Can Do
with Bill Duncliffe

Can Do is a podcast devoted to all things horse racing - some history, some handicapping, and some humor. Our focus will be on the human interest stories of the people involved in the Sport of Kings.

Every Friday, we will publish an episode consisting of an interview with someone involved in the sport, a short guest handicapper segment, and a big score story from a guest or a listener via social media. Check us out on Facebook and Twitter, send in a story, and please hold all tickets!

The 2019 Belmont Stakes

Well, dear friends, we’ve reached the end of another Triple Crown trail, this year’s certainly being one of the more eventful ones. 25 minute disqualification discussions, a horse dumping his jockey (and podcast guest!) at the start of a race…it has indeed been eventful.

Of course, the naysayers out there will call attention to the fact that one event certainly NOT experienced was cashing a winning ticket based on Your Faithful Correspondent’s (YFC’s) selections. Well, if you want certainty you should bet on “Jeopardy James” Holzhauer.

Wait…what???!!!...Oh, for Pete’s sake!

Well, Jeopardy James just proves that even the best can’t be perfect. Sometimes we’re just perfectly awful.

For more offal, continue reading below.

We veteran handicappers (otherwise known as experienced ATM users) all have one thing in common…often wrong, but never in doubt. So let’s take one last swing at the finale of this year’s Triple Crown and see if we can’t recoup some of your kid’s 529 plan money. If not, well, they can go out and get a job! YFC has heard, but cannot personally attest to, that a little hard work never hurt anyone.

War of Will is the sole entrant in this Saturday’s race to have run in all three Triple Crown events. Appears to be a legitimate question as to whether or not he would be running for the Triple Crown absent the Kentucky Derby incident. The other legitimate question is if this racing schedule has taken too much out of him. Well, YFC for one is done fighting with this guy. Not necessarily the winner, but likely to be in the top 3.

It is tacitly agreed that Bill Mott’s Tacitus will be first or second choice among Saturday’s entrants. Despite being placed third in the Derby after the disqualification of Maximum Security, this guy was never really a threat in the race. Nevertheless, he has the classic breeding usually demanded to succeed in the “Test of the Champion.”

If ever a race set up for a horse to close from off the pace it was the 2019 Preakness for Bourbon War. Jockey Irad Ortiz must have been salivating at the demanding early pace set by the leaders. But Bourbon must have been nipping at the jug prior to the race because he staggered home like a frat boy at closing time. Despite the Belmont Stakes being the longest of the Triple Crown triumvirate it is usually the least amenable to late runners. Irad might be better off playing Gin Rummy.

Somehow Everfast ran late and snuck his way into 2nd place in the Preakness. That was the trip that Bourbon War was widely predicted to be getting that day. But Everfast took advantage of a pronounced track bias favoring rail runners all day at Pimlico to hit the board at a big price. Some think this Calumet Farm runner can pull off the same trick again. Calumet Farm takes its name from a well-known baking powder brand founded by its owner, William Wright, back in 1929. Think I would take a powder on Everfast.

Intrepid Heart is one of two Todd Pletcher runners in the race. Purchased by Robert and Lowana Low for $750,000. The Low’s hoping they didn’t go too high and tap out on this son of Tapit. The only other runner they’ve ever had in the Belmont was Steppenwolfer in 2007. Come Saturday, we’ll find out if they are on a magic carpet ride or if Intrepid was born to be mild.

Sir Winston is entered here. Bettors are either going to see this longshot give them a lucky strike or find out that he’s not kool.

Tax made a significant deduction from YFC’s bankroll in this year’s Derby. Hoping he can reverse that form and contribute some capital gains this time out.

Joevia nearly caused a disastrous pileup in the first turn of the Wood Memorial when he broke sharply to the left from his outside post. He starts from the rail in the Belmont. If he breaks hard to the left again he’ll be running by himself on the outer turf course. Not sure he could even win that race. If you want to watch your money disappear, it will certainly happen via Joe.

Speaking of rails, Japanese entrant Master Fencer comes back for another Triple Crown try. Made a notable late run in the Kentucky Derby to finish 7th after being well back. That being said, if you had a nickel for every horse that made a late run to finish mid-pack in the Derby and then won the Belmont you’d have to borrow a nickel to have a nickel. Honest, not even sure Prime Minister Abe would yen to spend a buck on this one.

Spinoff was pretty much spinning his wheels in the Derby. YFC’s bet would have been a mid-race cancellation for this spinoff if that option was available. But going to see if racing on a dry surface moves this guy up in the ratings. Hopefully he’s ready for prime time.

Selections

Worst feeling in the world for a handicapper is to bet a horse one race, watch him turn in a dismal performance and then get off of him as he goes out and wins his next race. So, going to take some small flyers on Spinoff and Tax.

That being said, War of Will and Tacitus both look formidable so have to use them in conjunction with those longshots.

Good luck and hold all tickets! We’ll see you again next year!

Recent Episode

Season 2 Episode 22
Belmont Stakes Handicap with Anthony Stabile
June 7, 2019

For our final episode of Season 2, New York Racing Association Analyst and Horse Racing Radio Network host Anthony, "The Big A" Stabile joins Bill to discuss the field of this year's Belmont Stakes.

From all of us at Can Do, we want to thank our listeners for an incredible Season Two. Keep in touch on Facebook and Twitter, and we'll see you this Fall!

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Previous Episodes

Season 2 Episode 21
Belmont Stakes Big Score with John McCarthy
June 5, 2019

We are joined once again by our dear friend John McCarthy, as he shares his Belmont Stakes Big Score story from 2002.

Season 2 Episode 20
The Preakness Stakes Handicapping with Chris Larmey
May 17, 2019

Special guest and handicapper Chris Larmey returns this week to handicap the upcoming Preakness, as well as discuss the issues raised by the recent Kentucky Derby disqualification.

Season 2 Episode 19
The Preakness Stakes Special Edition with Cricket Goodall and Mary McManus Guba
May 16, 2019

We are lucky this week to have guest Cricket Goodall, Executive Director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and Executive Director of Maryland Million, Ltd., talk about her Preakness memories and the Pimlico controversy. We were also joined by very special guest Mary McManus Guba, daughter of the late, great Jim McKay, famed sports broadcaster.

Season 2 Episode 18
Interview With Special Guest Guinness McFadden
May 15, 2019

As the proud co-owner of this year's Kentucky Derby winner "Country House", Guinness McFadden shares what it felt like to be on the winning circle, and tells us how he got into the thoroughbred business.

Season 2 Episode 17
The Preakness Stakes Big Score Story
May 14, 2019

Host Bill Duncliffe shares his Big Score story relating to the middle leg of the Triple Crown.

Season 2 Episode 16
Kentucky Derby Handicapping with TK Kuegler
May 3, 2019

As we all prepare our Kentucky Derby bets , TK Kuegler - founder and managing partner of Wasabi Venture Stables - joins us once again, this time to share his insights and process for picking his ponies in the Run for the Roses.

Season 2 Episode 15
Kentucky Derby Special Edition - John Velazquez
May 1, 2019

As we head into the big weekend, we're pleased to present an interview with two-time Kentucky Derby winner John Velazquez. John shares with us his preparation process, memories of his previous Derby wins, thoughts on Saturday's ride atop Code of Honor, and much more.

Season 2 Episode 14
Kentucky Derby Big Score
April 30, 2019

It's Derby Week, so of course we had to give you a Kentucky Derby Big Score. Bill checks in early to share one of his most memorable Big Scores from the Run for the Roses.

Season 2 Episode 13
Interview with Mike Mullaney, Big Score with Ross Duncliffe, and Guest Handicapper Ed Harvey
April 12, 2019

Journalist Mike Mullaney joins us for an interview and shares his experience writing the tragic story of thoroughbred Excellor, and how it has impacted retired horse aftercare. Our producer and former stand-up comedian, Ross Duncliffe, shares a particularly lucky Big Score story, and Guest Handicapper Ed Harvey handicaps the Arkansas Derby.

Season 2 Episode 11
Interview with John Engelhardt, Big Score by John McCarthy, and Guest Handicapper Scott Carson
April 5, 2019

John Engelhardt, best known as "Racing's Regular Guy," joins us for a nostalgic and entertaining interview, John McCarthy tells us his Big Score Story, and host of "Public Handicapper Pod" Scott Carson shares his insights as our Guest Handicapper.

Season 2 Episode 10
Interview with Terry Nickell, Big Score by Mike Mullaney, and Guest Handicapper John McCarthy
March 29, 2019

Today Terry Nickell, managing partner at Endeavor Farms and one of our dear sponsors, joins us for an interview giving us a unique perspective on how horses are raised on a farm and prepped for racing. Mike Mullaney tells us his unforgettable and hilarious Big Score story. Lastly John McCarthy is welcomed as our Guest Handicapper, focusing on the Florida Derby.

Season 2 Episode 9
Interview with Jockey Tyler Baze, Big Score by Terry Nickell, and Guest Handicapper Jamie Michelson
March 22, 2019

Jockey Tyler Baze joined us for an interview during workouts at Santa Anita, and shares with us his experience on the unique downhill racecourse. We also learn about Tyler's start as a jockey and his place in the well known Baze family tree. Our Big Score sponsor Terry Nickell shares two Big Score stories of his own, and our guest Jamie Michelson handicaps the Big Race this weekend at The Fairgrounds in the Crescent City.

Season 2 Episode 8
Dr. Barrie Grant, Big Score by John Engelhardt, and Guest Handicapper John Pinder
March 15, 2019

This week esteemed veterinarian Dr. Barrie Grant tells us about his vital contributions to the field of equine medicine, and the ground breaking surgical treatments that he developed. John Engelhardt shares with us his Big Score story and Guest Handicapper John Pinder returns to help Bill handicap this week's Rebel Stakes.

Season 2 Episode 7
John Pinder and Bill Duncliffe
March 8, 2019

John Pinder shares with us his Big Score, and Bill Duncliffe handicaps this weekend's Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct.

Season 2 Episode 6
Special Edition: Memories of Longacres Part 2
March 8, 2019

In our second and final installment of our special edition, we explore Longacres' storied legacy of legendary horses and horsemen, The Longacres mile, and the untimely demise of Washington's treasured racecourse. Special thanks to Vince Bruun, Joe Steiner, Harley Spring, and Stephen Sadis for offering their time and sharing their memories to make this production possible.

Season 2 Episode 5
Jim Gaudet and Kelly Smith-Lawless
March 1, 2019

Bill shares Jim Gaudet's big score story, and Kelly Smith-Lawless rejoins us to handicap this Saturday's Fountain of Youth.

Season 2 Episode 4
Special Edition: Memories of Longacres Part 1
March 1, 2019

In this first of a two part series, Bill asks special guests to walk him down memory lane and share their personal stories of Seattle's lost but not forgotten, Longacres Racetrack.

Season 2 Episode 3
Veteran Jockey Joe Steiner and Guest Handicapper Neil Duncliffe
Feb 15, 2019

Bill speaks with Joe Steiner about his family's long history with horse racing, his personal achievements, close calls, and racing from a jockey's perspective. Also guest handicapper Neil Duncliffe checks in to give his thoughts on this Saturday's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course.

Season 2 Episode 2
National Handicapping Championship, Chris Larmey, and Guest Handicapper Chris Melo
Feb 8, 2019

To kick off the 2019 National Handicapping Championship, Chris Larmey calls in to discuss the NHC from the players' perspective. He also stick around to share his very first Big Score Story. Finally, Chris Melo handicaps this Saturday's Sam F. Davis.

Season 2 Episode 1
Keith Chamblin, NTRA, NHC, and Guest Handicapper Matt Packard
Feb 1, 2019

Keith Chamblin, COO of the NTRA joins Bill via phone to discuss the annual National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. Mr. Chamblin also sticks around to give us a Big Score story, and Matt Packard returns to guest handicap this Saturday's G2 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park.

View Season 1 Episodes!