This year we are having a unique challenge between Pleasanton Racing's publicist/handicapper Dennis Miller and this year's Oak Tree at Pleasanton intern Randy Olson.
It is a contest that will ultimately benefit local charities.
Dennis and Randy have different philosophies on handicapping
/betting, so in interest of fairness, each started with a $1,000 bankroll with each required to wager on a minimum of three races per day.
To make things even more interesting, Dennis and Randy were told just before opening day by Alameda County Fair CEO Jerome Hoban they would be playing with real money with the benefactors being local charities.
At the end of the Oak Tree at Pleasanton meet, the money left in their accounts will be donated to a local charity of their choice.
Dennis has covered/handicapped the races at the Alameda County Fair for 25 years now. Formerly the Sports Editor of the Tri-Valley Herald, he has been the year round Publicist for Pleasanton Racing for the last five years. He has written about races around the country, including the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup races.
Randy is a recent graduate of the much heralded Race Track Industry Program at the University of Arizona. This is Randy's first year working at the Oak Tree at Pleasanton meet, but growing up in Humboldt County, Randy cut his wagering teeth on the summer fair circuit. Randy has spent time working for the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC), taking him to assignments at Santa Anita and Del Mar.
Dennis Sunday picks:
In the 4th race, Too Fast to Pass looks as good as his name so let's go $20 win and $ 40 to place. Let's put a $2 exacta box ($12) on Too Fast to Pass, I'm Not Gray and Awesome Silver Page.
In the 6th race I like a $2 exacta box with The Grey Mousse, Lady Harbinger and Microburst. The Grey Mousse has been burning up the Pleasanton track in the mornings with the exception of the last two maintenance drills. Let's add $10 win/$20 place on the horse.
In the 9th and final race Bertrane, out of the red hot John Martin barn, looks much the best of the field and I say that's worth another $20 win/$40 to place! He has hit the board in all three starts this year and is starting at a career low.
Saturday results: (minus $67.20); Sunday bankroll: $666.80; Sunday wagers: $144.
Randy's Sunday picks:
Sunday's selections will consist of three pick 4 tickets and one win play on a horse I feel strongly about. In my first two pick 4's, I will single #10 Tabor's Harmony in race 8. The horse comes off a strong maiden score where he went gate to wire. Get him home and I have great coverage around him.
Bombs away! In the third pick 4, I will single #2 Bertrane in the finale. Horse is 0-13 lifetime which is a concern, but he looks to be the best of this group.
In addition to the pick 4's, I will put $20 to win on #10 Tabor's Harmony in race 8. I'm willing to make this horse is the key to my day!
Saturday's results: (minus $62.50); Sunday bankroll: $590.50; Sunday wagers: $123.50 .