Handicapper Blog

Posted by Brian Skirka on Thursday, August 30, 2012 4:52 PM

Ok.  I know it’s been a long time since we last blogged together.  This is just too important to keep to myself.


This weekend, the BBQ & Craft Beer Festival returns to Monmouth Park on Saturday and Sunday.  Having worked the past few years worth of festivals, I am prepared to share – let’s be honest – some of the most valuable information one could ever pass along.


Four words: Ben’s BBQ & Catering – ok, that’s technically one word (possessive), an abbreviation, a punctuation mark, and another word.


A look through the menu for BBQ Fest 2012 offers a delicious assortment of juicy goodness.  But I have a feeling I’m just going to channel the 8-year-old Brian on the bumper-cars at Knoebels Amusement Park – wait on line, go on the ride, get back on the end of the line.  The 27-year-old Brian will just substitute “go on the ride” for “eat pulled pork”.


Yeah, this weekend could get ugly from a food consumption standpoint.


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Another fantastic tradition that is occurring this weekend and bringing back equally juicy memories is Saturday’s Grade 3 Cliff Hanger Stakes.


It’s a little ironic that this year’s favorite Get Serious needs super, super firm turf.  Ironic – at least to me – because the Cliff Hanger brings back memories of Hotstufanthensome splashing home a 14 ½-length winner on October 22, 2005 on one of the boggiest turf courses I have ever seen.


I’m very biased but it’s always nice to have something that reminds me of the old guy.  (Other than the picture I have taped to my computer monitor of me with Hotstuf at his new home in New York.)


That’ll be a story for another time.

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Brian Skirka graduated from Rutgers University in 2007 with a degree in journalism. He currently works for Monmouth Park’s marketing and publicity departments and is in his fifth year working at the track. In the past, Brian’s work has also been published on www.thebigm.com and www.ntra.com.