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How hard can it be?
Jay Cronley
Special to

I played college baseball and once went up against a pitcher who threw between 95 and 100 miles per hour. This took place on the Kansas plain, with the wind blowing hard in the hitter's face. The pitcher stood 6-5 and weighed about 240. The way you could tell his fast ball from his curve was he sometimes closed his eyes a split second before delivering the blazer. I recall fouling one straight back and it went about 350 feet.

This is harder.

I dated a woman who went to three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week.

This is harder.

I had the opportunity of getting up and down in two to break 80 at the great Southern Hills golf course in Tulsa. I was in the rough 185 yards from an elevated green that was sloped severely from the back to the front.

This is harder.

I took swimming lessons last year.

This is harder.

I have participated in two divorces.

This is harder.

After college, I went to New York to sell stocks and bonds. I took German in school. Vacationed in Florida. Was born in Nebraska. Gave a high school commencement speech. Testified in court.

None of those compare to picking a Breeder's Cup race.

This year's Cup card features a fascinating combination of world-class racing and stuff that could pass for the feature at Retama.

The first two races figure to have close to even-money favorites.

The Pick Six starts after these two races, thanks a lot.

Shortest field of the day goes at 11:20 on the west coast, beats the heat.

Split Sightseek and Get Kolko with Take Charge Lady or Elloluv.

1. Sightseek
2. Take Charge Lady
3. Got Kolko
4. Elloluv

Juvenile Fillies
If you want Halfbridled at even money from the parking lot, God speed.

Allen Jerkens' Society Selection figures to be the trendy pick of the day. The morning line of 8-1 probably won't hold.

Most of these went more than a month ago. Two from the east have October action.

1. Society Selection
2. Halfbridled
3. Class Above

These turf races don't look like anything a person couldn't hit with a neat seven-horse box and a prayer.

Play late runners at your own risk versus these monsters.

Questions: Oasis Dream looks like a sprinter; Six Perfections off since August; Peace Rules, no grass in a year.

1. Special Ring
2. Designated for Luck
3. Touch of the Blues.

Save for the fact that the favorite and best horse in the race, Aldebaran, has never been this short and is later than late.

Have to choose from 20-grand claimers and Tampa and Hoosier routers here.

Worst sprint field ever could create an electric tote.

Put Aldebaran over something else you like and then pitch him.

Plan A:
1. Aldebaran
2. Bluesthestandard
3. Shake You Down
4. Valid Video.

Plan B:
Pitch Aldebaran and box your next three.

Filly and Mare Turf
I couldn't pick this with your money.

Favored Islington does look good. Keep looking. So do eight or nine others.

America has a shot at the Euros with Tates Creek.

See if you can look at the form on Yesterday without singing. Musical Chimes, Mezzo Soprano make up tuneful field.

Heat Haze fits the unseasonable conditions.

1. Islington
2. Yesterday
3. Heat Haze

Odds against this winner taking next year's Derby: Huge.

This field almost makes a person want to go in with a couple of buddies and put a down payment on a yearling.

1. Tiger Hunt
2. Race for Glory
3. Cuvee

American traffic please use the slow lane.

Proposition bet: I'd take five-to-one and say the Photo sign goes up for first.

This Field is so tough, Falbrav could be a price!

I plan to will Bright Sky second with High Chaparral, Sulamani, Storming Home and Falbrav, then box those last four for a minimal amount to maintain my streak of having bet every Cup race since the beginning of time.

Funny Cide is becoming the Emmitt Smith of racing.

Medaglia d'Oro has been getting his game face on for two-plus months.

1. Perfect Drift
2. Ten Most Wanted
3. Hold That Tiger