3 May 2007

Street Sense Is A Lead-Pipe Cinch In The Derby

I don't usually feel strongly about my selection for the Kentucky Derby, but this year Street Sense has way too many angles: Great post. 3rd race of the year. Has carried over 120 pounds successfully. Best Beyer in the race (though I'm not a big Beyer fan as I am a speed figure fan, I'm dealing with the numbers I have to work with). The high speed number occurred at Churchill Downs. His last race was pretty much even, though I prefer a horse stretching out to have lost a little ground (this is a better sign that the horse wasn't in peak form last race). He has been running good distances, I'm not crazy about seeing sprint races on a Derby contenders form from the fall on. He'll have plenty of speed to run at and can definitely come from 6th or 7th to win this one. And the jockey knows the horse.

Now for some interesting stuff. Where did the phrase "lead-pipe cinch" come from:

lead-pipe cinch
(Amer. slang) certain of the result, a foregone conclusion Example: The Jets are a lead pipe cinch to win the game. They're better. Etymology: The figurative sense of "cinch" is recorded from the 1880s on. Generally, it's the piece of a lead pipe that might have been used to tighten a strap. Maybe, the origin is in the plumbing trade itself, on the basis that there might have been some device that held, or cinched, pieces of pipe together. It might have been a version of a device sometimes known as a strap wrench, which is used when the jaws of a standard monkey wrench would damage the item being worked on. In all cases, "cinch" came from the saddle-girth meaning of the word, which itself had been borrowed from Spanish "cincha" in the 1860s. A saddle that had been tightly cinched was secure, so something that was a cinch was a safe or sure thing, an idea which developed into the slang sense of something that was a certainty. "Lead-pipe cinch" suddenly appears in the early 1890s. It's obvious enough that a lead-pipe cinch is one up on the common or garden variety of cinch, so that "lead-pipe" here is what grammarians call an intensifier. But why should it be so? This is where we part company with the facts and go drifting off on the wayward currents of surmise and supposition. Robert Chapman's "Dictionary of American Slang" suggested it is because a lead pipe is easily bent, "in case one has bet on such a feat". Eric Partridge thought it came about through the effectiveness of a length of lead pipe as a weapon. Jonathon Green argues it is the solidity of the lead pipe that is most important. Unlike many modern urban folk, in the 1890s everyone who used the phrase knew exactly what a cinch was in its literal sense. So "lead-pipe cinch" had to resonate somehow with that. Jonathon Lighter, in the "Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang", points out that there was a brief flowering of another sense, that of having an especially firm grip on something. The idea was presumably that if a leather cinch was effective, one made of lead would be even more so, or that one's grip on lead pipe could be firmer than on a leather strap.

Now for the headlines:

Note to Buffalo, check out what is happening in Niagara Falls, NY. They are broke, but the Seneca Indians are rolling in tax free dough.

Look for Woodbine horses who can't handle to Polytrack to be more of a factor this year at Fort Erie Every year, classier Woodbine horses come to Fort Erie to drop in and steal some money, but this year will be different I think. More classier horses who have a dislike for the Polytrack will wind up making the trip down the QEW and I believe will win at even a higher frequency than before. It is pretty expensive to own a horse at Woodbine, and if a horse just isn't made for the Poly, quicker decisions to cut losses will be made.

Another edge the Woodbine shippers will have is the fact, that from what I'm hearing, a race on the Poly is quite a workout. It gets a horse pretty fit for the future.

This will bring a lot of potential bargains to the Fort. However, since the purses at the Fort are uneconomical for most who pay trainers a day pay, the real bargain occur if a claim is made and the horse is eventually shipped to a non Poly track in the US that offers good purses.

Polytrack founder admits to problems in North America

Horse owner tax break bill introduced in US senate

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