The following is an open letter to the horse racing community from former National Hockey League player and NBC Sports hockey and horse racing broadcaster Eddie Olczyk, who will not be part of the NBC Sports team at this year's Breeders' Cup as he battles colon cancer. However, you can still see Edzo's Breeders' Cup “Best Bets” by clicking here. While checking out his picks, Xpressbet asks you to please consider making a donation to the Colon Cancer Alliance in support of Eddie.
My Fellow Racing Fan,
Happy Breeders' Cup week! Before we get into picks, analysis and betting strategies, there's something I need to say:
Since being diagnosed with colon cancer, I've been overwhelmed by the power of your thoughts, prayers and well wishes. My family and I will be forever thankful for the kindness you've shown us.
So to everyone in racing – the fans, bettors, jockeys, owners, breeders, trainers, grooms, valets, veterinarians, media, track employees and everyone in between – thank you. Thank you so much. You mean more to me than I can ever put into words.
I also want to recognize a few people who have been there every step of the way:
- Sam Flood, Rob Hyland & the NBC Horse Racing Team
- Laffit Pincay III
- John Sikura of Hill 'n Dale Farm
- Chris Baker of Three Chimneys Farm
- The Baffert Family
- Team Always Dreaming – Anthony Bonomo & Vinnie Viola
- The Stronach Group, Xpressbet & XBTV
To you guys, your unwavering support has been both needed and greatly appreciated.
I'll admit that I'm going to miss being at the Breeders' Cup this year, especially for its first trip to Del Mar. There's just no way of replicating the energy and excitement of a big day at the races. But even though I won't be at the track, you'd better believe I'll be watching every minute and playing every race. In my eyes, these are the best two days of the year to “let it ride” and shoot for the fences. Somebody is going to hit big – why shouldn't it be us?
I'm especially looking forward to getting another crack at the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge. I played last year at Santa Anita and finished in the Top 40 – not bad for a tournament that had 397 entries – but I still think about things I could've done differently. A couple tweaks to my approach and maybe I win the whole thing. Wish me luck this year unless, of course, you're playing too. In that case, good luck to you. Hopefully we're both there at the finish line.
So let's pick some winners, hit big and enjoy a phenomenal weekend of racing!
I'll see you at the track soon.
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