No, not attending two junior proms in one night. Rather, former Mets backstop / scourge of the Long Island H.S. dating circuit Paul Lo Duca is back in the public eye, prepping for a handicapping analyst gig. From the LA Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth who kids, “Who better to know about horses than a guy who dug horsehide out of the dirt for the past 10-plus major-league seasons?” I dunno, Pete Rose?
“I’m really trying to give people a handicapper’s view, because, let’s be frank, most people are watching the shows to make money and I’m trying to give them value and find the angles,” said Lo Duca, a prominent voice on TVG’s Breeders’ Cup preview shows Thursday and today.
One of the most prominent baseball players involved in the horse game, Lo Duca has been in ownership groups since 2002 when he was with the Dodgers. The first horse he bought, The Weej, was named after his father – a nickname given to him by family members because he resembled the Mario Bros. video game character Luigi.
“I’ve had a lot of people come up to me say, `You’re good, we like watching you,’ so that’s really cool,” said Lo Duca, who split limited playing time with Washington and Florida in 2008 and is living these days on Long Island with his new bride. “It’s really a different dynamic. Then, you’re playing baseball. The fans may not like you but they’ll say hi. Here at TVG, it’s really a status thing.
“I’m a comfort-level guy, and if I’m out of my element, I get into panic mode. But face it – I’m a gambler and I know the horses. I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t have knowledge. The sport is fascinating, and there’s so many similarities with the competition. It’s neat to do this. Every time I go to the track, it doesn’t feel like I’m working.”