TODAY marks the final racemeet before Christmas, and with the 10-race programme offering a $5.4 million Pick-9 carryover, a payout in excess of $8 million looks a real possibility.Three trophy races will be run on the afternoon, including the annual renewal of the Sweet Ruckus Trophy over 1400 metres for native and imported two-year-olds, with a purse of $850,000.The other trophy races on the card are the round-five Stewards’ Cup for maiden two-year-old colts and geldings, and the Restricted Allowance II for the Titania Trophy over 1100 metres, which is confined to fillies and mares.The Philip Feanny-trained BUBBLING KITTEN, who impressed in the Dye Job Sprint, over 1200 metres, on December 12, renews rivalry with the runner-up and then-favourite, BLUE DIXIE, in a small field of six, and judging from the manner of her victory, she looks hard to oppose.Dye Job SprintBUBBLING KITTEN beat BLUE DIXIE by all of six and a half lengths in the Dye Job Sprint, covering the distance in the smart time of 1:13.1 under former champion jockey Wesley ‘Callaloo’ Henry, who again has the ride.With the tongue tie fitted for that race, the bay filly, by Blue Pepsi Lodge out of Shanna D, showed good speed to dispute the early lead with RALLY BABY and skittered away on entering the straight for a facile win, behind splits of 23.0 and 46.1.She is still extremely fit, and with the additional furlong no obstacle, should lead home Gary Subratie stable companions BLUE DIXIE and GOLDEN GLORY.Subratie indicated last Saturday that BLUE DIXIE had some minor issues for the Dye Job Sprint, but is expecting a better race today, and has called up outgoing champion jockey Dane Nelson to try and make a difference. BLUE DIXIE looks a safe exacta horse.I also like the well-advanced newcomer, SIR RAJA BABA (working well) to lead home EQUUS in the Stewards’ Cup, in which nine two-year-olds will run; fleet-footed FIRE ALARM ahead of COMMANDING AVIATOR in the Titania Trophy; MESSITHEGREAT to recoup losses in the sixth; CRUCIAL VALOR in the seventh; and PRINCESS SHEMIKA to stave off CHEERS in the eighth.
ShareEXPERT ALERTDavid Ruth713firstname.lastname@example.orgJeff Falk713email@example.comBaker Institute expert available to discuss health insurance exchangesMarks: You can’t wait until you’re sick to buy health insuranceHOUSTON – (Sept. 30, 2013) – Tomorrow Americans will be able to buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s health insurance exchanges. But they shouldn’t assume they can wait until they’re sick to buy insurance, according to a health care expert at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.Elena Marks, the Baker Institute’s scholar in health policy, said it is critical that people know that exchanges have limited enrollment periods each year, and people who do not buy insurance during those periods will have to wait until the next year to buy coverage. “For the first year, 2014, people will be able to enroll from Oct. 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014,” she said. “Thereafter, enrollment will only be open from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 of each year, with coverage effective Jan. 1 of the following year.”Marks said that coverage isn’t effective immediately upon purchase. “Even during the initial open-enrollment period, applicants will wait two weeks to three months before newly purchased insurance kicks in; in subsequent years, the minimum wait is longer,” she said. “If you have an accident or acute illness, coverage that kicks in weeks later is not much help. And if you develop cancer or a chronic condition, coverage next year is small consolation.”Marks said the limited enrollment periods are an important feature of the ACA in that they work with the mandate to have health insurance and the accompanying tax penalty to guard against premium increases.Marks is chair of the board of directors of Community Health Choice, a nonprofit organization serving more than 200,000 members. She is an attorney with a master’s degree in public health and currently works as a consultant to the health care industry. From 2004 through 2009, Marks served as the director of health and environmental policy for the city of Houston.Marks is available for phone interviews only Sept. 30. She will be available for both phone and in-person interviews Oct. 1. The Baker Institute has a radio and television studio available for media who want to schedule an interview with Marks for Oct. 1. For more information, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-348-6775.-30-Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Marks biography: http://bakerinstitute.org/personnel/fellows-scholars/emarks.Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog. AddThis