Justify will be defeated by Vino Rosso in Belmont Stakes


The Belmont Stakes will be run this Saturday and all eyes will be on the colt Justify. He drew the No. 1 post in a bid to sweep the Triple Crown.

Pick of the Week: My selection to win however is Vino Rosso. He finished ninth in the Kentucky Derby and didn’t race in the Preakness. He is well-rested and has the best jockey in the world in John Velazquez. Todd Pletcher is the trainer and this combination is tough to beat.

A few years ago (1999) I picked Lemon Drop Kid to win this race and he paid $58 for first. When I went to Price Chopper the next day two little old ladies gave me a kiss for my upset pick. They told me after reading my column they went to OTB and cashed.

Geek of the Week: I received a letter in the mail from a veteran who reads my column but thinks I am a hypocrite for forgiving Stephen Curry for using bad language. He didn’t sign his three-page letter so he is my geek for not having the courage to admit who he is.

Food of the Week: Fish fry. In Charlotte there is no such food. I crave anything haddock when I am in the south but they look at me like I am crazy. Savoy, Stan’s Seafood, Polish Home and Teddy’s — here I come!

I receive lots of correspondence about my sports column and most comes in the form of an e-mail. Ninety-nine percent of them are very positive from grandparents or moms and dads thanking me for mentioning their children. 

There is a movie coming out in two weeks called “Uncle Drew.” It’s about an old guy (like me) who is still great at basketball. A few weeks ago I went over to Davidson College and played against guys my age in the Senior Games tryouts. How great is it for me to still be able to shoot the rock? I had a great tryout and was one of the first players picked. Over the years I have played basketball with most everyone in our hometown. If a new doctor came to town I would invite them to our hoop runs at St. Peter’s, NYSSD or Strough. Here are some of the most outstanding: Bruce Slagle, who was aggressive on defense and good going to the basket; Paul Fuller who never ran out of gas because he was always in fantastic shape; and Anthony Panasci who moved away to California but was a great jumper. 

Joey Maurer got married last weekend in Baltimore. He was the starting shooting guard for the Rome Catholic High basketball team in 1996. That team coached by Jim Kenny had a record of 23-1 and has the city record that might never be broken. Joey was also a slick fielding second baseman for the Redwings and is a top-rated basketball official in Baltimore.

I got invited to Rome Free Academy star athlete Victoria Sestito’s graduation party this Friday. I haven’t seen her since she was little. I also can’t wait to meet some of the outstanding seniors that I have written and read about throughout the year. 


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