Run for your life: American Pharoah and strollers, too


My day job is risk management.

Shelter Island Risk analyzes risks on everything from a large food retailer of customer “slip and falls” to wildfire exposures in Southern California where damages are measured in the billions of dollars. Risk analysis is dull, data-centered and employs computer-based statistical models. Triple Crown choices are emotional, exciting and most probably, irrational. Here’s a plan for managing your Triple Crown play and supporting the Shelter Island 10K.

Logic says American Pharoah (AP) will not win the Triple Crown. Even if AP is the best horse in the Belmont field, he will face strong and far more rested competition. Elite horses are fast, more than twice as fast as elite humans, but they recover slowly.

The 1.5 mile Belmont Stakes is a grueling distance for these young horses. The extra distance over the Preakness is equivalent to the 0.2 miles at the end of our 6.2 mile — 10K — race. Anyone who runs that will attest that the last lap around the baseball field fencing is the most difficult of the race.

Go ahead, be emotional, place your bet on AP, he may surprise us all. After all, it is going to be run on D-Day and the good guys won that. But then go to the Shelter Island Race website — — and donate the same amount to our Community Fund. It’s a win-win. If AP comes through, you keep your net winnings. In any event, you’re still a winner by supporting our important local charities.

What about strollers? Race Director Mary Ellen Adipietro has softened the stroller barrier. Although you must start at the back of the pack, you can use your own energy and logistics to push your way past the elite racers.

One pregnant question: Do you have to have a baby in your baby stroller? If the answer is no, then we will have to work out a minimum weighting scheme, the same  as racehorses, for fairness.

See you at the race.