicapping abilities can be found at www.jerseycapper.blogspot.com Ray can also be found on Twitter (@rayw76) and can be reached via email at email@example.com.