01 November 2006

2006 BC picks - from the card catalog

Again, members of the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance are posting their picks in the upcoming Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. This is serious business; the title of "Best John Deere-Bessemer Trust-Emirate Airlines-Powered by Dodge TBA Handicapper of the '06 BC" is up for grabs. Yet, despite my avid reading of all manner of racing info, I still feel rather inexperienced as a handicapper. So, once again, I've turned to the librarian's best friend, the card catalog, for help in my selections.

Juvenile Fillies
Before I get to my selection, I simply must note my distress at the absence of Alberto VO5 as sponsor for this race. Just reading the company's name in the program conjured up an image of young fillies in the paddock, whispering to each other, "Look, my mane is like, you know, so soft and manageable now." It made me smile. And Alberto VO5 was the only sponsor whose products I was actually able to purchase on my rather limited salary. Maybe I am the only person on earth whose shopping decisions are influenced by this sort of thing, but I've purchased six bottles of Tangerine Tickle shampoo in the past year solely because of that name being in the program. Now I'm going back to Suave.

But enough -- back to the card catalog, where I briefly considered Sutra as in Sutra and Other Stories by Simin Daneshvar, or more famously in The Kama Sutra, the classic discourse on desire. The library has a whole shelf of Kama Sutra stuff, including The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Kama Sutra. Surprisingly, these books don't circulate as much as they used to.

But I digress. For I discarded Sutra after a quick look at pedigree -- and a perusal of Anna Freud: The Dream of Psychoanalysis. Yes, my selection here is Dreaming of Anna, sired by Freud, and sporting the cleverest name of the entire card.
Cover illustration from Little Miss Scatterbrain
[... And I've changed this selection to Quick Little Miss who really was sired by Freud, unlike Dreaming of Anna who comes to us from Rahy. This selection courtesy of the book Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves. I think the title captures my post-midnight state quite aptly.]

In this race, I was tempted by Got the Last Laugh, as I've always been fond of New Yorker writer S.J. Perlman's humorous collection, The Last Laugh. However, in today's terror-conscious world, it behooves us to pay attention to publications from our Federal Bureau of Investigation, so here the pick comes from the government documents section: Street Sense, in recognition of that scintillating safety guide, Street Sense, It's Common Sense.

Catalog card for Street Sense

Filly and Mare Turf
While a librarian must consider the various "typhoons" that turn up in the catalog -- Mark Joseph, Robin White,Charles Ryan, and the incomparable Joseph Conrad have all penned books entitled Typhoon -- I simply cannot resist The Ouija Board by Edmond Gruss. Subtitled "A Doorway to the Occult," it outlines the dangers involved with supernatural phenomena. I'll take that as an indication that supernatural Ouija Board will introduce her rivals to the great beyond.

Catalog card of Ouija Board

Here, the catalog is murky: I first considered Nightmare by J. Anthony Lukas about the Watergate affair as well as the rather obscure novel Pomeroy by Gordon Williams. However, when I came across Malibu Is Cooking Again, a cookbook featuring recipes from firemen as well as gourmet chefs and published back in 1995 to benefit the Malibu firestorm survivors, and I realized I'd found my "Everyhorse." The pick in this one: Malibu Mint.

Catalog Card for Malibu Is Cooking Again

Of course, you'll find more than one Librettist in the card catalog, and hopefully, Free Thinking aplenty, but in this category, it's really a toss-up between two classics: Sir Walter Scott's Rob Roy and Tolkien'sThe Lord of the Rings. What tips the balance is this: in The Fellowship of the Ring, Aragorn first meets Frodo at the Inn of the Prancing Pony. You can't ignore the horse connection, so the pick goes to: Aragorn.

Catalog card for The Fellowship of the Ring

Apparently Balletto is Italian for ballet, so the entire shelf of 792.8 practically screams out for a wager on the Albertrani entry. And, while the ballet books do actually get checked out now and again, the latest Hollywood Story is what really drives the circulation numbers up. Nonetheless, I'm drawn to an obscure pick based on Nikki Giovanni's Cotton Candy in the Rain. We all know how you make cotton candy: Spun Sugar. Mix in a 400 Tomlinson Wet number and her Black Eyed Susan win on a sloppy track, and you'll see why I'm hoping for rain.

Catalog card for Cotton Candy in the Rain

While Andrew Kaplan's 1985 CIA-thriller Scorpion may jump to mind, or even the more stylishly suspenseful Scorpion by Mildred Davis, my selection in this race is most influenced by Scorpion, A Good Bad Horse by the inimitable Will James. This tale of a seemingly untameable chestnut is not as well known as the Newbury-winning Smoky the Cowhorse by the same author, but still Scorpion strikes me as the perfect play here.

Catalog card for Scorpion, a good bad horse

For this race, I really wanted to turn to a classic, like say memoirs by George Washington or Giacomo Casanova, or even Nancy Mitford's biography of Louis XIV, Sun King, but I got stuck in the children's section. There I found a number of books by one Robert Bernardini, who seems to have specialized in Christmas stories. One that captured my attention: Christmas All Over, because surely, fans all over are hoping Santa comes early and fills their stockings with winning tickets. So yes, the Classic pick goes to Bernardini. And I'm going to bed... with visions of Spun Sugar plums dancing across the finish line first in my head.

Catalog card for Christmas All Over

Note: Special shout-out to Ann Arbor District Library techno-genius John Blyberg for his fabulous Catalog Card generator; it's a blast!


Patrick said...

isn't it illegal to deface the card catalog ;-D

yet again you put all other members to shame w/ your picks, on research alone you should win

Superfecta said...

I think you win for most creative picks, even if they don't necessarily come in!

Tote Board Brad said...

Yeah, super fabulous. And that catalog card generater is the coolest thing going! You're superstar QQ.

Rob said...

The Dewey decimal system returns! Great job with the picks. It's a good thing that there are no style points in the TBA contest or we'd all finish a furlong behind.

QQ said...

Thanks! Last year, my card catalog picks had a ROI of -40% when used for show bets, so I'm hoping to pick up some points from the judges for artistic interpretation. ;-)

suebroux said...

Incredibly creative! And if your card catalog picks turn out to be nice returns, I'll spend next year prepping the Breeders' Cup at the library.

kentucky joe said...