(I join commentator Ed DeRosa in the Churchill Downs paddock before a race, back when DeRosa had a real job. Unfortunately, his picks were so dismal that he was soon replaced on the in-house telecast. Ugh…)

DeRosa vs McLean…Head to Head Competition This Entire Churchill Downs September Meet

This September, HorseRacingNation.com’s Content Editor and chief guru, Ed DeRosa, and I will embark on a fun-filled experiment when we take on one race per day at Churchill Downs and go “head-to-head” in our handicapping challenge.

I know that it will not be much of a “challenge” for me, sad to say. Ed is known more for his promotion of his picks than his production of his picks.

But it should be fun to pick apart Ed’s lunacy logic, while, at the same time, proving, once again, that we are the superior handicapper.

It all begins with the Twilight Card at Churchill Downs this Thursday night. Tonight.

Ed can’t blame the discount beers for this one. But I will enjoy several as we embark on this challenge.

Tonight’s Contest: Race #3…5.5-furlong sprint over the sod for the Maiden Special Weight level:

DeRosa: 10-2-4

Going to take a shot on Levee Was Dry (10) — gelding by Maclean’s Music, who was ready to run in June. Encouraged with Stall’s patience to go for this big pot on opening day.

McLean: 2-4-11

I guess Ed is going to try to beat a McLean with a Maclean? Or, in this case, a lyric sung very well by long-distant relative Don McLean.

Sad. Although, I will give the ole’ boy a little credit, although not really earned to due. His steed is 12-1 in the Brisnet.com ML and that should give him some extra points, if he were to actually find an acorn.

Instead, I go with Cigarette Boat and rider Tyler Gaffalione, who just finished up the Kentucky Downs meet as the leading rider. This 3YO son of Kantharos just missed last time out over the hills and dales of KY Downs by a nose. Cuts back here and this horse’s speed should be enough to make the difference. Has been out 8 times and has hit the board 5. Graduation Day coming up.

My longshot pick, over Ed’s again, would be Salt Spray (11). This 3YO gets Lasix for the first time and the barn wins with a whopping .26% of those kind. Just saying.

Good Luck, Ed. You’re going to need it.